• Writing Goals Check-in: February Edition

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Inspiration     Comments 14 comments

    Just before the new year turned, we provided some space for you to write out your 2017 writing goals in the hopes that a little bit of public accountability might help you hit them. Your task was to fill in the blank: “In 2017, I will _______.

    The results ran the gamut. Some of you want to finish books; others want to finish anything. Many of you simply want to write more, or to improve as a writer. Some are on the lookout for a writing community, others talked about being chained alone in a room with nothing but a laptop and soup.

    The creativity expressed in this simple exercise shows that you all are capable of anything.

    But seeing as how the whole point of doing a public expression of your writing goals was to have some accountability, I think a regular check-in on those goals might prove beneficial.


    Kenneth: Are you chained (literally and figuratively) to your computer?

    Bill: Did you glue the K key back into your laptop and start writing again?

    Glynis: How is that first draft coming along?

    E.: Have you found those like-minded people?

    Emily: Have you queried those agents?

    All of you: Here we are, one month into 2017. Are you one month nearer to hitting your literary goals? Or are you off to a slow start (like me…) and maybe in need a bit of a boost? What kind of a boost? What sorts of roadblocks are you running into?

    Let us know below. And don’t be afraid to leave a comment of encouragement for a struggling writer. Just because we write alone doesn’t mean we have to write lonely.

    If you missed sharing your goals the first time around, feel free to leave them here instead. Just fill in the blank: “In 2017, I will ________.”


    WriteByNight co-founder David Duhr is copy editor and fiction editor at the Texas Observer and has written for the Dallas Morning News, Electric Literature, Publishing Perspectives, and others.

    WriteByNight is a writers’ service dedicated to helping you achieve your creative potential and literary goals. We work with writers of all experience levels working in all genres, nationwide and worldwide. If you have a 2016 writing project that you’d like a little help with, take a look at our book coaching, private instruction and writer’s block counseling services. Join our mailing list and get a FREE writer’s diagnostic, “Common problems and SOLUTIONS for the struggling writer.”

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    Emily Martin

    Yes, public announcements can hold that higher level of accountability needed to reach goals (that’s why I ran a full marathon many, many years ago, LOL). Last Friday, I got my YA novel manuscript back from an editor I hired for a full critique with helpful feedback (two heartfelt moments of the story actually made her cry! Yes!). I signed up for an upcoming webinar through Writer’s Digest about query letters which includes a critique and another one for creating an author website. Okay, so still haven’t queried agents, but my baby steps are still moving me forward and I… Read more »

    Jon Sommers

    In 2017, I will ….. be one month late in leaving my writing goal on your web site. Which is that I will finish three chapters per month from January through August (so far so good and yes, I have it all mapped out), revise half in September and half in October, have some people read it in November, make any changes from that in December, and then make a plan for finding agents/publishers by the end of the year. I figure devoting one year to trying to write a book is what I can afford to give myself, but… Read more »

    Jon Sommers

    I mean make a plan by the end of the year for finding agents and publishers. I don’t have an illusion that that process takes a couple weeks. :/

    Jon Sommers

    Eh, 30 day periods. Sometimes I have a loose idea of what I’d like to accomplish in a week, and I usually wake up in the morning with a goal for that day, words, or a scene, or whatever. But it’s not quite THat structured.

    Sharon Anderson

    In 2017, I will write something once a week,

    Bruce Carroll

    Do yourself a favor: Be more specific. What do you mean by “something?” A blog post? A chapter for your novel? A certain number of words? One sentence? It will be much easier to measure your progress if you know what it is you are striving for.

    The best to you in ’17!

    Barbara Mealer

    I’m chugging along putting the polishing on my second book. I have a critic partner who is looking at it for major errors and is pushing me for more of the book (She likes it!) What I do know is that it is better than my first one and as I’m polishing it, I find that it shows how much I have improved over the last year. I just wish I could edit faster. It takes a lot of time to correct my normal rambling and tighten it up to read like it should. Along with the editing, I’m completing… Read more »

    Bruce Carroll

    I was SUPPOSED TO write 2,500 words per week, but I am NOWHERE CLOSE to that goal. I need to get up to even 500 WPW.

    Bruce Carroll

    Aww, shucks. I am having trouble finding the words. That’s probably because i need some new material to throw in my protagonist’s way. But my biggest problem is family demands.

    UPDATE: Today I managed over 600 words.

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