My earliest writing goal, back in elementary school, was an enthusiastic, "Me too! Me too! I want to write books too!" All I wanted was to create one of those shiny, colorful, plastic-covered rectangular things in the library of my very own.
As a young adult I became more ambitious. I wanted to be the first Mormon author to win the Newbery Award. And I wanted to do it with my first book. As a young mother, I'd open up the Scholastic Book Club newsletter that my children brought home from school and imagine one of my titles on the page. I'd go into a book shop and find the place on the young reader's shelf where I'd be.
Around the time I finished my first manuscript five years ago, my goals became more focused. Now I had to find an agent, find a publisher. There were a lot of smaller goals on the way to my bigger ones. I had to learn to write a query letter. I wanted partial manuscript requests, then full manuscript requests, then an offer of representation, and then a manuscript sale. I watched some of my writing friends go all the way through this process and thought, "Me too! Me too!"
And then the whole world changed.
The e-book apocalypse hit the publishing industry last year. Sure, people are still breaking into traditional publishing, but as hard as it was before, it is harder than ever now.
I've begun to rethink my life.
At the center still lies my desire to write the kind of books I loved to read as a child. But as to what the fate of those stories will be, I'm waiting for the details of a new vision to emerge. In the meantime, my writing goals have gone from broad and ambitious to small and concrete:
1. Draft for at least one hour every day
2. Submit something at least once a week
3. Keep reading, keep learning, keep trying
So what are your writing goals?