Every new year I set writing goals for myself.
But not this year.
I had an a-ha moment at the end of 2018.
2018 was a great year for me writing-wise: I published my second novel, I received positive reviews, the book sold pretty well.
I created specific goals for myself: finish revisions, write and revise at least one new book, do tons of school visits, get to at least one conference.
So why did my writing life feel tortured?
Then it hit me: I was trying too hard.
It's a wonderful thing to have goals, but not at the expense of enjoying the trip along the way.
Last year, when I didn't meet a goal—be it word count, finished product, whatever—I'd beat myself up.
My goals, which were supposed to move me forward, actually sucked the thrill of of writing from my life.
I forgot that to really succeed at anything, there must be joy.
And for me, a Capricorn who has a tendency to want to get things done, my goals impeded the joy.
This morning, I'm in the throes of final revisions to my WIP. They're due next week. And guess what? I'm having fun.
Why? Because I'm not worried about anything but the task at hand.
Instead, I trust that other books will get written, schools will be visited, stuff will happen. People will love the book or they won't.
My only focus is to love what I'm doing right now. I trust that the rest will sort itself out.
For many of you, goal setting is the thing that will propel your work to publication. I salute you.
But promise me you won't beat yourself up if you miss a deadline or don't reach your goal within a certain time frame.
Promise that you'll focus on loving your work in progress and enjoying the journey. Because that love is what will propel your writing forward.
To every writer and reader out there: I wish you a 2019 filled with magic.
It is magic that we can conjure stories from thin air.
It is magic that the stories we read let us live a thousand lives during our short time on this wonderful planet.
I have no writing goals for 2019. But something tells me I'll find a lot of magic along the way!