A New Writing (and Reading) Year: 2021 Edition

Do you have any goals this year?

Usually I share this post on the first posting day of the new year, but because of last week’s special share, it got pushed to the second post. This is the time I talk about what I intend to accomplish this year, in several aspects of my life. Even with the way 2020 went, I still have plans and goals for 2021.

But let’s quickly talk about goal-setting in general, in case you have a desire to set your own goals.

It is important to make sure whatever goals you set are achievable. Sounds basic, right? Well, what I mean is that it would be risky for me to set a goal to travel more or to gain 1000 new readers. Traveling is still uncertain, and the number of readers I gain is mostly out of my control. If I set those goals, I’d be setting myself up for failure.

But I still want to set goals, despite the remaining uncertainty for 2021. I know I’ve said this time and time again, but setting goals – and expressing them in writing and/or verbally – can help you achieve them.

This year, I’m going to break it down more than usual. I’m going to set myself personal goals, reading goals, and writing goals. And I’m going to do my best to make the goals achievable and logical.

And away we go!

Personal Goals

This year, I’m really not sure where my personal life is headed. But I do know I want a few things:

  • Eat healthier. I’ve been trying to get back on board with this all pandemic. I can’t kid myself with saying I’m going to work out (that won’t last), but I can reduce my snacking and make healthier choices.
  • Take more walks. Maybe this is just getting up from my desk at work every hour or so. Maybe this is actually going on walks. Who knows? We’ll see.
  • Commit to drawing or some form of visual arts most days. This may sound odd to you, but I did Inktober this year and discovered 1) how much I missed drawing, and 2) it is actually huge self care for me. No one requires anything from me when I create art. It’s just for me. And just 20 minutes of drawing is enough to reset me, even if I don’t want to do it when I start. I always end up with a feeling of accomplishment and peace and renewed energy for life.

Reading Goals

I haven’t gotten to set my Goodreads challenge yet as of this writing (why do they make you wait until January??? I wrote this on New Year’s Eve!), but I know I want to increase my goal. The last two years, I read 92 books each (again, as of this writing… I have plans to read some more today, so there’s a chance I could check off one more). My goal last year was 80 books.

This year, I want to set that goal post a little tighter. 90 books.

But beyond that, I want to expand my reading again. I want to be a bit more intentional. I want to read at least one of the following books:

  • a classic – there are a few of these on my list I’ve never quite gotten around to reading
  • a nonfiction book in a subject that interests me – I have so many interests. I want to expand on some of them.
  • a diverse title – we need to read about the experiences of people who aren’t like us. It helps us learn and grow as people and creators.
  • an inspirational writing book (or a book for artists) – I have one I meant to read this year that I never quite go to.
  • a craft of writing book – again, I have one of these waiting for me.
  • re-read a favorite book or series – I tend to focus on new books and forget the ones I loved… even when I always want to re-read them because of how much I loved them. I’m thinking of the Ashfall books this year.

Writing Goals

This year, I have a lot on my plate as far as writing, and a few of my goals are intertwined with my personal life.

  • First, I want to readjust my writing schedule. I usually aimed for 1000 words written per day, but I’ve lost my habit, what with the new job. So this year, I want to get back on board with my writing schedule and keep drafting even when I have editing going on. I’m going to set this as 1000 new words MOST days… more often than not. I know I can’t promise myself every day.
  • Release 4 Seasons of Magic books
  • Begin releasing the Pie-Jinks series
  • Draft my next trad title to query
  • Work toward completing the This Curse series
  • Complete an audiobooks DIY course so I can create audiobooks
  • Complete an ads course I purchased in 2020
  • Put what I learn into practice

Final Thoughts

I have high hopes for what I can accomplish in 2021, after a difficult 2020. I can’t promise I’ll meet all these goals, but I will try. And that’s the important thing about resolutions or goals or whatever you want to call them.

If you don’t meet your goal (on your timeline), it’s important to have some compassion with yourself. You can only do your best. And it’s ok if you don’t do everything you planned. Life happens. Plans change. Priorities shift. And it’s ok to shift with them.

So now, it’s your turn. Are you setting any goals this year? Looking forward to anything new?

Tell me about it in the comments!

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