March Status Report: 2012 Goals

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March has proven to be a busy in terms of the goals I set for 2012. This month was all about building my platform, which gave a few goals a nice jolt of progress.  However, the time and energy that went into platform building took time away from other projects on my list.  While frustrating at times, the lack of balance was a necessary evil.  The business of writing, (or in my case learning the business of writing), often asks writers to step back from the process of writing.  It’s painful to do, but I’m hoping it’ll pay off in the long run.

1) Submit five pieces of writing to contests, journal, literary magazines, or the newspaper.

When I wrote The Last Page I thought it might be something interesting to submit to some of the literary journals and magazines I have on my list.  It received good feedback and I’m encouraged to take it a step further after doing a tad more revising and editing. Thanks so much to everyone who left comments!

2) Finish minor changes in my first novel.

This is one of the projects that went untouched.  It’s going to get much more of my attention in April, mainly because of the progress made on Goal #4.

3) Work on my second novel.

Novel #2 kept me up at night with brainstorming and writing due to an almost constant stream of inspiration!  The story is moving forward with incredible speed, (I’ve never written anything this large so fast!) and I love how the plot line is coming together.  In addition,  the characters continue to evolve in amazing ways and I am so excited to be their chosen writer.

  • Starting word count: 49,651
  • End word count: 50,831
  • Total for March: 1,180

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

The big news on this front is the fact that I finished writing a synopsis draft.  At the end of February I set a deadline of March 15 and that seemed to do the trick.  I was actually done well before that date and have already begun revisions.  In early April, I plan on sending a revised version to several beta readers.

As a result of completing the synopsis, my query letter got a total makeover.  Once sentence continues to bother me, but that will be resolved soon enough.

Seeing as deadlines seem to agree with me, I am setting a deadline of sending out my first query before the end of April.  Hold me to it!

5) Keep up with my blog.

Yet again, this goal has not been a problem.  I find so much inspiration and encouragement in the blogosphere!  I wrote and posted 25 blog entries this month and I appreciate everyone who stopped by to read and comment on them.

6) Network more with other writers.

Thanks to the Fourth Writers’ Platform Building Campaign, March was another banner month for my networking goals.  I’ve continued to meet and connect with so many wonderful people in the writing community.

In the campaign, my second entry (See Fatespeak), was shortlisted, but I have yet to hear anything more.  As soon as the site of the campaign is updated, I’ll have more information.  Regardless, I’m pretty excited to make it on the short list.  It’s the first time my writing has ever been recognized beyond the first round of judging in any competition.

UPDATE:  I found out this morning (thank you mywithershins and Melissa Maygrove for telling me!), that I won the Second Campaign Challenge!! I wish a had a better word than “excited,” but at the moment I’m too busy doing a happy dance to think of one!

As for social networking, my circle continues to grow as I follow writers, agents, and publishers.  I’m so honored to see my numbers grow on both Facebook and Twitter.  Thanks so much to everyone who follows me.

  • Facebook – I’m thrilled to report my Facebook page has experience another jump in followers, from 32 to 41.  My page was recently given a make-over to the timeline layout.  It looks amazing!  You can see it by clicking on the link: http://www.facebook.com/C.B.Wentworth. I appreciate all Likes so much. Thank you to those who have already clicked that button!
  • Twitter – 81 to 156 followers.  This was a huge a jump and I’m so excited to reach triple digits! While, I’m still learning Twitter lingo and etiquette, I’ve really enjoyed connecting to so many fellow writers.
  • If you are on Facebook or Twitter, follow along and I’ll follow back as long as you’re not a spambot. Shortcut buttons for both are on my sidebar.

Recently, I joined the World Literary Cafe, (see the button on my sidebar), and I plan on exploring this network over the next couple of weeks.  It looks like another golden opportunity to network with readers and writers.

7) Inspire other writers to keep writing.

As always, I can only hope I inspire those around me!

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c.b. 2012

February Status Report: 2012 Goals

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The second month of 2012 has gone by so fast, I can hardly believe its time again to check in on my 2012 goals. February is typically one of the busiest for my day job, so I didn’t get quite as far on some of my goals as I would have liked, but I’m still very happy at the progress I’ve made this month.

1) Submit five pieces of writing.

I’ve done a bit more research on literary magazines both in print and online that might fit my writing style.  It’s a slow process and I have to keep telling myself that I am accomplishing something by doing painstaking research, even though I haven’t sent anything in just yet.

Research aside, I’ve written a new short story that might have some potential for submission.  I’m in the final stages of revision and should have a final draft in the next two weeks or so. I may post it to see if its working, so stay tuned!

2) Finish minor changes in my first novel.

I got as far as yanking out a previous hard copy draft and opening it up to the section I need to reinsert into the current draft.  After reading through it, I’m contemplating whether it should go back into the same place or if moving it somewhere else would better serve the story. It’ll work either way, but I remain in a quandary. The perfectionist in me is hesitant to do anything until that little knot in my stomach unties itself.  Believe me, I know I need to bite the bullet and just do it.

3) Work on my second novel.

The word count for this month stands at 857. While the word count isn’t nearly as high as it was for January, progress behind the scenes has been monumental.  Much of the work took place in my novel notebook, where I created two new characters and constructed a new development in the plot line.  For a while, I found myself battling between the original plan and a new idea that came to me during the writing process.  The word count should actually be around 1600, but I deleted the other half once I made the decision to work with the new scene. I’m really excited about this turn of events and I can’t wait to see where it takes the rest of the story.

Currently, the total word count for Novel #2 stands at 49,561.  The goal of reaching 60,000 by the end of the year is well within reach!

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

Developments on this goal have only recently materialized.  I’m starting to feel the burn to get moving on this, thanks in large part to an e-mail I received from a friend.  Not only did she dream about the main character in my novel, (which is really amazing), but she had some ideas on what to include in the synopsis and how to structure it.  When I combined her ideas with mine, something finally clicked and I think I have a place to begin.  I’ve set a deadline of March 15 to have a rough draft for the synopsis completed.

5) Keep up with my blog.

Anyone who is a regular reader knows this goal has not been a problem at all!  In terms of posting, February has been my busiest month with 21 posts.  Thank you to all my readers for continuing to stop by to read and leave comments.  Your support is so encouraging and greatly appreciated!

6) Network more with other writers.

I’ve always viewed this goal as the most difficult as it pulls me the furthest out of my comfort zone, but I did make some gains this month:

  • I joined the Fourth Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign via Rach Writes . . . . So far, I’ve networked with 30 new bloggers and completed the first challenge, (see The Call).  The process has been tough for me, but on the whole its been a fun experience.  I’m grateful for the chance to connect to so many wonderful new people and fantastic writers!
  • I joined Pinterest as a means to network with people beyond the blogging world.  If you enjoy crafts and travel pictures, click the red Pinterest button on my sidebar and follow me!  I should warn you, however, that Pinterest is very addictive!
  • My Facebook page continues to grow as I’ve gone from 20 followers to 32.  If you’re on Facebook and would like a direct line to new blog posts, musings of a writer, and cool links, click the like button on my sidebar and follow along.  Feel free to post on the wall!
  • Over on Twitter, I watched my list of followers go from 65 to 81.  I’m hoping to hit 100 by the end of March.  If you’re on Twitter, you can follow me by visiting my sidebar and clicking on the Twitter button.

7) Inspire others to keep writing.

All I can do is hope that I’ve encouraged others to write by visiting and commenting on blogs whenever possible.  They say writing is a solitary act, but the longer I stay in the game, the more I realize this is a team sport!

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c.b. 2012