I don't know how people do it.
I like goals to keep me on track, but the holidays (preceded by NaNoWriMo) are so crazy. I need time to ponder important decisions, like how I might spend a precious year of life.
I don't want to wait too late, though. In 2010 I didn't make goals until June! Last year, I wrote a retrospective of my writing year in April, my blogiversary and Wordsmith Studio's anniversary.
As I work on goals over the next few days, I'm considering all the writing events and opportunities coming up in 2014. This list might be useful for other writers, too. If you know of similar events (especially free ones and month-long challenges), please add a link and short description in the comments.
JanuaryRobert Lee Brewer of Writer's Digest will help us kick off the year with daily ideas or prompts starting Jan. 1 at the Get Started Write Challenge. Look for the latest challenge here or follow @robertleebrewer or Twitter hashtag #gswc.
Joy Weese Moll encourages people to read books that will help them with their goals — writing or otherwise — in her New Year's Resolution Reading Challenge.
National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) starts every month at BlogHer. Sign up by Jan. 5 to join this month's challenge. (See November for more.)
Cartoonist and encourager Debbie Ridpath Ohi hosts the 250-500-1000 Words A Day Challenge. You choose your goal and start anytime during the year. Debbie has links to fun word-count widgets you can add to your blog.
Lynn Palermo hosts the Family History Writing Challenge throughout the month of February, a great nudge for those who've always wanted to put those stories or that research in writing.
AprilTwo Camp NaNoWriMos are planned this year, one in April and one in July. The camps, similar to NaNoWriMo (see November), match you up with a small group of fellow writers in your genre.
If you're more interested in poetry than noveling, Robert Lee Brewer also hosts the April PAD (Poem-A-Day) Challenge at Poetic Asides.
MayI'm a member (and social media admin @quakerquip) for Quakers Uniting in Publications, an organization for writers and publishers. Their annual meeting is in New England this year, May 1-4, at Woolman Hill Quaker Retreat Center in Massachusetts.
JulyCamp NaNoWriMo — see April.
SeptemberWriters' Police Academy is not a free event, but I always participate and have an awesome time. Registration will open soon for the Sept. 4-7 event in North Carolina (fills up fast!).
OctoberFor nonfiction inspiration, Jane Ann McLaughlin (@JaneAnMcLachlan) hosts the October Memoir and Back Story Blog Challenge.
NovemberNovember means National Novel Writing Month! It's not just about writing 50,000 words in 30 days, it's the huge motivation from doing it with other writers cheering you on. We have an active group of local wrimos and love to meet up in person for that extra writer mojo.
For poets, Robert will encourage you to write a chapbook at the November PAD Chapbook Challenge.
November is peak time for NaBloPoMo — the challenge is to write a blog post every day. BlogHer provides optional prompts from the month's theme. One participant has a list of FAQs on an unofficial guide site.
DecemberDid you write a poem a day in November? Poets follow up by editing in December, then submitting their manuscripts!
Welcome to Wordsmith Studio's New Year's Bash Bloghop! Did you just arrive from Janice's Inspiring Quotes for 2014? Hop on over to MobyJoe Cafe for the... well... Jeannine's different perspective on New Year's Eve.