Friday, January 13, 2012

No Goal? That's Okay Too

Tip of the Day: Think you can't make money at epublishing? Look at this post by Joe Konrath.

I love how everyone is talking about the goals they've set for 2012, even though I don't set goals and I don't make resolutions. Thinking about where you want your career to go is is important. For many people, when they translate those ideas into a specific plan, a goal is formed. I used to makes goals when I was younger, but I gave that up about ten years ago. Don't mistake that for flightiness.

In 2012 I will release at least two more novels. The first is Afterlife, which I am writing right now. This is the sequel to Sleepers. After Afterlife I'll write the third book in The Swarm Trilogy. No specific goal for that either. I know Afterlife will be out by summer. The third novel in the series will be out by winter. I'll have more details as I get closer to release.

I have no daily word count goals. I don't force myself to write every day. Those kind of binding rules don't work for me. I tend to break them more than follow them. Then I get disappointed in myself and my writing. I lived that way for years. Not anymore.

Now I write some words most days. That 'some' could be 500 words, it could be 7,500 (I once wrote 7,500 words in two hours - I may have sprained a thumb). As for 'most,' well, I try to write Monday through Friday. Occasionally on the weekends. Sometimes at night. I fit it in where I need to.

To my odd little brain, goals are too limiting. I know I will have two books out this year. I don't have to set a goal to do it because I already believe I will. I also have a partially-written middle grade fantasy sitting in the wings, begging for attention. Then there's that contemporary YA that's about 25% written. When the time is right, I'll attack those with the same fervor I'm spending on The Swarm Trilogy. Plus, I have a third fantasy trilogy planned.

I don't think I'm bad to the bone, or a ruler breaker, or anything like that because I don't set writing goals. I also don't think being goal-free makes me a poor businesswoman. 2011 proves that I can handle the business side of epublishing too. I've spent the last seven years modifying my day-to-day writing techniques. I'm a well-oiled machine now. I've learned to trust my process and trust myself.

In the past, when I set goals, I was always trying to reach them. Now, I just do. Cheesy as it is, the clip below from Star Wars illustrates my exact approach to life and writing.

Megg, Miss Enchanted ePubber


Kate Fall said...

Good for you, Meg! I've never been a good "this many words a day" person either. Like you said, it tends to lead to disappointment, and I always forget to reward myself. Your self-motivation is very inspiring.

Megg Jensen said...

Thanks Kate. :D

I think it's because I grew up on a farm. I have a pretty solid work ethic, which translates into motivation. Or I'm just crazy, which is possible too. lol ;)

Kristina Springer said...

You get the best covers! Love the new one. What are your thoughts on epubbing middle grade? Do you think kids that age are reading on kindles etc.?

Megg Jensen said...

I have an amazing cover artist - PhatPuppy Art. ;)

Ah, MG - now there's a blog post topic. I'll add it to the list.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

Word counts and such don't work for me either...I need to let the story carry me, which means some days more gets done than others.

That being said, sometimes I do have to figure out if it's my life (other obligations) or my story that's keeping me from moving forward at a decent pace.

Megg Jensen said...

Hey Jennifer,

Yeah, life can definitely get in the way, but it's easy to tell which one is the problem: your life or the story.

For me, it's an easy distinction. Am I irritated that I can't get back to writing - or am I relieved? That's always telling for me. ;) lol

DeenaML said...

Your plans seem to work for you! And the cover for your next book is beautiful (I just bought SLEEPERS for my Nook!) Can't wait to see how many books you get written this year. :)

Emily Marshall said...

I don't like goal of "write this much by a certain date" either. It doesn't work for me. I do liked to be pushed, but goals like that make my writing worse.