It is important when setting goals for both your writing and career that they be SMART goals. Specifically, I'm talking about:
- Specific – target a specific area for improvement. What do you want to do? Why?
- Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress. When do you know it's complete?
- Assignable – specify who will do it. Can also be Achievable: how can it be accomplished?
- Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources. Is it relevant to what you want to achieve overall? Worthwhile?
- Time-related – specify when you will complete the goal (a hard deadline, not just "in the future" or "someday")
How does this translate to your writing? Well:
- Specific: revise the first chapter in order to engage reader immediately with voice
- Measurable: a review of first 30 pages from at least three betas hitting target response
- Assignable: YOU will do this, by reading this fabulous post from AIA and reading at least four first chapters of comparable titles
- Realistic: engaging the reader immediately will result in overall request rate improvement, along with direction to further improve the voice in the rest of the novel, and voice improvement on future first pages of novels that I write
- Time-related: by June 28th
It gives you the how, the what, and the whens to success.
Try mapping out all of your goals this way (if you have to think harder to do it, GOOD; you're thinking about how YOU can REALLY make it happen), and check them off as you achieve them to see just how SMART you are!!
Too hard? Tough buttons. Cry me a river. SUCK IT UP!!