Tuesday, January 4, 2022

The Necessity of New Year’s Writing Goals by S. L. Carlson


I am S. L. Carlson, a proud and grateful BWL Publishing Inc. author. My books can be viewed and purchased by visiting https://www.bookswelove.net/carlson-s-l

I’ve had the honor to have been in an on-line critique group since the early 2000’s. Every year we send each other our writing goals for the coming year. We started this annual tradition in order to keep ourselves on (writing) target, and also to be held accountable to fellow writers. Many Januarys, we end up laughing about our previous year’s impressive goals, unreached. Some Januarys, we give each other e-slaps-on-the-backs and e-hugs or e-high-fives for accomplishing a stated goal. Each new year is eye-opening to what we can and cannot, or do not, complete in a year. And each January, we refine our goals to become more realistic and attainable to our complicated lives.

I find this yearly habit encouraging and strengthening. More than that. As a writer, I find it vital in order to see and find my writing way.

Each year, I keep a file for the critique group. So this new month of the new year, I looked up the file of our 2021 writing goals. Couldn’t find it. I figured it was such a chaotic pandemic year (with me moving a little over a year ago to a new state), that I simply hadn’t pieced all our goals together like I’ve done the previous years. But when I searched my emails, lo and behold, not a single 2021 writing goal popped up.

I was stunned. I stared at my computer screen for the longest time because 1) I hadn’t sent out a request for goals (so unlike me); 2) no one else in the group made comments about it (so unlike them); and 3) I was struck with how much this pandemic and move has kicked my writing butt!

This new year, however, our house is finally in order, including furniture, and pictures on the walls. All our family have been vaccinated. It’s a new year. New beginnings. Time for new goals.

If you have not made writing goals for this new year, I admire your time, dedication, and tenacity to continue writing on your own. An author’s life can be very solitary. As for me, I need others. If I didn’t have a time-limit of when to have 3,000 new words written to sub to my critique group each month, I know I’d make excuses to fill my time with things other than writing, and there are always other things.

I’ve been in other on-line groups, like BIW (Book-in-a-Week), where you’d post on Sunday night however many pages you think you’d be able to write for the week, then report in on the following Sunday. I’ve also participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November for ten years. THAT is a rush – writing 1,667 blabbering words each day!

If you don’t have (or even if you do have) a writing group to share you goals with, share them in the comments below. Let’s make 2022 a spectacular year for writing.


S. L. Carlson Blog & Website: https://authorslcarlson.wordpress.com

BWL Inc. Publisher Author Page: https://www.bookswelove.net/carlson-s-l


  1. How interesting. My only goal when writing is to finish as much as I can during the year. I do have a critique group that's been running since 1990. we meet every other week. Hope you reach your goals

    1. Janet, your goal is attainable (and wise).
      May we all reach our goals.

  2. Since the pandemic started, my critique group is in shambles, and I only have one critique partner. We do not set goals, but I discovered that my best incentive to write is a looming deadline. My books are scheduled to release far enough in advance, and I know exactly how many chapters to write in a month... although the beginning takes more time to write than the end. Good luck on achieving your goals.

  3. Vijaya, how I admire people who can set monthly goals for chapters like you. Nice job. Great inspiration. I need another book deadline to help inspire. And, so sorry about the critique group shambles. How frustrating.

  4. Never have set goals or made resolutions. It just does not work for me but I admire folk who do and who stick to it.


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