As part of my yearly evaluation, I am given the opportunity to review my professional and personal goals for the previous year and comment on whether they were met or not. Last year, I included the personal goal of advancing my creative writing endeavors, and today I was able to look back on those goals and assess my progress.
I realized, in this process, that my writing goals may not have been very realistic.
After reading an article on writing-world.com, I have decided to take a different approach to this year’s writing goals. I will focus on making them measurable, attainable, and meaningful.
One of my goals, which was to “get more involved with The Story Circle Network,” was not as measurable as it could be. I have tweaked it this year so that it reflects specific goals that can be assessed more accurately. This year the goals are “to submit a total of four blog posts per month, and to teach one online writing course for SCN.” These are goals that are less vague, and they will be easier to assess on a continual basis.
The second goal I listed was to host a monthly writing workshop at a local coffee shop in Galveston. I was so excited about this goal, but as I think about it now, it really was not attainable. My schedule can be so fickle with my job supervising a writing center, and it makes it difficult to keep consistent commitments. Someone calling in sick can change my entire week, and I have to have built-in flexibility for when those times occur. A goal that is more attainable for me this year will instead be “to attend at least one creative writing retreat or workshop.” This, I feel certain, I can do.
Finally, the third goal was “to seek publication opportunities in multiple venues.” This one I’m keeping, because it meets the objective of being meaningful, as well as measurable. I believe that I have stories to tell and things to say that others would enjoy reading and learn from, yet I’ve always been too fearful to submit my writing for publication. The same fear has made it difficult to even finish writing projects. The past few months, as I have become involved in SCN and seen some of my blog posts published, it has given me great encouragement. I’ve even been motivated to create a website for my freelance writing business. It is a work in progress, but it is sometimes those smaller victories that allow us to have the faith to move on to larger goals.
As writers, we must take time to self-evaluate. Do we know where we are going, and do we know why we want to get there? Perhaps your goals are lofty and grandiose, or maybe they are just tiny little baby steps. Either way, goals should be spoken out loud, written down, and then evaluated for progress.
When was the last time you reevaluated yours?