For 2014 I set five goals plus one “invisible” goal (which turned out to be the most successful of the bunch!). I didn’t accomplish as much as I originally set out to do this year, but I ended up learning a lot about myself as a writer and my status within the publishing process. Things don’t always go as planned, but ultimately, I ended up exactly where I needed to be for the next phase of my writing life. Taking that into consideration, 2014 turned out to be a pretty great year!
1) Pitch The Muse.
This goal is probably the best example of overshooting just a little bit! I started the year thinking I had a clean manuscript, but as the rejections started rolling in, I realized there was more work to do.
Hiring an editor to clean up my manuscript turned out to be one of the best decisions I could have made. Kristen Fairgrieve whipped out that red pen and gave my writing a good polish! It’s amazing what a fresh pair of eyes can do for a fifth draft.
Once I got the cleaned up draft back, I still had to go back in a fix a few things here and there. That process took longer than I would have liked, but sometimes life just gets in the way. I’m trying hard not to beat myself up over that fact.
2) Outline and start writing The Muse: Lineage
All the extra and unexpected editing on The Muse downgraded this goal to a lower priority. However, the work I did on The Muse gave me a clearer sense of where I want to go with Lineage. The basic storyline is constructed, but I still have to fill in some of the smaller events on the timeline.
While it may not seem significant, the playlist for Lineage is largely completed. Music plays a huge role in my novel writing process, so this is a big deal! I have tracks that inspire arcs both main characters and help with plot development.
3) Submit writing.
I walked into this goal knowing my focus wasn’t on submitting as much writing as possible. With so much of my attention on The Muse, this was a goal to keep me going on my poetry. And it worked! I participated in two poetry challenges and submitted my work to both.
In April, I participated and submitted work in April Poem A Day Challenge (on Poetic Asides via Writer’s Digest). I didn’t win on any level, but I enjoyed the process.
The latter part of 2014 was devoted to the 2014 November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge over on Poetic Asides (via Writer’s Digest). For this challenge, I went with a goal of writing 30 Haikus in 30 Days. This was no easy feat as many of the prompts had no relationship with nature (the traditional theme of haiku). Nonetheless, my muse enjoyed the double challenge. I learned it’s a lot easier to jump into the PAD Challenge with a theme and form to guide the writing process. Shortly after writing this post, I submitted my manuscript of 20 poems to the end of challenge competition.
4) Continue to build author platform.
Overall, my year in social media went pretty well. Facebook continues to be my favorite platform as the interaction is much easier for me to manage. As for Twitter, I’ve got a lot to learn!
Facebook likes went from 350 to 386
Twitter followers went from 542 to 549
Thanks so much to everyone for clicking those follow and like buttons! Your support is greatly appreciated.
5) Inspire others.
I hope I was a positive presence in 2014!
The invisible goal:
6) Be flexible.
Keeping myself open to opportunities and inspiration turned out to be my best kept goal of 2014. Having an open mind is what paved the way to hiring an editor (and learning a lot from that experience). Sure, it meant having to rethink Goal #1, but I ended up with a much better finished product.
The willingness to try new forms of poetry has opened up an entirely new side to my muse. The idea that haiku can be so much more than 5-7-5 has me creating and experimenting in ways I never thought possible. The same can be said of black out poetry, which has my muse working overtime (and going through Sharpies at an alarming rate).
Of course, the bigger outcome is the fact that I don’t feel limited by my goals. I like and need the organizational aspect of setting goals, but I also need the flexibility that creativity requires.
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How did you do with your 2014 goals?
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