Writing Goals for 2014: Building a Sustainable Writing Life

My goals for 2014 keep me company at work

Each January I try to set goals for myself for the coming year. Writing down my goals helps me visualize the smaller steps I need to take to meet those targets. As suggested by countless other writers, I try to keep my goals focused on actions I can control – numbers of submissions instead of acceptances.

So! Before I set my goals for 2014, I checked in on my goals for 2013 to see which ones I met and where I might have fallen a little short.

Goals for 2013 Check-in

  • Complete the first draft of one novel
    • I did not meet this goal, so I’m carrying it over to 2014.
  • Attend a residential writing workshop
    • Check! I attended the Beginning Novel Writers Workshop held at the University of Kansas, hosted by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, taught by the amazing Kij Johnson and Barbara Webb. It was a great experience, and helped me find the right path for my novel.
  • Keep my current stories in the submission/ revision queue until they sell or I run out of suitable markets.
    • Check! My stories have been on a steady submission regimen. I’ve been pretty good at sticking with the “send it out to a new market as soon as you receive a rejection” strategy.
  • Write 3 new stories and submit them. 
    • I’ve not stuck with this one as closely as I should have. However, I have done serious revisions on a few stories I have faith in and have submitted them. I’m going to carry this goal on to 2014 and try to write fresh stories and work less on the revisions.
  • Experiment with storytelling in different genres (like visual narratives and non-fiction). 
    • I didn’t meet this goal either. I’d still like to write a graphic narrative and write non-fiction, but I’m not adding them to my goal list for 2014 at the moment. I want to wait until I have a specific idea for each of these projects so that I can have a more concrete goal.

Goals for 2014

Looking at the goals I set for myself in 2013, I think I need to hold myself accountable for more writerly development, interactions with other writers, and set hard goals for activities I’ve had on my idea back burner for a while.

I’ve divided my goals for 2014 into different categories. My big idea, right at the top of my goal list, is to build a sustainable writing life. I’m not sure what this means yet. Ultimately, I’d like for it to mean a pleasant, steady job that gives me enough money and time to work on my writing life, which includes writing, attending workshops and conventions, and teaching writing to others. Until I can find a job that fulfills all of those needs, I’ll try building sustainability daily in small ways.


What are your goals for 2014? How are you stretching yourself from last year?

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