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Evaluate Your Writing Progress and Make Resolutions!

Well, my lovely Duoliters (Duolitians? Duolettes? Duolitites?) it’s that time of year again. The dawn of a new year is nearly upon us, which brings with it the time honored tradition of New Year’s Resolutions.

In 2012, we want to make sure that among your goals for weight loss (this year will be different, really, that thigh master is coming out of the garage and it’s gonna be on like Donkey Kong!), financial security (no more impulse buys, that piggy bank is going to be brimming with gold by year’s end!) and spiritual growth (you will tune in less to the TV and more to the world around you!) we also want you to add some attainable goals for your writing development.

But wait! First we have to evaluate our 2011 goals.

If you’ve been keeping up with our monthly writing motivation newsletters this year or if you’ve taken our How NOT to Write a Book eCourse, you should already have set some writing goals for yourself in 2011. Before we can take a look ahead at 2012 (which we will do in a follow-up blog in January) we have to take an inventory of where you stand based on the results of 2011. So without further ado, let’s get to it.

1. The positives: What did you accomplish?

Every Duolit meeting begins on a positive note, which typically involves some sort of delicious, junky type food and equally junky discussion on celebrity gossip or news. Along the same lines, we want to begin your evaluation by taking a look at the positives of 2011 in terms of your writing goals. What were you able to achieve? Did you participate in NaNoWriMo? Create an outline for your book? Write a first draft? Edit a second draft? If you surpassed any of the marks you set for yourself in your writing, take a minute to stop and give yourself a big pat on the back. Finding the time and energy to take those steps ain’t easy, so your progress should be celebrated with glee.

2. The negatives: Where did you fall short?

Okay, time to fess up. Which goals were you unable to meet? What did you plan to get done in 2011, but never found or made the time to do? It’s important to realize not only what you didn’t accomplish, but why you weren’t able to accomplish it. Be really honest with yourself–in other words, are you making excuses or did you have some genuine obstacles that kept you from meeting your goals? If you can’t identify why you weren’t able to meet your marks in 2011, you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment again in 2012.

Homework assignment: How will things be different in 2012?

Over the holidays, in between the shopping, wrapping and eggnogging we want you to take some time to think about where you want to be in terms of your writing at this time next year. We’re not talking about specific goals yet, that will come in January, but just an overall picture of what you’d like to see in December 2012. A successful novelist? A Twitter guru? A marketing master? Collect a vision of where you want to be so that when we reconvene next month we’ll be ready to start nailing down specific goals for the new year.

We’re not quite done yet! Duolit has one remaining blog left in 2011. Stop by the blog next week for an evaluation of your marketing successes and shortfalls in 2011 so that you can prepare to set your goals in that arena for next year as well. After next week we’ll be off to spend the holidays with our friends and family, but we’ll see you back here in January.

As this is my last blog of the year, I would like to extend an enormous Internet hug (in a totally not creepy way) to all of you for helping make our second year of Duolit so successful. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed getting to know some of you and your projects in 2011. We are blessed to have such a talented group of authors who (for reasons we can’t quite identify) have gotten it into their heads that we’re pretty cool people. We love helping you achieve your dreams and can’t wait to continue that quest in 2012.

Thanks so much for everything.

Merry Peacemas and Happy New Year!

– Shannon