I’m curious as to whether people set resolutions (or targets) for how much they are going to read or write each year. It may be as vague as ‘Finish that novel’ (or more likely, to start it), or ‘Finish first draft of novel by 30 November, or perhaps you have set a target that says ‘Write 2,000 words per day’. The same with reading, do you have a list of books already marked out to read, or do you want to ‘Read more than last year’, or do you refuse to set any goals, because reading is meant to be spontaneous and enjoyable?

I’m big on setting targets, I confess. I’ve done it for more than 25 years. I’ve learnt a lot through the process. For example, there’s no use setting a target you can’t control: I used to have goals like ‘Get 4 short stories published’, but that is somewhat in the lap of the gods. What you can do (and makes for a better target) is to decide how many contests you might enter. If you got two stories published last year and you entered 30 contests, then you might want to set a target to enter 60 contests this year. Or, you might decide to read every winning story from each of the contests you entered, and see what their stories had that yours lacked, and then either write a certain number of new stories, or spend a time editing your existing pieces.

This year, my goal is to publish a non-fiction book that I’ve had on the back burner for several years.

What’s your goal?