2014 Goals: March/April Status Report


When I sat down to reflect on my goals for April, I realized I totally forgot to post a status report for March! I guess all the excitement of the April Poem a Day Challenge caused it to slip my mind. It’s been a rather quiet couple of months, but I’ve still kept much of my focus on my writing.

1) Pitch The Muse.

While I took the plunge and submitted The Muse in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition, I didn’t made it to the next round. Regardless, I’m proud of myself for doing something so scary. If anything, the rejection has made me even more determined get my novel out there. I’m in the process of compiling a list of possible agents that will be targeted in my next round of submissions.

As luck would have it, the May/June edition of Writer’s Digest is featuring a section of articles on the YA genre. As always, I’m finding the information very useful in my quest.

2) Outline and start writing The Muse: Lineage

Shelved until the school year is over. Never let anyone tell you teaching is an easy job. I’ve got about three weeks remaining until the last day of school and I am literally counting down the days to freedom. So is my muse.

3) Submit writing.

If you’ve spent any amount of time on my blog, you know I was an active participant in the April Poem A Day Challenge as presented on writersdigest.com via Poetic Asides. I wrote 30 poems in 30 days and I submitted each and every one.  Some of those poems were terrible and others turned out pretty good. All in all it was a great experience and a lot of fun.

Over the next couple of months, the editor of Poetic Asides and guest judges will be selecting the best poem from each day of the challenge. The selected poems will then be published in an anthology. Perhaps, if the stars align, I’ll find my name on that list, (one can never be too optimistic).

4) Continue to build author platform.

Admittedly, I haven’t been very active on Twitter or Facebook. I must have been too busy poeming or wrapped up in my day job. Or knitting. Truth be told, I’m busy brainstorming ways to make my feeds on these platforms a little more interesting. I’m in the process of researching what other writers tweet and post on their Facebook pages. I don’t want to be like everyone else, but I think somewhere in between what I’m doing and what they’re doing I’ll find my groove.

Facebook likes grew from 363 to 365

Twitter followers held steady at 549

While social network growth is a little sluggish, my blog is gaining momentum. Over the last couple of months, I’ve gained more than 40 new followers. Considering I’ve been writing more creative pieces of late, this is very exciting and encouraging.

Thanks so much to everyone for clicking those follow and like buttons! Your support is greatly appreciated.

5) Inspire others.

As always, I hope I am a positive presence.

The invisible goal:

6) Be flexible.

Aside from a great array of articles on the YA genre, the current edition of Writer’s Digest included a great writing prompt in conjunction with the Your Story Competition. My muse is already buzzing …

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c.b.w. 2014

2014 Goals: February Status Report


Sometimes it feels like I’m not doing nearly to reach my goals, but then when I sit down and reflect on the last month, I’m amazed at some of the big steps I’ve taken for my writing “career.”

1. Pitch The Muse.

February brought the annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition. Every year I’ve watched this competition from the sidelines because I either hadn’t finished a novel or I didn’t have enough confidence in the novel I had written. This year, however, it’s a different game entirely. Not only do I have a finished novel, but I believe in every page of it. The Muse is ready for some readers!

I wrote a new 300 word pitch, (which is leaps and bounds better than my query) and sent it off along with a 5,000 word excerpt and full manuscript. I figured I had nothing to lose by jumping into this competition, so it’s worth a shot!

2. Outline and start writing The Muse: Lineage.

My day job continues to be all consuming, but once again planning AP Art History is giving me all sorts of inspiration. As I delve into Post-Impressionism and Art Nouveau, new characters are starting to take shape. While I can’t write the story right now, it is exciting to see new faces!

3. Submit writing.

A winner was announced for the Writer’s Digest November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge, but it was not me. However, the poets who won totally deserved the honor. Follow the link to read their work.

4. Continue to build author platform.

Pinterest continues to be my favorite place to hang out, but I have a feeling I’ll be playing on Twitter a little more as it’s been unblocked at work. Yay! Now if they could just unblock Facebook all would be right with the world.

Facebook Likes grew from 357 to 363

Twitter followers grew from 544 to 549

Thank you so much for the follows and the likes!

5. Inspire others.

As always, I hope I am a positive presence!

Let’s not forget the sixth “invisible” goal:

6. Be Flexible.

My eyes remain open for opportunities and my sense of adventure is always ready to take flight.

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c.b.w. 2014

2014 Writing Goals


Happy New Year!! I like to think this is the start of 365 days of magic. Good and bad days are sure to come, but how I choose to see the bigger picture is what matters most.

This year, it’s all about keeping things simple while also attempting to accomplish my dream of publication. Things got a little too complicated in 2013 and I almost gave myself a stroke trying to keep up with the nitpicky goals I set. For my own sanity, I’ve decided to  set five goals with wider parameters. However, these simple goals are also geared towards keeping me accountable and on track.

1. Pitch The Muse.

Once known as Novel #2, The Muse is the novel I’ve poured everything into for the last two years, (yes, I’ve finally chosen a title!). It’s been pitched to five agents and received one official rejection. The other four answered with silence, so that means it’s time for another round of pitching. I’m not setting a specific number of pitches, but I am holding myself accountable to the following:

  • Consistently send out query packages over the course of 2014
  • Research agents and add to the list of prospects
  • Do not give up!

2. Outline and start writing The Muse: Lineage.

The Muse is not a stand-alone novel, rather it is the first book in a planned trilogy.  The big-picture story is mapped out in my head,  (I know how it ends!), but the small details are still a work in progress.

During the summer of 2013, I began brainstorming the story layout for Lineage and piecing together a playlist. However, there is a lot more research and work to do. I’m hoping to have the outline complete by June 2014. By the end of the year, my goal is to get the first draft rolling.

3. Submit writing.

Last year, I made the mistake of trying to tell my muse exactly what we’re going to write. She retaliated by giving me tunnel vision for The Muse. This time around, I’m just going to make the broad goal of promising myself to submit any kind of work whether it be short stories, poetry, or articles.

4. Continue to build author platform.

To keep my pen name afloat, I’m setting my usual goals of maintaining an author platform via my blog and social networking. I’m also looking to expand my presence by joining at least one more network or challenge before the end of 2014. As I work on Lineage my Facebook and Twitter feeds will certainly be jumping with updates. Be sure to join me on both networks to follow my journey.

5. Inspire others.

As always, a huge goal of mine is to inspire others to write or explore their creativity. This blog is a major vehicle for that goal and I intend to offer content that both inspires and motivates your muse!

While I’ve set these five goals, I’m also adding a sixth “invisible” goal:

6. Be Flexible.

In three months I may decide to blow the dust off Novel #1 or read one or more books on writing/publishing. Maybe I’ll find a writing challenge that sparks my imagination in an unexpected way . . . the point is I’m going to keep my options open. And I will take opportunities as they come.

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Every month, I’ll be self-assessing where I stand on each goal. In the past, these posts have really helped motivate others to not only make goals, but also to stick to them. We all know how easy it is to wander off when the words just won’t come. Writing is something that takes commitment and consistency. Otherwise, the stories stay inside of us or get lost along the way. Let’s pick up that pen and write in 2014!

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c.b.w. 2014