New Year, New Goals!

by Clare Langley-Hawthorne

Happy New Year from all of us at TKZ and welcome to 2014! 

A new year for me means establishing new goals and, after two international moves in three years, I’m looking forward to setting goals that do not include packing or unpacking a house…Although, our renovations are nearly complete and in the next few weeks my family and I will be decamping from the basement and putting back all the living and kitchen room items, so my packing/unpacking days are not quite over yet… 

I am looking forward to regaining some lost productivity that arose, inevitably, from moves and renovations, and I have some reasonably ambitious plans for 2014. These include:

  • Completion of two new projects: I currently have one out on submission, and one in progress, but still, I feel I need to play catch up after a few slow years, so two additional new projects are in the hopper….ambitious…but, hopefully, achievable. As a birthday present to myself last year I purchased Scrivener and I’m enjoying using this software, especially as it now enables me to set clearer word count goals. Which brings me to my next goal….
  • Setting daily and weekly word count goals: I’ve never approached writing this way but I started toying with word count goals on Scrivener late last year (not that over the holidays I paid any attention to them:)). I’m thinking of using these goals as a means of keeping me more accountable to my writing. But more exciting than this is the….
  • Release of my third Ursula Marlow mystery: I’ll be blogging more about this in the coming weeks, but I’m excited to see this come out – and I can’t wait to show the new cover art for the book as it’s beautiful. 
  • Reworking my website: This is my final goal for 2014. I’ve neglected my website for far too long (ditto for much of my social networking and marketing) so I’m planning on using the release of the new Ursula book as a jumping off point for revitalizing my website and as an opportunity to expand my marketing/networking opportunities. 

So, TKZers, these are my top level writing goals for 2014. I’ll keep you posted on my progress but I’m excited to start off the year with these goals clearly in mind, and, thanks to my husband, a new fountain pen to use to get it all started (my collie, Hamish, ate my last one).

What have you resolved or planned for your writing this year???

26 thoughts on “New Year, New Goals!

  1. My goals are pretty much the same as yours, Clare. Touch a project every day; market A Bother of Bodies (due for release this coming June); and get back to my blogging. I haven’t blogged since the end of October, due to Nanowrimo, Christmas holidays and reworking my website. Ready to go now…

    And exercise. I really have to get out of this chair, once in a while.

    • Sounds great – and for me, after a few weeks of being sick with the flu and bronchitis I definitely need to get back into exercise! I’m trying to get to the gym every weekday:) Will see how that goes…

  2. I’m excited about putting the finishing touches on my third Grace deHaviland bounty hunter novel this week with a hoped for publishing date in late January.

    Start to finish that book took me fife months and one week to complete. My goal for the first part of this year is to writer the follow-up novel to CRYSTAL WHITE in 90 days start to finish.

    • 90 days is ambitious! Sometimes a tight deadline can be great to motivate and allow oneself to get fully immersed in the process. My aim is to finish my current project (before the 2 new ones) on a similar tight timeline…otherwise other books will never get done!

  3. (Fixed typos & resubmitted.)

    Wow! Sounds like you’ve got a full, productive year lined up, Clare! Good luck with it all!

    2014 is shaping up to be a big year for me too, with lots of changes – I’m downsizing from a cluttered 3-bedroom house with a full basement to an apartment, selling the house, and moving across the country (flying there first to apartment-hunt), and finishing & publishing out my third book, as well as presenting at 5 conferences (so far). Whew!

    My post on Crime Fiction Collective today goes into some detail on that and bids a fond farewell to that great group of authors.

    • I’ll have to check out your other blog post to hear more but you have my sympathy with the move! Been there…

    • It’s a huge undertaking, isn’t it, Clare! And so disruptive to work and regular work and commitments! But hopefully we’ll all be happier once we’re well settled in in the new digs! 🙂

  4. 2014 will be the year that brings all the changes of 2013 to fruition.

    1. I am homing in on the completion of my Claymore Award novel. It should be out to beta by my birthday in early February.

    2. Get this damn newspaper I took over on track or gracefully shut down. This second it is hanging by a thread.

    3. I have started a new serial novella for the newspaper and the first chapter is gaining some traction with readers. It is a short historical romance (around 15K) set in Bleeding Kansas era. I will be putting out 1K/month, maybe semi-monthly if I get the paper back on track.

    4. Get the rest of the business out of the old building. About 100 boxes left to go and they will be ruthlessly culled. The building will be foreclosed for taxes (a conscious choice on my part) this spring and no longer my problem.

    5. Get the moving mess in my house under control. I have to deal with so much flotsam from the building.

    6. A caregiving situation in my life may also be resolved to my great relief.

    May we live in interesting times . . . Terri

  5. Yay! Kill Zone is back! And it’s great to talk about goals, Clare. I am a huge believer in goals, so much so I wrote a booklet on the subject.

    I have an ambitious plan this year, as in something new each month….novels, short fiction, a new book on writing. Onward in this great new era for writers!

  6. Happy New Year. I’ll be discussing goal setting on my next piece here, too. But my main goal this year for something new and different is to self-publish original works for the first time.

  7. Great to hear folks have got plans. As I read last week in a book I was narrating about financial plans:

    Two steps to success are:
    1. Make a Plan
    2. Follow through starting TODAY!

    With that in mind I’ve got plans for 2014 as well.

    1. Finish ICE HAMMER book 1 by March.

    2. Continue to narrate mostly full time

    3. Figure out how to close that extra-dimensional black hole behind my dryer…losing random socks is one thing, but gaining twelve toed size 37 socks from the other side is rather inconvenient…and that pair of boxers from the the same beast that showed up the other day…well that was just disconcerting on many fronts.

    at least there’s no more werewolves or bald terminators after me, although I wonder if the butterfly chick could’a led to anything…sigh

  8. After years of writing failure as an attempted sci-fi/fantasy writer, this year I’m trying mystery/crime fiction and giving myself a whole new genre I haven’t failed in yet. My goal is to complete a novel and a short story in the mystery/crime genre in 2014. I’ve already written down some ideas for both.

  9. My wife will be so pleased that Killzone is back. She thought it was the dog whining by the door, but it was just me, whining by the computer.

    Goals are pretty bland.

    !. Write 200K new words of fiction.
    2. Put two books up for sale in print and electronic formats.
    3. Take at least 3 craft classes/seminars.
    4. Run my first marathon in seven years – in Pagosa Springs at 8,000 feet of altitude.
    5.Write a book in a different genre than my current adventures.
    6. Try and come up with a more descriptive/inventive comment than Basil just once.

  10. I have been plotting and researching my debut novel for a year or so now. I kept running into brick walls with the plotting. So, with the help of JSB’s Plotting and Structure, I am doing better. (Thanks, JSB!) My goal is to have at least the first draft done in 2014. I wanted to ask about Scrivener. I’ve heard a lot about it and many writers sing its praises. The problem is that I am quite challenged when it comes to technology. Is this program easy to learn? Thanks for your tips! 🙂

    • Rebecca, JSB’s Plotting and Structure is great. Plotting is always my downfall so his tips help a lot! As for Scrivener, I’m still learning but it seems pretty user friendly and I like how it divides up a novel into chunks so you can move scenes around much more easily than in Word (where I was always cutting and pasting and losing track of what I was doing). I’m an outliner so the fact that it automatically allows me to summarise scenes for an outline is also great.

  11. These are great goals, Clare! In my opinion, they are easier to achieve because they are very specific. Good luck, and I hope you can manage it all, especially your website. Hope it will be ready when your new Ursula book is up for release.

    Marta @ Canyon Marketing

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