Wednesday, January 6, 2021

My 2021 Reading and Writing Goals

At the end of my last post, I mentioned that my word for 2021 is ‘Present’, supported by ‘Simplify’, ‘Connect’, and ‘Balance’. I spent most of 2020 feeling discombobulated and disconnected, and this year I want to be more mindful of how I spend my time, what I choose to focus on, and creating a healthy, sustainable work-life balance.

Reading Goals

With ‘simplify’ in mind, I decided not to join any bookish challenges this year. I’ll be doing my yearly Goodreads goal (I’ve set it at 90 books, same as last year), but last year I signed up for various year-long challenges on bookstagram and blogs, and I spent more time focusing on the challenge aspect than actually reading. I don’t want reading to ever feel like a chore; it’s something I do for pleasure and to relax and escape.

Because of that, I’ve also decided I’m going to try to limit the number of ARCs I request and accept. I got so bogged down in review books last year and barely read any of the books on my own shelves or Kindle. I love getting review books and it’s a privilege I don’t take for granted, but I want to have the freedom to go with my mood and not what I feel I ‘have to’ read because of release deadlines and commitments. There are dozens of books that have been sitting on my shelves for years and I feel like they’re mocking me.

My other reading goals are things I want to continue from last year:

Read more diversely (last year about ⅓ of the books I read fit this goal, but I know I can do better and read more books by and about BIPOC and the LGBTQ+ community)

Read more books by Canadian authors (last year I read 17)

Read more books by indie authors (last year I read 19)

Read more backlist books (I didn’t specifically keep track of those last year, but the vast majority of the books I read were new releases)

Writing Goals

In 2020, I wrote chunks of three different novels, as well as a complete novella. My goal for 2021 is to complete those three partially-finished WIPs, and possibly the half-finished book I started writing in 2015. To make those goals less daunting, I’ve decided I’m going to start setting quarterly goals. I’m hoping by doing this I won’t be so overwhelmed by the big picture and my goals will feel more manageable.

My main writing goal for the first quarter of 2021 is to finish the first draft of the next book in the Perry series. I don’t plan to publish it until the fall, but since it’s my most recent project, I want to finish writing it early in the year and be ahead of the game. If I finish it before the end of March, I’ll assess my yearly goals and see which project to tackle next.

Smaller goals within that quarterly goal:

Cut back on time spent on social media (as in less mindless scrolling)

Put my phone out of reach when I’m working

Set better working hours and take time for relaxation and self-care; I typically don’t do enough of that but when I do, it always helps with my creative flow, not to mention my stress levels

What are some of your reading and/or writing goals for 2021, or just general goals? Do you have big yearly goals or do you break them down into bite-size bits?

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