Thursday, February 7, 2013

Laura Kilmartin: Writing Goals for 2013

Next Year I’ll be Perfect is Laura Kilmartin’s first novel.   She previously published four essays in Write for the Fight:  A Collection of Seasonal Essays.  All author royalties from that collection have been donated to breast cancer charities. Laura is an attorney who lives and works in her native Southern Maine.  A pop culture savant, she loves to read, write, travel and collect DVDs of cancelled TV shows in her spare time.  Please visit Laura’s blog at or follow her (@LauraCKilmartin) on Twitter.

First, I want to thank Josie Ann for asking me to guest post on her blog!

I have a number of writing goals I’d like to complete in 2013.  The problem for me isn’t in setting the goals, it is sifting through the hundreds of things I want to accomplish and coming up with a good balance where I’m challenging myself but it is still reasonable to expect I could meet my goals within a year.  So, without further ado, here are my writing goals for 2013:

1. Make Time to Write

Just like every other writer, I have a very busy life.  I have a full-time job, family, friends and other commitments that seem to eat away at the hours of the day:  bills need to be paid, groceries purchased, and clothes washed.  When compared to the list of the things I need to do (not to mention the days I just want to lie on the couch in my pajamas and watch Sherlock), writing often gets pushed to the bottom of the pile.  

I forget sometimes that writing makes me happy.  It keeps me sane. 

These facts are not insignificant. 

In 2013, I am going to remember that my writing is important to me and worth making time for in my busy schedule. 

2. Inspire and Motivate Myself

I’ve found that for me to be a successful writer, I need to do more than just make time to write.  I need to experience things I want to write about, read other writers who inspire me and learn skills from other writers.  So, my writing goals for 2013 include traveling, reading and connecting with other writers.
  • Travel:  My favorite spot on earth is the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts where I try to visit at least once a year.  This is the location from which I store up most of the inspiration and creative energy I need for the rest of the year.  If all goes well with scheduling and budgets, I’m also planning at least one other trip this year – this time to a warm weather spot. 

  • Read:  I’ve entered the 2013 Goodreads Reading Challenge and my goal is to read 24 books in 2013.  For some people, two books a month is nothing, but for me it represents a reasonable, but challenging goal.  I’m going to try to shift around a bit between fiction and non-fiction; comedy and mystery.  You can follow my progress here:  Goodreads - Laura Kilmartin

  • Connect:  I have a few writer friends that I meet with occasionally, but in 2013 I would like to resurrect a regular monthly writing group that I used to host.  I am also looking into nearby writing conferences and seminars that spark my interest with the hopes of attending at least one in 2013. I learn so much from talking with other writers about their process, style and inspirations.

3. Write

So, now that I’ve made time to write, and inspired myself, we come to my actual writing goals!  There are a number of projects that I’m working on:
  • My Second Chick Lit Novel:   I have a fun idea for a second novel that shares many themes with my first novel, Next Year I’ll be Perfect.  The book I’m writing now centers around a young female lawyer who has a successful practice and satisfying personal life, but over the course of one day’s events, her foundation shifts and everything is thrown into chaos.  What happens when a self-described control freak suddenly loses control? 

I have the main characters all sketched out and the rough outline of a story.  In 2013 I would like to complete the first full draft and start sharing it with my writer friends for their thoughts and criticism.

  • Next Year I’ll be Perfect – The Sequel:  By the end of 2013, I would like to finish the rough outline of my sequel because I’m dying to know what happens to Sarah Bennett as she approaches 35.  Is she still working in the same law office where we left her?  Where is she living?  What is her relationship status and who is it with?  
  • Explore Other Writing Opportunities:  Some days the thought of completing a novel can get overwhelming, but I want to keep writing and publishing.  In 2013, I plan to explore other writing outlets where I can market short stories, essays or reviews.  There are a ton of great opportunities for writers today and I don’t feel that I am taking advantage of them.  There are online literary magazines looking for submissions, local papers looking for book and movie reviewers, and small publishers looking for readers and editors.   

Wow.  I’m exhausted!  How are other writers planning to spend 2013?  I’d love to hear your goals!


Samantha March said...

Great goals Laura, thanks for sharing!

Nash Nordin said...

Great post!

Good luck with your writing goals.