Notebook of Goals
On Writing

2021 Goals and Intentions

2021 is finally here! I’m sure the rest of you are just as relieved as I am to have a fresh start at new goals and new plans!

I’m a little late to the “New Years” train this year because I’ve had three family traumas on the same side of the family in the past four months.

I had to take a breather.

But I’m back and slowly getting back in the saddle. 

While taking the time to recover and heal, I thought of things I would like to do this coming year. I’m in this super awkward place where I still don’t know what I’m capable of, so I feel like I can’t set metric-based goals just yet, but I came up with a list of things that would be awesome to focus on! 

I present to you, a list of intentions for the year 2021!

Read More Indie/Self-Published Books

A couple things have really prevented me from adventuring deeply into self published and indie books:

  1. I cannot find these books in libraries. I prefer to get books from the library because I can’t afford/don’t want to spend money on books I didn’t like.
  2. The majority of self-published/indie books I have taken the chance and spent money on without reading first, I haven’t liked for various recurring reasons.

This year, I’d like to get a little braver, and I have found a way to read more indie/self-published books. Last year, reached out to me and asked me to apply to be a book reviewer for their Reedsy Discovery page. 

Because it was voluntary and I could work at my own pace, I didn’t spend any time with it, instead putting my time into finishing my own first book and writing a second. I’ve decided that I want to actively read and review for Reedsy Discovery this year, which will give me more time reading indie/self published books, as well as build up my skill in reviewing. 

I know there are amazing self published/indie authors out there (looking at you Michaelbrent Collings and Bethany Atazadeh), and I want to find more of them.

Draft and/or Heavily Outline Two More Books

I’m really proud of what I was able to get done last year. I finished drafting Demon Fall after a long 18 month battle. Then in November, I quite nearly finished the first draft of a comic book in a series I’m working on with a friend. I learned so much between writing these two projects that I’m feeling motivated to try to finish drafting or heavily outlining one or two more books. I have a couple exciting options: 

  1. I could work on the sequel book to Demon Fall. I already have a skeleton outline and I just need to finish synthesizing the missing worldbuilding pieces from Demon Fall and flesh it out more. 
  2. I could work on the next book in the comic series, which would be a lot quicker to draft (cause it’s planned to be shorter). However, I don’t have an outline built for that one at all, but could still get a heavy outline done for that as well.

I have a lot of project potential, and I think if I just get my nose to the grindstone, I could accomplish a lot in these two projects this year.

Create Overhaul Revision Plan for Demon Fall

Doing beta reads for Demon Fall has taught me a lot. I didn’t think to consider so many things while writing this book. I have missing pieces/story beats, holey world building, and I need an outline. Like, bad. If all goes to plan, I should have finished uploading my “clean up” revisions to my beta readers by the end of March. From there, I can build an outline on what I already have, go back over my notes on the missing pieces, and have a written out plan of how I’m going to fix it and get ready to query. 

I’m really excited because I feel like Demon Fall has tons of potential and room to grow.

Increase Word Count to 2,000 Words per Day

NaNoWriMo 2020 taught me it’s totally feasible for me to draft 2,000 words a day. It doesn’t take that much time, and if I don’t overextend and keep up, I don’t get burned out. I’d like to start pulling that word count during months that aren’t National Novel Writing Month. Last year, I finished almost 10 days early, but I realized if I had kept up my drafting pace, I could have 100% finished the comic book. It would have been easy. I realized if I put my mind to it, I can be a fast drafter. And 2,000 words really isn’t that hard to reach, anymore.

Get Better at Plotting

I write by the seat of my pants. I love it, but boy does it leave a mess for me to clean up later. Going back to my comment on learning a lot from beta reads, the biggest thing I learned is I need to learn how to outline better, even if I’m doing it on the fly. I need to know the right beats and measures that I need to hit in order to avoid plot holes. I’m going to study more about plotting this year and do some practicing. I expect to see the quality in my pantsing to go up as a result.

I’m really excited to work on these things this year. I really learned a lot in 2020, and I just know that there are so many more things out there that I can learn. I see a lot of hope and a lot of potential, and I’m excited to get to work.

What are some stretch goals you’ll be reaching for this year? Let me know in the comments below!

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