Goals For 2014

by sarahenni on January 6, 2014

photoMan, I love the New Year. I like being able to put the events of my life in context, even if it’s the somewhat arbitrary cycle of the Gregorian calendar. This year I was excited to reflect on my reading from 2013, which I tracked better than any year of reading before. The results weren’t great, but I have some fantastic goals to work toward in 2014: reading more diversely, with more purpose.

I’ve got a couple other forward-thinking goals or contexts for the year ahead. Firstly, I continue to keep my motto for 2012 in mind, always, because it has the perennially fashionable effect of keeping me calm.

And, following the lead of the lovely Erin Bowman, I’m boiling down my hope for 2014 into one word:

Create.

I’ve set a goal (inspired by Karen Kavett’s “Don’t Break The Chain” calendar) to write 1,000 words every day this year.

Yes, that’s crazy ambitious. That’s 365,000 words. That’s just 116,103 short of The Lord Of The Rings!

But the impetus for this goal is that for most of the last two years I’ve been revising one project. As a result that project is the best thing I’ve ever written, but dear god. After all that revising, when NaNoWriMo came around this year, it felt like an oasis in the desert of the same 60,000 words I’d been tweaking for 24 months. I wrote something brand new, and it was scary, daring, wonderful, fun. I realized that I didn’t ever want to feel so distant from the raw, make-it-from-scratch feeling of drafting ever again.

So, a thousand words a day. And those 1,000 words can come from anywhere, and go into any project. A hair-brained shiny new book idea, a short story I’m intrigued by, a blog post, writing in my personal journal. Anywhere.

Words. Words, words, words.

It’s already been difficult. On Jan. 1 the pressure of this new goal drove me to write a new scene in my WiP (the one I’ve been laboring over for two years), and it was glorious. Then, Jan. 2, I freaked out and watched Silver Linings Playbook instead. I’m 50/50 on my goal and January has barely started.

But that’s okay! I have a very good idea of what motivation works for me, I know that more often than not having that goal hang over my head will work. I’ll get it done.

And by the end of 2014, I’ll have so many words. All words I was capable of writing, but at a volume I’d never challenged myself to before.

I can’t wait.

Gratuitous picture of self credit: Megan

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin January 6, 2014 at 12:29 pm

I love this word choice. And I so know what you mean about revising in circles for months on end and then having the act of writing something new feel overwhelming. When you polish for so long, I think it’s impossible for the raw, messy stuff to NOT be scary.

Best of luck with your goals in 2014, lady! :)

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sarahenni January 12, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Thanks Erin!! It’s amazing how quickly revising can turn into a crutch. Nice to be reminded that we CAN draft something new!

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Krispy January 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm

That is an impressive goal, and I’ll be cheering you on! Create is such a great word too. :)

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sarahenni January 12, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Thanks Alice :D

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Ghenet Myrthil January 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm

I love the word you chose, and applaud you for taking on this word count goal! I almost challenged myself to write 500 words a day but then chickened out. I’m still going to try my best to do it. I spent years revising as well and really want to immerse myself in writing new words regularly.

Best of luck this year!

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sarahenni January 12, 2014 at 7:44 pm

It’s the year of new words, for sure! I know you can reach 500!

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Tracey Neithercott January 6, 2014 at 6:55 pm

I love your 2014 word. I spent forever working on one project, too, and when I finally started a new story it was so incredibly fun. Your goal of 1,000 words a day is…scary? I think I’d crumble under the pressure, but I think it’s awesome you’re going for it. It has to help you write even when you don’t feel like it because it’s almost a ritual. Good luck!

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sarahenni January 12, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Thanks Tracey!! And ooh, I’m totally going to be bugging you about your new project :D

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Sarah G. January 6, 2014 at 7:19 pm

That is amazing! I will cheer you on, too. My goal is 300 words of the dissertation daily M-F. This would get me a draft by this time next year. Hoping that I’ve shot low and will be able to crush that goal, BUT WE SHALL SEE.

Now, to buy an awesome monthly calendar so I can keep track of my daily word counts…

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sarahenni January 12, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Oh man, that’s a great goal for your dissertation! Good to stay motivated and plan ahead so you aren’t trying to write that thing in one 36-hour energy drink-fueled binge or something, LOL! You can do eet!

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