2013 Goals: Year In Review

Standard

When I set my 2013 goals, I had no idea just how much I’d learn from reaching some of the goals on my list and utterly failing at others. We all walk into goals with the best of intentions, but sometimes failing is just as important as succeeding. After all, without mistakes we’d never learn what doesn’t work.

For example, I learned setting sub-goals may be an organized way of thinking, but it doesn’t suit my writing process. My muse did not like the feeling of a micromanager hovering over her for most of the year, so the concept of sub-goals went out the window by June.

While I didn’t accomplish everything on my list, I still consider 2013 a very successful year in terms of writing. I ended up completing the goals that challenged me the most and pushed me to be a little braver.  By the end of the year I had a completed final draft for Novel #2 and I found the courage to pitch it. A few years ago, all of this would have been impossible for me to even consider. I’ve come a long way!

Like last year, I kept track of my goals on a makeshift spreadsheet. Here’s the rundown for each goal:

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 4.08.12 PM

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 4.12.38 PM

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 4.15.21 PM

– – –

I’m already putting together my goals for 2014. While I’m keeping them relatively simple, I’m also making sure they push me to go a little further.

How did you do on your 2013 goals?

– – –

c.b.w. 2013

2013 Goals: November Status Report

Standard

November brought an interesting challenge to my table, which I was all too happy to take on and enjoy. This was a great month of inspiration and writing.

1) Complete final draft of Novel #2.

Goal complete. 🙂

2) Work on converting Novel #1 into first person.

Still on the shelf (and that’s okay).

3) Submit 5 pieces of writing.

I started November by joining the Writer’s Digest 2013 November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge. In 30 days, I wrote 30 poems without missing a day or falling behind. There were times when I stared at a blank screen for hours and times when all I needed was five minutes to write my lines.  It was a remarkable experience and I’m so glad I stuck with it to the end.

The second phase of the challenge involves a competition in which the winner will receive publication of a chapbook. The completion of the November Challenge gives all participants a working draft of 30 poems, which then must be narrowed down to 20.

Throughout December I will be fine-tuning my manuscript for submission. The deadline for submissions is January 7, 2014, so I better get to work! This is my first shot at formatting a poetry manuscript, so if anyone has advice I’m all ears.

4) Submit three query letters for Novel #2

Goal complete! 🙂

5) Continue building author platform.

Playing on Twitter almost every day panned out to seven new followers, which is definitely an improvement over losing followers last month. Plus, I’ve had fun coming up with 140 character musings.

Over on Facebook, I admit the Poem A Day Challenge stole some of my FB time. Hopefully, I’ll be positing a lot more as I work on my chapbook manuscript. I tend to post a lot when I’m editing, (and it’s usually pretty entertaining)!

My Facebook Page has grown from  341 to 344

On Twitter, my followers have grown from 543 to 550

Thanks so much to all my followers on social networks and on this blog. Your support and encouragement means so much!

6)  Read three books on the writing/publishing process.

Well, the two books I pulled off my shelf last month …

The Complete Idiots Guide to Getting Published

The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman

… now have a nice layer of dust on them.

I better get rolling on this goal!

7) Inspire others to keep writing.

As always, I can only hope I am a positive presence!

– – –

How are you doing on your 2013 goals?

– – –

c.b.w. 2013

2013 Goals: October Status Report

Standard

Here’s how October went in terms of my writing goals . . .

1) Complete final draft of Novel #2.

Goal complete.

The edited draft for Novel #2 is still looking good. I have no complaints!

2) Work on converting Novel #1 into first person.

Still on the shelf (and that’s okay).

3) Submit 5 pieces of writing.

I didn’t submit anything in October, but I did decide to join the Writer’s Digest 2013 November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge. By the end of November I should have 30 poetry submissions and be eligible to win publication in the form of a chapbook.

4) Submit three query letters for Novel #2

Goal complete!

However, the silence is deafening. During November, I’ll be researching more agents in which to send my query package.

5) Continue building author platform

It seems I’ve reverted back to my love of Facebook and I’m almost completely ignoring Twitter. Perhaps in November, I’ll get back on the Twitter bandwagon! I hereby set the goal of one tweet a day in the month of November, (links don’t count!).

My Facebook Page has grown from  335 to 341

On Twitter, my followers have slipped from 546 to 543

Thanks so much to all my followers on social networks and on this blog. Your support and encouragement means so much!

6)  Read three books on the writing/publishing process.

I pulled two books off of my shelf:

The Complete Idiots Guide to Getting Published

The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman

As soon as I get done with Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth, I’ll be tackling these two books!

7) Inspire others to keep writing.

As always, I can only hope I am a positive presence!

– – –

How are you doing on your 2013 goals?

– – –

c.b.w. 2013

2013 Goals: September Status Report

Standard

September is the month where I dug deep and found some courage . . .

1) Complete final draft of Novel #2.

I am still in the middle of re-reading the edited draft of Novel #2. So far, I’m happy to find it’s a pretty clean draft.

2) Work on converting Novel #1 into first person.

Still on the shelf (and that’s okay).

3) Submit 5 pieces of writing.

I wish had a better excuse for completely ignoring this goal for the bulk of 2013, but my muse has been very stubborn and single-minded. Apparently, I am only allowed to work on Novel #2, it’s sequel, and lines of poetry!

4) Submit three query letters for Novel #2

This is the goal where my courage showed up in a big way.  After such a positive experience with WriteOnCon, I decided it was time to send out my query letter.  I made a list of five agents that might be interested in my work and personalized my query letter to their specific preferences. Then, I took a deep breath and sent three queries into the wild!

With this little surge of courage, I can proudly say I’ve achieved my goal of sending out three query letters!

Better still, I’ve already received a response for one of my query letters. While it was a rejection, it was still encouraging to receive a response! Anything is better than being totally ignored.

5) Continue building author platform

Work has been a little crazy, so I’ve been a bit absent for social media and even blogging. I apologize for my lack of participation on other blogs, but I will make up for it in October!

My Facebook Page has grown from  330 to 335

On Twitter, my followers have grown from 541 to 546

Thanks so much to all my followers on social networks and on this blog. Your support and encouragement means so much!

6)  Read three books on the writing/publishing process.

Maisie Dobbs and an awesome history book are currently stealing my attention away from this goal! On the up side, I am one book shy of completing my 2013 Goodreads Reading Challenge.

7) Inspire others to keep writing.

As always, I can only hope I am a positive presence!

– – –

How are you doing on your 2013 goals?

– – –

c.b.w. 2013

2013 Goals: August Status Report

Standard

August turned out to be a pretty amazing month in terms of my writing goals!

1) Complete final draft of Novel #2.

Done!

I downloaded the final draft to my Kindle Fire to do another quick read through. Furthermore, another beta reader has the most recent draft.  So far, the response has been very positive. Yay!

2) Work on converting Novel #1 into first person.

Still on the shelf (and that’s okay).

3) Submit 5 pieces of writing.

This goal is still technically on the shelf, however, my muse is still going crazy with poetry. I am writing A LOT of lines! Some are good and some are bad, but I’m finding the journey interesting. I’ve noticed my voice is changing as I explore different themes.

4) Submit three query letters for Novel #2

Thanks to WriteOnCon, I found the courage to Twitter pitch my book, (see WriteOnCon Rocked!) The experience was nerve-wracking and terrifying, but the end result made me realize its better to do something scary than nothing at all.

I got the attention of an editor and received a request for a query letter. I’ve since sent my query and now I’m in the waiting stage. It will probably be a while before I hear anything back, but whether anything happens is beside the point. I’m proud of myself for finding the courage to put my book out there. Better yet, I can say I’m one query down on my three query goal!

The WriteOnCon experience has given me the confidence to push even further. Between posting my query letter in the critique forums (where I got great advice and positive responses for my story concept) and learning about how to navigate the YA publishing industry, I feel a little more prepared to pitch my book.

I’ve already got a list of five agents that will be receiving query letters from me in the near future. All I’ve got to do now is finish that darn synopsis!

5) Continue building author platform

I redact everything I said about Twitter last month. Ever since going back to work, I’ve been spending more time scrolling through my Twitter feed. As a result, I’m discovering more connections and have a new appreciation for the platform.  I’m sure finding success via a Twitter pitch had nothing to do with my new attitude, (hee hee).

My Facebook Page has grown from  322 to 330

On Twitter, my followers have grown from 531 to 541

Thanks so much to all my followers on social networks and on this blog. Your support and encouragement means so much!

6)  Read three books on the writing/publishing process.

Maisie Dobbs continues to be my main source of reading pleasure. The last two books arrived this weekend and I will be reading them before I jump back into this goal!

7) Inspire others to keep writing.

As always, I can only hope I am a positive presence!

– – –

How are you doing on your 2013 goals?

– – –

c.b.w. 2013