Every year around this time, writers ask each other what their writing goals are for the coming year. I always have the same response – I got none.
Some people think I’m just being contrary. I am sometimes, but not in this instance.
Planning doesn’t suit my personality. I never found a plan to be very helpful and a boring process. As far as I’m concerned, I know what I need to do. At some point, I may decide what I need to do should change. That could be because a new opportunity arises, a conflicting priority takes over, or I’m bored and want a change.
That doesn’t mean I don’t finish what I start. But the world around me evolves and I evolve with it. What seemed so important three months ago, doesn’t seem so important anymore. It’s also how I write. I’m a pantser and I never prepared an outline before I begin a manuscript. When I sit down at the start of a book, I know who are the protagonist, antagonist and some side characters. I also know what the story is about. Everything else is determined as a write – the cliffhangers, individual scenes, the plot arches, the ending, etc.
I used to do planning because I was required to where I worked. I just went through the motions and kept it generalized. That way when I was evaluated based on how well I did at achieving my goals, I could fudge it. Priorities change and sometimes it makes no sense to continue to try to achieve a goal. Yet, I saw some people doggedly continue working on something that no longer mattered.
So how do I know I’m a success? That’s easy. If I’m happy with my experiences, achieved results, and relationships then I’m a success. By these standards, I had a great 2017. I completed two drafts of my WIP, learned a lot more about writing and met some amazing people.
Yeah, I’m pretty happy about how things worked out. So my goals for 2018 remain unchanged – I got none!