To Goal of Not To Goal

July 20, 2010 at 5:32 am (Thoughts on Writing) (, , , , , , , , , )

Okay I’m undecided as to whether I should be setting goals or not. On the one hand I feel I need something to aim for at the moment, on the other, I know how incredibly busy I’m going to be at work and I can already see any time-line I decide on for writing being utterly destroyed very quickly.

So here is me keeping my goals fairly loose.

1. I am going to read at least 3 novels a month until the end of the year. I will not actually make the 100+ goal I set but at least I will have a read a fair number of books. Having only read 30 this year I think I can say goodbye to the 100+ goal and I’ll just focus on the 3 a month.

2.  I am going to finish the first draft of this WIP I’ve been working on, although the decision to start over writing in first person is going to make this one a bit of a time-crunch. I could probably finish the draft as it is in a few weeks but I would hate it and so I am starting over and will aim to finish the draft by the end of the year. That gives me plenty of time to procrastinate and get caught up in other things and still have a chance to accomplish this goal.

3.  I am going to submit my completed manuscript to various agents until I find one for it. As I have to wait to be rejected from one before I try another (sometimes that is their rule but it is mostly mine) this may take a little while but I’m not going to shelve the project again.

4. I am going to try to set up a blog tour for September. I’ve been wanting to do one and just haven’t found the time and now I’ve decided it is definitely something I want to do, the only question is how to go about organising it. To that end I am asking anyone who could stand hosting me sometime in September on their blog to let me know either in the comments or by email – cassandra (dot) jade (dot) author (at) gmail (dot) com – and I can start to think about a schedule for that.

That’s probably more than enough goals to keep me busy until the end of this year. Now I just have to work on not feeling guilty for falling behind or away from any of these.

What are your goals at the moment?



  1. Little Scribbler said,

    I’d be happy to host you in September! I did a horrible job hosting the last blog tour I was part of, and need to redeem myself…

  2. Alex Willging said,

    It’s funny that you mention this now. I just joined a writers’ support group in Santa Monica where we set up monthly goals for our writing. My new monthly goal is to establish a consistent writing schedule (write at least every weeknight, and maybe on weekends). My goal from now until December is to have finished my current manuscript and ready for submission to various agents or independent publishers.

    I’m a little curious to know what this blog tour of yours would entail…

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      Mostly I’m looking for places where I can guest blog or be interviewed to talk about my book or writing or whatever the host would like. I’m fairly happy to negotiate with people as to what they would like. Obviously I would let me readers know that I am being hosted elsewhere that day and leave a link so the hopefully the person hosting me will get some extra visitors and make it all worthwhile for everyone.

      • Alex Willging said,

        Very nice. Well, you’d be more than welcome at The Rhapsodist, if you’d like to discuss your book or your writing in general.

  3. Mason Canyon said,

    You’re always welcome to guest blog at Thoughts in Progress. When you decided on dates just let me know and we’ll compare calendars. From what I’ve read a blog tour can mean a extra work on your part (getting all the different post together, answering interview questions) but in the end is well worth it and you sound like you’re ready to take on that goal.

    As for your other goals, I like what you’ve done. You know you’re not able to meet your first goal, but have set some that are attainable. You might be surprised once you reach those how quickly to get to the first one you set. Best of luck.

    Thoughts in Progress

  4. Lynn Rush said,

    Great goals. I have a few written up on a little notecard that I’ve tacked on to the bulletin board near my desk. It’s nice to look at it once in a while. I’ve gotten a few of them marked off-
    1. get an agent
    2. get a book contract (although the book contract fell through–publisher shut its doors)

    I’m torn about the goal thing. Sometimes I get worried about setting them too high and I won’t reach them because then I’ll be upset.

    Great post. Write on, my friend.

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      Sounds like some great goals – wishing you the best of luck achieving them.

  5. Carol Kilgore said,

    Great goals. Congrats!

  6. Southpaw said,

    I’ve been thinking about goals myself lately, but I haven’t come to any decisions yet. It’s great you can change you goal as needed and be cool with that. It’s healthy. Good luck.

  7. Talli Roland said,

    Sounds like you have some good goals there!

    My goals – I want to finish revisions of The Hating Game by the first week of August. I think I can do it!

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      Sounds like a great goal and you definitely sound committed to it. Wishing you the best.

  8. Agatha82 said,

    Great goals, I cannot have too many ahead of me, or I totally overwhelm myself, so I tend to have just one goal at a time, then I move on to the next, if not, my brain short circuits…never mind I am a woman, I cannot multi task to save my life…

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      Sometimes it is better to focus on one thing because then you are more likely to accomplish it.

  9. AlexJ said,

    Stick to those goals, Cassandra!
    Mine is just to get my act together by the time my book comes out.

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      Is that September or November? I can’t remember. Either way, I’m wishing you the best. The book looks amazing.

  10. Cruella Collett said,

    I like your little list of non-goals, sort of-goals and definite goals there. Always good to know what we are planning. (I have hopelessly failed my goal of reading so-and-so many books this year too. In fact, I have failed so terribly that I can’t even remember what my target number was…)

    Starting over from scratch on a WiP is something I have yet to do (and frankly I hope I won’t have to). But I understand your feeling – if you already now know that you’re not going to like the current draft, it is well worth the time and effort to rework it completely. And for something as elementary as POV I suppose a re-write is the only way to go. Good luck!

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      Yes and now I’m distracting myself with a different WIP and who knows what is going to happen.

  11. Miss Rosemary said,

    Very good goals! I wish you luck with the agents and the mauscript (even though it will take you longer, it’s better to write it and actually like it than hate it).

    I’d love to feature you one my blog, just let me know if you’re interested:)

  12. Casey Lybrand said,

    I love that your approach is to have goals but keep them loose enough for wiggle room. That’s pretty similar to my approach: for some things, I’m hard and fast about deadlines and outcomes, but for the most part, I define a general direction and then get moving.

    My #1 goal is to finish the first draft of my WIP by the end of the summer. After that, I need to figure out how to edit it. I would love to be halfway through editing it by the end of the year, but I have no idea right now if that is realistic or not. I hope to have a good idea of how to set editing goals by the end of October. Right now, I’m using a daily goal of writing 1,000 words a day to help myself keep making progress. I find a combination of daily and long term goals useful.

    Good luck with all your goals, Cassandra. I’ll be thinking about you as you submit to agents. Congratulations on your determination to find a home for your project! I hope it works out really well.

  13. Madison Woods said,

    Cassandra, your goals are very lofty compared to mine! I only want to finish my wip. Finish as in, edit and begin querying, not just finish the first draft. Not sure it’ll be done by year’s end, though.

    And I thought we could submit to many agents at once, rather than one at a time? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it mentioned on Twitter that it’s a standard practice. It would sure speed up that part of the process, at least.

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      Yeah but I would feel bad. I don’t like to feel like I’m working around someone or wasting their time. I’ll give it to one agent, give them time to thoroughly regect it and then move on.

  14. Lua said,

    Looks like you’re going to be pretty busy 🙂 I’m not good with setting deadlines as goal but I do have a word count I try to meet everyday (1500). I’m hoping to finish my revision until the 1st of September and hoping to finish the short story I’m working on by the end of this month. Good luck to both of us!

  15. Barb said,

    You can be my guest anytime – by September I’ll even have read your e-book, reviewed it and interviewed you, hopefully, so it would be very nice! 😉
    My goals for the summer are editing the other 4 books of the immortals and drawing two chapters of my graphic novel…
    Happy writing

  16. Koreen said,

    Great set of goals. Like some of your other commentors said, my biggest goal is simply to finish my WIP and work on my blog. That being said, I’d love to have you guest post (if you still need slots).

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