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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Goals Can Get You There

Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, is one of my favorite books.

An exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat perfectly illustrates the importance of goal setting. Alice asks:

“Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?”

The cat replies, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

“I don’t much care where—”

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

“—so long as I get somewhere.” 

Here at Novel Rocket, we recognize the value of goal-setting. We’re here to help you get to where you want to go as a writer.

Here are my writing and editing goals for 2013. Why don't you post yours, too? Sometimes just getting them out there for others to see provides the impetus you need.
  1. Revise my current manuscript and research the next.
  2. Start writing my new manuscript.
  3. Read The Art of War for Writers and one other craft book.
  4. Deepen my relationships with God, family, friends.
  5. Increase the traffic on my editing site,
What are your resolutions—goals, if you prefer—for the coming year?

Michael Ehret loves to play with words and as editor of the ACFW Journal, he is enjoying his playground. He also plays with words as a freelance editor at, where he often takes a writer Into The Edit, pulling back the veil on the editing process. He has edited several nonfiction books, played with words as a corporate communicator, and reported for The Indianapolis Star.

Cat image courtesy of digital art /


  1. Appreciated the gentle reminder, Michael. I wish you well on your New Year's writer's resolutions. I've made some solid ones for myself too this time, and it feels good! Instead of feeling restrictive, it's actually liberating.

    May you be blessed with a kind New Year.

    1. Thanks Elaine! Goals can feel liberating, because not only do you know what you ARE going to use your time on you also have a better idea of what you're NOT going to use your time on. Great perspective!

  2. 1. Get organized:
    a. Shoot for greater consistency with Bible study/devotional tine.
    b. Devise and implement an "office-hours" schedule for writing days.

    2. Get real:
    a. Break the habit of constantly hyper-editing as I write. Just get the story down, sheesh!
    b. I can't write every day. Live with it and just do my best.

    3. Get moving:
    a. Finish my WIP.
    b. Find an >ahem< editor to look it over.

    1. Janice,

      I love the way you've organized your goals. Especially like 1b, 2a,and 3b. :)

      But the "office hours" one is critical, I think. If we don't treat our writing as a job, who will? Go for it!

  3. 1. Finish this current manuscript, Lord willing, on time.
    2. Read a classic to be determined.
    3. Read a craft book. I haven't read the one you mentioned, Mike, so maybe I'll do that one next.
    4. Start my next book and actually not wait until the deadline is closing in on me before making a word count goal.

    5. oh yeah, lose this 5lbs of deadline weight I've gained.

    1. Gina, what I love about The Art of War for Writers is that it is in bite-sized chunks. If you only have 10 mins you can learn some valuable craft. The first time I read it, I did sort of as a daily devotional. The second time, I just popped through it, looking for what I needed right then or what inspired me. This time, I'll probably do it quicker.

      You only gained 5 lbs? Lucky ...


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