January Status Report: 2012 Goals

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To keep myself accountable for the goals I set for 2012, I’ve decided to keep track of my progress with a post at the end of each month.  Goals have a funny way of falling by the wayside due to everyday life and that pesky habit of procrastination that stymies even the best of us.  While my dream board helps me stay focused, an extra insurance policy of accountability will ensure I don’t wander off!

Here’s where I stand for each goal:

1) Submit five pieces of writing. 

I haven’t submitted anything, but I have been doing a lot of research on literary magazines where I can send my work.  I created a folder on my desktop to store links and submission guidelines.  At the moment, I have three strong contenders for a short story I feel is good enough to submit.

2) Finish minor changes in my first novel.

At the moment, my novel is resting comfortably on a shelf.  However, it’s not in the name of procrastination but rather a much needed bit of distance.  I’m at the point where I’m way too attached and involved.  I need a fresh pair of eyes before I start completing any structural changes, (no matter how small).  At the same time, I am happy to report that the first five chapters have been fully edited in terms of grammar and spelling.

3) Work on my second novel.

My muse and I have been very active on this front.  Over the course of January, I’ve written 3,654 words, reworked multiple plot points, and created two new characters.  This is my central project at the moment and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

4) Send out five query letters and be ready with a synopsis.

I’m relatively happy with my query letter after making a few minor adjustments, but I still want to tinker with it a little more.  I added four more agents to my list of possibilities and I continue to do more research via directories and agent websites.  The synopsis, however, is still nonexistent as I continue to  struggle with the format.

5) Keep up with my blog.

So far, so good!  Despite staying busy with so many other things, I’ve been able to consistently post three or four times a week.

6) Network more with other writers.

Surprisingly, I’ve made some decent headway on this goal!  Socializing is not my forté (I take on the role of a reclusive writer with much more ease), but I realize the only way to get my writing out there is to get myself out there.  The extension of my social network is evident on my sidebar:

  • I’ve added a new twitter button and now share my tweets.
  • Over on facebook, I created a Writer Page for my pen name.  I update the page daily with blog information and musings of a writer.  Click “Like” to follow along!
  • I joined goodreads to be part of the reading community as well as the writing community.  Eventually, I plan on creating a goodreads author page.

7) Inspire other writers to keep writing.

This one is hard to gauge, but I hope I’m a positive influence and inspiration for those around me.

Hopefully, I can keep the momentum going in February!

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c.b. 2012

2012 Writing Goals

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With the new year approaching, my writer’s group is getting ready to revisit our writing goals from last year and create new goals for 2012.  I only made three writing resolutions last year because they were big goals and frankly, a bit overwhelming.  I’m happy to report that I met all of them: 1) Submit three pieces of work for publication. 2) Finish the final draft of my novel and be happy with it. 3) Let someone other than myself and my best friend read the finished manuscript.

For 2012, I’m setting the bar much higher as a way to silence my inner critic.  I always work better with a deadline and keeping busy will ensure there’s no time for my inner critic to spout her poison. I set the following goals to push myself harder than I ever have before, while also making sure I don’t burn out my muse.

1) Submit five pieces of writing to contests, journals, literary magazines, or the newspaper.  I have a number of short stories, essays, and poems stored on my hard drive.  In addition, I have loads of ideas for new pieces.  It’s time to start polishing, writing, and sending them to prospective publications.

2) Finish minor changes in my first novel.  When I got my manuscript back from four beta readers, they all found the same glaring flaw.  While its basically finished, I want to go back in and fix the flaw.  I know what to do and it should be an easy edit.

3) Work on my second novel.  At the moment, the first draft is approaching the halfway mark. Ideally, I’d like to finish it before the year is out, but I’m going to be more realistic and shoot for reaching a benchmark of 60,000 words total. I’m at 42,000 now and I think I can punch out 18,000 words by next December.

4) Send out five query letters and be ready with a synopsis.  I set this goal a little prematurely back in October and I realized very quickly I bit off more than I could chew.  The perfectionist in me needs a little more time to make both my query and synopsis the best they can be.  I may have failed at sending out queries by the end of 2011, but the lessons I learned from not reaching that goal will push me to try harder in 2012.

5) Keep up with my blog.  This should be an easy one!  My muse and I are always inspired to write for all my wonderful readers!

6) Network more with other writers.  I’ve never been an overly social person, so this will be a challenge.  I began this process a little bit this year by connecting with other writers via wordpress.  The experience has been wonderful and that encourages me to reach out a little more.

7) Inspire other writers to keep writing.  As a writer and a teacher, I love helping people find their words.  Whether it be with an encouraging comment or a full-scale critique, I’ll do whatever I can to keep writer’s writing.

What are your writing goals?

c.b. 2011