Assessing Goals, New and Old

keep-calm-and-set-new-goals-257x300[1]This year hasn’t gone by quickly for me, although it has been eventful. I had two main goals in 2018 and neither of them had to do with writing. One was to finally move my mother into assisted living (the decision involved many discussions and was both physically and emotionally draining). The other was to sell Mom’s condo (which required lots of repair). The first goal was achieved on July 29, the second on Nov.  2nd.

Rather than wait for the new year to begin, I’m starting to think about new goals. I’m a big believer in goal setting. It’s the difference between getting something done and plodding along, leaving heaps of half-finished novels in piles.

I do have a number of big, ongoing writing goals that started a few years back. A few of those goals have been met while others are still in the works. Each year I edge a little closer to the finish line.

I probably won’t meet my reading goal of fifty novels this year. I just finished number forty, but I’m not sure I can read ten more books over the next two months. I’d also planned to get the sixth Casey Holland Mystery, The Blade Man, ready for my editor, but I’m behind schedule there as well. I’m just finishing draft #7 and while the book’s much better than it was with draft #6, I need another read-through before handing it over.

There are other writing projects that are not as far along as I hoped, but as you can imagine, real life family issues took priority and will take priority again as my mother’s health slowly declines. So, do I continue to make writing goals? You bet. I’d rather try and fail than not try at all.

The thing about goals is that they can be adjusted, and time limits aren’t always necessary or helpful. The point is to have at least one that matters, so I’m going to be realistic, as I decide which writing and household projects to spend time on over the coming months. Before this year is over, I just might have new goals ready to go for 2019.

Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and security work inspired me to write the Casey Holland transit security novels set in Metro Vancouver. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at

17 thoughts on “Assessing Goals, New and Old”

  1. I am a huge believer in setting goals. I like what you said about it being better to try and fail than not try at all. Family issues will always take priority of course and can knock you off track but if you have a goal, you can always get back on it. I always loved this Will Rogers quote, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” All the best!

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  2. All the best with your new novel, Debra……yes, it’s good to set goals, if we are determined to work hard to finish them….:)…..I have to read one of your novels as a first timer to get introduced to your Detective Holland……currently reading Agatha Christie’s Death On the Nile……..recently completed A J Finn’s Woman In The Window, and I am a fan of Japanese mystery writer Keigo Higashino…….hoping to connect with you more…:)

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  3. Me and to do lists are not really a thing. I have a like to list, by the end of the year I would like to have??? But not set in stone like a business plan or a “SMART” acronym driven list … Specific, measurable, Attainable, relevant, Timebound. As a writer, I can plan to write four hours but if I am in the flow; it could be ten. I can not say be published by because it depends on another person liking, wanting what I do. Health and family as you point out can tear that list to shreds. But a like to list drives me to try, thrills me when I succeed and is not a problem if I don’t. 😇 Good luck with your Mum it seems you earned some me time, make sure you take it.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Wow, I’m impressed that you do four hours, let alone ten. I write in short, 40 minute segments, so it’s a good day if I do 4 hours of writing. I think the longest time spent at writing in one day would be 6 or 7. But honestly, I don’t count the hours too closely. For me, I go by word count or number of pages edited. 🙂


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