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Channeling Janus

Janus on a Roman coin (by dreamsdarkly at /albums/ae141/dreamsdarkly /The%20Ancient%20World /Janus2.jpg)

In ancient Roman mythology, Janus is the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings, endings, and time. He’s also the namesake for the month of January. So it seemed fitting to use him to represent the post where I look back over 2010 and forward into 2011.

Last January, I mapped out my writing plan and goals for the year. Some ended up being downright laughable, especially in a year where I was moving and doing a lot of traveling. Write and polish three manuscripts comes to mind. I revised and polished one, and wrote another.

My goal to write 1000 words per day, six days a week was not too tough when I was writing, but made me feel like a complete failure when I was in revision mode. This year, I'm going to track hours spent on writing tasks, not just word count.

My writing productivity measured by words per month looked like this in 2010. (Yes, I’m a total geek about tracking and graphing.)

Revisions, moving, and traipsing around Europe last summer, put a damper on my word counts.

While I can’t directly control whether I’ll land an agent or sign a publication contract, I can control the actions that make those things more likely. And based on last year’s experience, I’ve set goals that force me to stretch, but aren’t so unrealistic that I’ll be tempted to give up half way through.

Plan for 2011

  • Spend three hours on writing, revisions, plotting/brainstorming, or research at least five days per week
  • Post a blog entry three days/week, generally Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday
  • Query ten agents for each completed MS
  • Write two single title manuscripts, and get at least one fully polished
  • Complete lesson plan for Scrivener course and set up delivery method, offering at least twice
  • Enter one MS in the Daphne and Golden Heart contests
  • Attend RWA National conference in NYC, and pitch to at least one agent or editor

So, what’s your plan for the new year? Whatever your goals, I hope 2011 is a wonderful year for you!

Tell your friends!


  1. Linda


    And those are only your writing goals!

    I have confidence in you………..I’m sure you will meet them and hope some agent or editor is smart enough to sign you up (or whatever it is they do)!!!

    • Reply

      Thanks so much, Linda. Luckily, most of my writing goals are my personal goals, but if I got into my plan for working out, family time, volunteering, travel, and so on, this post would be a mile long. 😉 Thanks for checking in. Happy new year!

  2. Reply

    What great goals! I’m really impressed by the combination of difficulty and attainability. I hadn’t thought to set myself any goals, but now I’m going to spend some time thinking about them. I can see a list in my future. Perhaps multiple lists. I just decided to keep a list of all the books I read in 2011, so apparently it’s list-mode at my house.

    Good luck reaching them!


    • Reply

      Thanks, Kali. My goals are a constant work in progress that I tweak every few months, but it’s good to look back at the end of the year and rethink things. There are some that aren’t even on the list because they’ve become enough of a habit that I just do them. Like reading craft books and working out.

      I’m a list maker myself, so I totally understand that. Good luck coming up with your own goals. Will you post them when you’re done with the list? 😉

      • Reply

        I stole your idea and wrote my own blog about my goals (it will go up around noon). You got me thinking a lot, actually – I never set “official” goals. So this year I did, and I’m hoping I can get through most of them.

        You definitely influenced my goals in what I thought was reasonable or not, so thank you!

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