Vision: A Resource for Writers
Lazette Gifford, Editor

Writing Hopes and Plans for 2005

By The People of Forward Motion
2004, Forward Motion

Considering dreams and setting goals for writing in the coming year can help focus on what a person really wants out of their writing.  It's easy to drift along, thinking that something will come along... but it won't happen if you don't at least nudge yourself in the right direction.

If you want something to happen with your writing in general and your career in particular, you have to be in a position to make it happen.

I always have my own, simple goals. The firs is the goal I've had every year for about a decade, and that's to write at least 1000 words a day, averaged at the end of the month.  That's the simple goal, and the one that is in my hands.  I hope to average at least 5 pages a day of editing next year as well -- another goal that is fully in my hands.  I will continue to mail (or email) two submissions a month.

Dreams and hopes are another matter, since they obviously indicate things that are out of my control.  I would like to find an agent, but I had better work a bit harder if I really want one.  Like everyone on the site who is submitting material in various places, I hope that a few of my novels and short stories find the right publishers. I hope that my published work sells well.

I hope that I continue to find stories that intrigue and excite me to write them and that I have as much fun at it as I have in the past.  That, really, more than anything else, seems the most important to me.  As long as I love what I'm doing, I'll continue to work toward the rest of the list.

So here's hoping for another wonderful, exciting and productive year for all of us!



Posted by touch_of_ink,

I'll dream big. Since I hope to finish my first draft this year, for next year I hope:

1. Finish editing my first draft

2. Find an agent that loves my book

3. Have the agent find a publisher that loves my book

In the meantime, I'd like to:

1. Start my next Wip "The Monster of Dewsberry Drink"

2. Right an article for Visions on the labyrinth outline form

3. Get my article (see above) published by Visions :)


Posted by CPol

1. At least 100 000 new words of fiction.

2. At least 200 000 new words total.

3. Submit at least one fiction item.

4. Make a serious attempt at finishing a novel draft.

5. Write at least one short story (>1000 words) or 3 flash fiction a month.

And two not so upbeat:

6. Organize and keep a writing schedule. Mostly keep the schedule.

7. Don't quit writing when I'm depressed. Use it as a way to escape depression instead. 


Posted by FrankA

In 2005 I intend to...

1) Finish my second novel.

2) Polish up my second novel, Tique, well enough to sell.

3) Find a good agent to represent me.

4) Start in on my third novel, The Enabled, (a totally different world from the first and second) and put down 50,000+ words.

That might sound like a lot, but my last working day before retirement is October 14th, so I'll have time to do that and some other things besides.


Posted by bobsy

2005 is the year I'd like to concentrate on the business side of writing. I feel like the last two years have been my apprenticeship, learning the craft of writing, experimenting and trying out different styles and genres. In 2005 I plan to start targeting markets, submitting my work and generally treating my writing as a career prospect rather than a hobby. I have my teeth gritted because I know it will be tough, but I'm excited by the prospect of truly working towards making my dreams a reality.


Posted by astropolis

1) Sell the first Jane novel (Run from the Stars)

2) Finish the second Jane novel (Cry to the Stars)

3) Start the third Jane novel (One with the stars)

I'd also like to finish Imperatrix Galactica and have a go at writing radio comedy for the BBC. 


Posted by mamarose1900

My current main goals:

Finish, edit, and submit 50 Ways to Kill Your Lover.

While waiting to hear about 50 Ways, choose and start another book. Finish, edit and submit that book. Repeat.

That's what works, according to every published author on the site. So that's what I'm doing. Write, submit, write some more, submit some more.


Posted by sswain


The biggest goal I have for 2005 is: Don't Get Sidetracked. Stick with my intermediate goals and overall schedule which consists of:

- Finish all of my WIP.

- Get at least one polished and submitted.

- Do a lot more nonfiction stuff and submit to places other than Vision. 


Posted by valeriecomer

Goals for 2005

It's time to start with the business side of writing, as I have a book ready for fourth (and possibly final) draft.

So, finish the revisions, and submit to agents. And then continue to submit to agents, and/or publishers.

Complete my 2-year novel project, and practice the same steps with it. Polish and submit.

Begin writing another novel (currently mostly outlined). Get at least two drafts of it completed in 2005, so that it, like the others, can get kicked out into the big bad world.



Posted by Jonc

I plan on FINALLY putting this trilogy of mine aside once it's done, and concentrating on smaller, more compact stories. I'd like to work on a few stand-alone novels I have on the back burner and hopefully get them done and out the door before 2005 is over. I feel I really made quite a bit of progress in '04 both in word count and honing my craft, so I hope to do even better next year! 


Posted by bregorzloth

1) Finish Project Cold Witness (my current "big" work in progress) and turn it into my first ever novel submission package;

2) Commence work on my new historical fantasy series, starting with Evil's True Form;

3) Find a better name for the above project;

4) Move into the Annales East Englum cycle by doing some serious research first of all;

5) Hopefully continue writing after starting university in Sept. 2005. 


Posted by Barbara

1) Finish my second novel.

2) Rewrite and edit my first novel.

3) Begin writing on the sequel to my first novel.

That is the obligatory part. I'll be unhappy with myself if I don't get done that much. In case things go better than anticipated:

4) Rewrite and edit my second novel, either after writing the sequel or at the same time. 

But *the* most important goal of the next year is to improve the quality of my writing. I finished a first draft, but sadly, that does not even put me close to publishable. I hope that at the end of the year I will have moved my writing out of the cringe category.

Submission is not on the schedule for 2005. I'm not far enough for that. 2006 maybe? 


Posted by Tabra

1: Finish editing my firsrt novel and submit it

2: Finish writing the sequal and edit it

3: Finish my NaNo novel (I will finish Nano!), edit it.

4: Start book 3 of my trilogy.


Posted by Sydney

I want to polish and submit some short stories in hopes of gaining some publishing credits (and determine exactly what genres I like to write in/am best at).

In addition, I'll continue writing and then editing my present novel (doubt it will be done before the start of 2005) and begin work on editing and maybe submitting my NaNo novel.

Main goal... find the courage to submit my work.


Posted by BlackThorn

Concrete plans and reaching high --

Concrete - Finish Wings of Sacrifice and Hound Mistress. Start submitting Hound Mistress.

Reaching High - Find an agent and sell Guardian.

I figure it's better to reach high and make it part of the way than to not reach at all. 


Posted by tambo

I plan on keeping my sanity while I:

1) Do post-publication marketing for Ghosts in the Snow

2) Earn back my advance

3) Sell Ghosts to Hollywood

4) Complete the editing, publication and pre-marketing phase for Threads of Malice

5) Complete and polish the first version of book 3 (as yet untitled)

6) Get nominated for a Hugo, Nebula, or some other big-time award

7) Learn to like traveling while I make too-damned-many public appearances

8) Finish (but not polish) the first draft of Death of Angels part of a new mystery series I've pitched

9) Read. My list grows ever longer while my time shrinks

10) Tell as many aspiring authors as possible that it is NOT impossible to get published.

As long as I keep swimming, I should be fine. :)



Posted by MishaM

I'd like to say "nab an agent for my first novel," but that's not something I have full control over. Here's what I can do:

--Stop leaving stories mid-way through just because I already know what's coming; teach myself to enjoy the writing even when I know what's next. (Any advice here would be greatly appreciated!!)

--Focus on short stories. Complete a couple of good, solid ones, edit them till they dance on the page, and submit them like mad

--Finish planning and start writing my second novel. This time I'd like to try a new tactic: lots of outlining in advance to avoid some problems I ran into on my first novel. I want this one to be shorter and tighter, deeper, but also more playful. 


Posted by Shadawyn


1) Finish my seventh novel. I'd also like to start, if not finish, an eighth.

2) Revise at least one novel and submit it to agents.

3) Fit regular reading into my schedule, and perhaps a novel exchange or two.


1) Landing an agent would be nice.

2) Finding a balance between the day job and writing love that'll keep me satisfied, but not overwhelmed.


Posted by sthyme

I'd like to have the courage to sit down, shut up and just do it. For all I talk about it I don't do enough. I don't work hard enough. I don't seize opportunities when I come to them, and I don't make the time to do the things I need to do to make it.

So, my 2005 goal would be to stop the bull and just get into writing for real.



Posted by MarFisk

I'm keeping the Writing Plans simple:

1) Write one book to be named later.

2) Edit two to final draft

3) Submit a whole lot (both shorts and queries)


1) Get an agent

2) Get a book contract

3) Manage to get my edit pile down to a manageable level (note this last is a hope; I try to keep my plans grounded in reality)


Posted by Irysangel23 year? It's so far away! *g*

Here's my list:

1. Finish & polish book 2 of my trilogy.

2. Finish & polish my NaNo.

3. Polish my current WIP & prepare for submissions.

4. Start a new book and finish it.

Overall, I'm looking at sending out more submissions (now that I know that I can finish them), polishing more books to a healthy shine, and branching out into the world of agents and slush piles.

Oh, and 250k words. 


Posted by anj

My hope for 2005 is to have my 2YN wip finished and ready to submit and to be researching agents to send it to.

And to start on a new novel. 


Posted by rscrawford

Like everyone else, I plan on finishing my novel (The Outer Darkness in my case) in 2005. I also plan to sell at least five short stories, and to finish up the outline for The Terassic Cycle, a monstrous epic which I expect will take me about a decade to complete. 


Posted by Cool Tester

Get published. Heh, heh.


1) Finish the 2 year novel class and submit it.

2) Start on the next one immediately after that.

3) During this time, finish the short stories I've been working on and submit them. The short fiction market is pretty small, I know, but might as well send them off if I'm going to write them.

I haven't really made in plans beyond this. I try not to get ahead of myself if I can help it. 


Posted by Artiste

If I push myself just a bit past my current rate of writing, which is slow compared to a lot of people here, I will be able to finish my first novel draft next year.

I anticipate being able to write more quickly because the characters are now becoming solid to me and plot is falling into place.

This is my 2005 goal.


Posted by SisterCoyote

Every year, it's the same thing.

January rolls around, and I tell myself that this year is going to be different. That this year I'm going to get more writing done, finish some short stories, maybe shop around some of my poetry.


Somehow, it never happens. Or I face the arbitrary turning of the year with dread, thinking that I'm never going to get it together.

Well, this year's going to be different.

For one thing, no more new year's resolutions to do more writing or shop more of what's finished.

This year, I'm setting a manageable goal. And I'm setting it right now, in October of 2004 - why wait until January?

My goal is to write for fifteen minutes every day. Doesn't matter what I write (well, except for November, when I'll be trucking through my third effort at a NaNoWriMo Novel). It's just the act of developing the habit of writing for fifteen minutes daily that I'm going to work on.

Doesn't sound like much of a goal, I know. But if I can write one page in fifteen minutes (maybe I can, maybe I can't), and I write for fifteen minutes every day, then it will take me three months to have a novel finished.

If that's what I decide I'm doing, of course.

Or maybe in those same three months I can have 120 poems written - polished up and ready to go.

Yes, I'm starting small. It beats setting myself up for failure, though. 


Posted by snitchcat 

Hmm... I don't actually think that far ahead!

Let's see, though:

1. Complete current 2YN WIP (includes editing)

2. Complete other WIP (includes editing)

3. Start one of the other WIPs running around in my head.

4. Contribute to another non-fic text

5. Go to a Con

6. Take a holiday

And somewhere in all that, find an agent or a publisher or both. Whichever option appears first! :laugh:


Posted by KatsInCommand

* move toward publication by focusing on editing and submitting short stories

* edit current NIP and submit

* apply to (and hopefully attend) one week writers workshop

* continue steady writing 


Posted by bonniers

I have simple goals for next year:

* submit lots of stuff, including Not Forgetting and short stories

* write lots more stuff

* submit that, too

I think I should be able to manage that.



Posted by cj

Well, that should be fairly simple....

in 2005, I would love to be published. Just one of my short stories would be fine.

Also, I want to finish editing my first novel and submit it to someone. Anyone, really. I just want someone else to read the whole thing.


Posted by chickenlady 

Wow--how apropo; I just got done writing out my five year plan. My goals for 2005 are to evaluate the first draft of my first novel, Tell Me You Love Me and figure out why it doesn't work (see, I already know it won't!) I want to use those insights and apply them to my second novel, Lilith's Gift. I plan to finish the first draft of LG in the first six months of 2005. Then I'll evaluate that manuscript for publication possibilities, begin edit on LG, then begin first draft of third novel in the second half of 2005. And you should see what 2006 looks like! 


Posted by arrvee

Finish first draft of Washed in the Blood

Revise it to final draft

Begin the Great Agent Search

Begin the sequel Born in Blood and at least get it outlined

Finish and submit at least 1 short story every month

Write and submit essays and articles as the spirit moves me 



Posted by stephjr

-Finish to final draft form the final two books in the Sorcerers' Twilight series and get them to my publisher.

-Do book signings, promotion etc... for The Left Horse Black, which will be out in hard cover next spring.

-Finish my 2YN to final draft form (maybe)

-Start the next book. 


Posted by kenton_hammonds

The plan is to finish Secret Rainbows, Book III of the "Children of the Empire" series.

Should only require 30K new words and a revision of the rest. Total length about 80K.

Not a particularly demanding ambition I guess, compared to some others. 


Posted by erinKC

2005 is the year for submissions for me. Here I am with projects stacked up in various forms of completion and I've not sent them off. It's a fear, honestly. But come January, it's time to get past the fear and send things out! (eep!)


1. 250K in new words

2. Submit, submit, submit! short stories, novellas, novels... I've got it all!

3. Revise and polish the 2004 NaNo novel for submission.


Posted by Violet


1.Have a short story published in Strange Horizons (my dream market)

2.Finish novel #2

3.Work on plotting novel #3

4.Submit novel#1 to agents

5.Join a good face-to-face writer's group

6.When Ellen Datlow invariably rejects my short story that she will at least say something positive about my writing.


1.Attend Marcon in Columbus Oh (have approached organizers about a contest for best public reading of original fiction--I'm putting up the prize money, and no I won't compete!)

2.Attend 2 writer's workshops


Posted by elizabeths

Both of my goals for 2005 are contingent on the end of 2004.

1. Submit the WiR (which is supposed to be revised by the end of this month). Assuming the beta readers that I will be requesting don't suggest I trunk it instead.

2. Rewrite the Nanowrimo novel. Assuming a) I finish it and b) I finish revising the WiR first. 


Posted by Brenria, Wed Dec-31-69 05:00 PM

1. Finish an edit of a book. Doesn't matter which one, I've got several to choose from.

2. Write at least one book.

3. Start submitting a book. 


Posted by els1982

Well mostly to finish the just started WiP "afterlife" and see what response I get from people as it's my first go. That and start developping some of the other ideas in my notebook (even the "middle of the night" ones are intriguing me)

I also want to get a 2:1 in my degree more importantly as my family have supported me through going back to education so my writing is definately coming second to my uni work until May when I finish. 


Posted by yappo

To have landed The Taleweaver with an agent and preferably one step further.

To finish, as in having written and revised into a publishable state, Frays in the Weave, and submit it before year's end.

To have started on A Weave in shreds.



Posted by bondgirl

I intend to finish two novel first drafts. I also plan to write some short fiction or articles for submission to magazines or literary anthologies. I hope that 2005 will be the year I make my first sale.



Posted by BMESH 

Like just about everyone, I hope to improve my writing, and finish my current WIPS.

In addition, I hope to find an agent who "loves" my work and is willing to work with me over the long haul.



Posted by heyoka

1. Finish "Mages" novel (which should be started by the end of 2004).

2. Finish at least two short stories.

3. Submit at least one short story to paying market.

4. Find and join local genre writer's group. <-- This one may become "form a group", as I have seen no signs of an active one in my area. 


Posted by jschara

For 2005,

- Edit and polish Polar Bear on the Loose

- Finish first draft of Twilight

- Plan a yet to be determined work

- Continue writing daily

- Pursue a couple non-fiction ideas I've come up with in the last month

- Gain a better understanding of the business of writing

- Perhaps begin braving the submission process at year end  


Posted by Schell

I won a novel contest and contracted my first novel in 2004. My book The Green Temple is out next month.

After a year like that, it's hard to know where to start. HOWEVER

I want to contract the second and third books of the series.

I want to complete and sell a mystery novel.

I want to sell at least one of my short stories.

I want to see Green Temple hit the mid lists.

I guess that will do for now..... 


Posted by Linda Jo Martin

My 2005 goals are:

1. Finish the first draft and at least one edit of Perfection.

2. As for my other novels, edit and submit as many as possible.



Good luck to everyone with their work in 2005!