I want to complain about peer pressure. I'm getting lots of peer pressure--from my local writing group, my online critique group, my A2A buddies--to craft writing goals for 2010. I think you know what I mean: "But Kate, you'll never accomplish anything if you don't know what you want to accomplish." "Well, I firmly believe that I need goals in order to get anything done." There's a sly implication that if I don't have goals, I must be the type of free spirit who writes whenever I feel like it. I can't possibly be serious about my writing if I don't even set goals.
Look, I've done the whole "set writing goals for the year" thing before. It doesn't work for me. By March, I might discover that the story burning in my head in January is a very different beast than I thought it was. By April, an unexpected opportunity might obsolete my goals entirely. So why do I need to add angst to my life in December by worrying about whether I met some imaginary goals?
I'm doing something different this year. I picked one word to guide my life for 2010. That word is LOVE. I want to love what I'm writing. I want to love what I'm reading. I want to write because I love to write, and that will be my measure of success.
Having said that, here are some things I would LOVE to do this year:
- I would love to write the YA Science Fiction novel currently burning through my brain. I'm absolutely in love with this story.
- I would love to learn how to take the research I've been doing for the Sci Fi novel and turn it into a non-fiction article. Wouldn't that be cool?
- I would love to attend an overnight writer's conference.
- I would love to write some romance into my novel and learn to be good at writing about love.
- I love being active in the online writers' community so I'm going to continue to do that.
- I would love to attract an agent or editor with the novel I'm currently querying, so I'll keep doing that, too.
You can call them goals if you want, and maybe rewording them to start with "I would love to ... " is sneaky of me. But it's not going to be a priority for me if I wouldn't love to do it, period. I refuse to go into 2010 feeling like I've got a huge to-do list and I'm already in the hole.
What's your theme word for 2010?
-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages