2013 Goals

I’m a firm believer in goal setting for my writing. How can you know whether or not you’ve arrived if you don’t have a destination in mind? Consequently, the final week of every year is devoted to reviewing last year’s goals and setting new ones for the coming year.

I’m always over ambitious, and for some, that would be a downer, but not for me. I mean, why be safe and set goals I won’t have to stretch for? I figure if I don’t aim high, I’ll never know if I can soar. I didn’t meet all of my 2012 goals, but I met enough that I’m very pleased with my progress. 2012 has been a very good year. I expect 2013 to be even better!

This year, I’ve discovered a new guide to my goal planning. Dean Wesley Smith is doing a blog series on getting ready for the new year. He starts with a retrospective of publishing changes in 2012 and then moves into goal planning, so be sure to look at the first three posts that he references. I’m currently taking an online class from Dean and learning a ton about publishing and my own strengths and deficits, so taking his advice is a foregone conclusion for me at the moment.

For 2013 I’m planning to follow Heinlein’s Rules as closely as I can:

  1. You must WRITE.
  2. You must FINISH what you write.
  3. You must NOT REWRITE unless to editorial demand. (That means an editor who’s paying you, not one you hire. Fixing typos / mistakes is acceptable.)
  4. You must put your work on the MARKET.
  5. You must LEAVE your work on the market.

I’m also setting a word-count goal: 3,000 words/week for 50 weeks, totaling 150,000 words for the year. Dean suggested 250,000 words for the year, but 150,000 will be enough of a stretch for me! That’s NEW words, by the way. He’s not counting revision and editing work (which I shouldn’t be doing since it violates Rule #3), nor time spent on covers and layout and publishing work.

So, depending on how my year works out, I should have a new novel and quite a few short stories, or perhaps two new novels by the end of 2013!

Onward and Upward!!


About Debbie Mumford

Debbie Mumford specializes in fantasy and paranormal romance. She loves mythology and is especially fond of Celtic and Native American lore. She writes about faeries, dragons, and other fantasy creatures for adults as herself and for tweens and young adults as Deb Logan. Visit debbiemumford.com to learn more about her currently available work.

Posted on December 30, 2012, in Authors - Debbie Mumford and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Wow, Debbie, what an absolutely brutal set of rules. My jaw fell open at that, as well as the amazing pace you set for yourself. Have you counted up 2012?

    I’m thinking about goals too, but will likely aim for quality instead of quantity. I’ve started picking away at “Perilous Embraces” again, which should only total around 40k but is in such a tough voice, and dealing with such strange things, I know it will be like wading through syrup (I can hope… might be more like quicksand…). Finally finish the audiobook, and then look at the second novel “Test of Fire” sequel to “Plane of Dreams”. That and a few more amusing submissions for the trunk novel, and learning what I can about expanding the platform, would be the stuff of a very satisfying year for me.

  2. Great goals, Will!

    In the past, I’ve worked with production goals (how many novels, short stories will I write this year), but after reading Dean’s blog posts, I decided to try a word count goal. I like that it gives me weekly goals which feed into the whole. 150,000 words would be terrifying, but 3,000/week? I can do that!

    I also like that Dean encourages you NOT to try to make up words. Life happens. If you have a tough week, or even a month, shrug it off and move forward. Don’t try to recoup the lost words, just set your sites on 3,000 words for THIS week and move forward. The consistent weekly writing is more important than hitting the yearly total. Nice. I can live with that!

    All in all, word count is my actual goal, Heinlein’s Rules are more principles to live by. If I can follow them, they’ll go a long way in keeping me from hopping from project to project without really accomplishing anything. It’s easy to jump ship when you hit the “muddle in the middle” and a new plot bunny hops up all shiny and new…but if I abandon the muddle to chase the bunny I never have a novel to publish. Heinlein’s Rule #2 will help me combat that impulse 😀

  3. As long as you plan out your stories carefully (HTTS?) you don’t need to revise a lot. In 2012, I translated my German backlist, some 350K words in total without breaking a sweat. So, 150K is very doable.

    My goals are clear as mud as well. I will try to build my list (subscribers to this blog and my HP) which means I’ll have to develop a working marketing strategy (I’m currently on it)

    I will write a short story of 10-25K each month to publish in bundles of 2 stories when I run out of novels.

    I will finish writing (only 5 scenes to go) and revising my current WIP, Juma’s Rain.

    I will translate the 4 novels I’ve written in English (Urchin King, Terry, BeastHunter, Juma’s Rain — ca. 230K) words back into German and publish them as well.

    That’s all for now.

  4. Awesome work on all the Translation, Cat! Glad that’s not something I need to tackle (though I’m sure my market saturation would improve if I had a second language. Ah well, that’s not who I am :))

    I’ve been compiling my sales data this morning and am pleased to say that my sales almost doubled from 2011 to 2012. Here’s hoping that trend continues 😀

    Onward and upward to a successful 2013!

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