2013 Goals: September Status Report

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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!

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How are you doing on your 2013 goals?

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c.b.w. 2013

2013 Goals: July Status Report

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July is one of those months that got away from me! Between working feverishly on lesson plans and taking a vacation, I fell a little short of completing my goals for this month. However, instead of beating myself up over it, I am choosing to be thankful for some much needed rest.

While some things were pushed back on the to-do list, others remained front and center. Even with so many distractions, my writing is never far from view.

1) Complete final draft of Novel #2.

As of yesterday, the third draft of Novel #2 is complete! All clean up edits are done and I now have a relatively polished manuscript. YAY!

I am admittedly behind on this goal (I wanted to be done by early July), but I’ll still take the victory. Next up, I’ll be doing another read through, but I don’t anticipate many changes. I’m at the point where I’ve done all I can on my own. It’s time to put it out there and see what happens.

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 (to allow time for Novel #2), but as with last month, I am still writing a lot of poetry.  Photographs I took over the summer continue to be an enormous source of inspiration. Perhaps, a poetry contest or a journal submission is on the horizon.

4) Submit three query letters for Novel #2

My mini-goal for July was to complete the short synopsis for Novel #2, but unfortunately I only have half of a synopsis. However, I made some good headway on something I struggle with, so it’s not a complete failure!

Despite struggles with the synopsis, I am still happy with my query letter draft. During the month of August I’ll be putting it to the test. See Goal #5 for details.

5) Continue building author platform

Last month, I thought about spending more time on Twitter. Then, I realized it was more of a distraction than a pathway towards my goals. Twitter has it’s benefits, but I’m in the process of deciding how much of a role it will have in my future as a writer.

Facebook, however, has proven to be a great way to connect to other writers and promote my blog. I love reading about the successes of fellow writers and I find their stories to be very motivating. I may spend a little too much time on Facebook, but in many ways it’s time well spent!

Aside from social media, I’ve decided to participate in WriteOnCon this year. On August 13-14, WriteOnCon opens with forums, online conferences, query critiques, and advice from agents.  With a section dedicated to YA, I figure I have nothing to lose by submitting my query letter for Novel #2. Agents from well-known agencies visit the forums, while also participating in online workshops. This is a great opportunity for exposure, so I’m going to jump in with both feet.

My Facebook Page has grown from  312 to 322

On Twitter, my followers have gone from 534 to 531 (understandable, seeing as I really haven’t been tweeting)

Thanks so much to all my followers. Your support and encouragement means so much!

As with June, this month was another good one for new blog subscribers. While my daily stats are low, watching the subscription number rise is motivation enough to keep posting.

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

I’m still happily entrenched in the world of Maisie Dobbs. I’m probably going to stay there until I catch up to the latest installment!

7) Inspire others to keep writing.

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

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How are you doing on your 2013 goals?

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c.b.w. 2013

2013 Goals: February Status Report

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Even though I have seven goals on my list for this year, it seems my muse only has eyes for one. Novel #2 continues to be at the forefront of my efforts and I’m thrilled to report I am heading rapidly towards the finish line of a second draft. While it bothers me that some of my goals have seen little or no movement, I’m trying to remind myself that I gave myself permission to make Novel #2 a priority. So far, my muse agrees with that move and I’m not about to argue with her.

1) Complete final draft of Novel #2.

Sticking to a writing schedule helped me finish another month with a five digit word count total. The more I work on Novel #2, the more excited I get about it. Every day I literally cannot wait to get home and jump into Amanda’s world. That obsession paid off with great stats for the month of February:

Start Word Count: 40,103
End Word Count: 55,440
Total: 15,337

73% Completion

Every Monday, I post updates on the status of Novel #2. Follow along for tidbits on my writing process and a sneak peek into different elements of the story.

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

Novel #2 continues to occupy my attention, so this remains shelved until revisions are complete.

3) Submit 5 pieces of writing.

I have my eye on two competitions and I’m currently brainstorming ideas for a short story or two.

4) Submit three query letters for Novel #2

By sheer luck, I came across two agents who are currently looking for submissions that fit the specific genre in which Novel #2 fits. I’m taking this as a good sign that I’m on the right track. I saved their information so I can query them when Novel #2 is a polished manuscript.

5) Continue building author platform

The A to Z Blog Challenge looked like so much fun last year, but I was too busy with other things to join. This year, however, is different. I signed up and I’m already starting to come up with ideas to cover every letter of the alphabet. Stop by the A to Z Challenge website to check out the details and join in the fun!

As for social media, Facebook and Goodreads have been my main hangouts, but I managed to gain followers across the board:

My Facebook Page has grown from 262 Likes to 276

On Twitter, my followers have grown from 504 to 523

Thanks so much to all my new followers. Your support means so much!

To be part of the fun, see my sidebar.

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

Recently, I went to a used book sale where I loaded up on some great fiction. It’s also not helping that I have my nose stuck in some great YA novels (the Beautiful Creatures series and Sever from the Chemical Garden series). Seeing as it’s only February, I’m not worried, yet.

7) Inspire others to keep writing.

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

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c.b.w. 2013