2019 Goals Review

It’s that wonderful time of year again where I review goals and put together a business plan for the next year. I’ve been a bit of a slacker in staying on track with my 2019 goals. It has been an interesting year.

Here were my overall goals for the year.

  • My calendar will be time blocked better this year, making me more effective and efficient
  • I will submit at least one finished project to an agent
  • I will actually take a vacation this year where I don’t do work–well, real estate work anyway

How did I do?

On the time blocking front, I did well until April. Then life got busy with work and family and it went by the wayside. Honestly, I’ve never been a time blocking fan, so I am not surprised. I also made it a bit complicated by having two calendars. I’m going to look at using a theme for each day like Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square.

I submitted one finished project to an agent at the WriteAngles Conference, but that wasn’t the intention of the goal when I wrote it. I’ll give myself half credit for that.

Totally bombed on the non-working vacation part, but I did work less than usual. Half credit again.

These were my writing goals listed in January. How did I perform on this front?

GOAL 1: Submit Clever Tom to an agent

I researched agents and pitched it during a couple of online events, but didn’t submit it the way I intended. I plan to see if one of my current publishers will accept it. Not a cop out as much as realizing securing an agent is most likely a longer term goal considering what I want to accomplish with real estate in 2020.

GOAL 2: Participate in STORYSTORM

Not only did I win STORYSTORM in 2019, I finished early. Tara Lazar does a phenomenal job of running this every year. I’m thinking 2020 will be a skip year for me. I have plenty of ideas to work from over the last few years worth of wins, so creating those stories is my focus.

GOAL 3: Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids 

Never happened and I feel so bad. I’m just really not a short story kind of person (says the person who writes picture books for children). This will remain a goal into the new year.

GOAL 4: Write 10 chapters of Amelia’s Mission

This year saw three additional chapters written for Amelia’s Mission. I completed an editing project that took up a good deal of writing time, but it was worth every minute. I can’t wait to see Dust of Lies released at the beginning of 2020.

GOAL 5: Maintain my blogs

This is always where I excel, because I love blogging. Even though there were weeks when things didn’t go as planned, overall, I stuck with it and posted to my blogs and contributed to the two blogs where I am a member. I’ve decided to talk more about books at An Imperfect Christian Mom  so I can reduce the number of blogs I am maintaining. Other than that, I think I’ll be able to stay the course into 2020.

What goals did you set this year? What are some of your accomplishments?

2019 Writing Goals

 

Welcome to 2019! I am so excited. Last year was a bit tough with all that was going on, but I still made some great strides. I don’t usually do this, but in the spirit of making some changes, here are a few 2019 predictions:

  • My calendar will be time blocked better this year, making me more effective and efficient
  • I will submit at least one finished project to an agent
  • I will actually take a vacation this year where I don’t do work–well, real estate work anyway

Now, on to my writing goals for 2019…

 

GOAL 1: Submit Clever Tom to an agent

This will happen. My best shot at it is first quarter 2019, since by spring the real estate market is in full swing. So, by mid-January, I want to have two potential agents to submit to. For that to happen, I am going back to Twitter to see the agents who participated in PBPitch in October and research them a bit more. Then by the end of January, I want my query letter polished and ready to go, so that the beginning of February my submission will be out the door.

GOAL 2: Participate in STORYSTORM

This started today. We come up with 30 book ideas over 30 days in January. I’ve won the last few years. If I really think on ideas that have been brewing in my head, it should happen again. I’ve already got my list on my computer waiting to go. In the past, I’ve blogged about my ideas. Now, they aren’t all centered around children’s literature, so I keep a running list on my computer.

GOAL 3: Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids 

This was a missed goal from 2018. In order to make it happen, I need to review their themes for 2019 (DONE). The holiday issue in December still seems the likely candidate. By the end of February, I want to come up with two possible ideas for short stories (500 words or fewer). First draft needs to be done by May so that I can submit in June or July while we are on vacation.

GOAL 4: Write 10 chapters of Amelia’s Mission

I need to finish this project. I love it so much and feedback has been great. If I can write one chapter a month, taking two months in the calendar off to concentrate on Clever Tom and my Guardian Angel Kids submission, I might be able to do this. Writing group meets once a month (first Monday of the month), so if I work on the chapter the last three weeks of the month, by the next meeting I should have something to submit.

GOAL 5: Maintain my blogs

I made some excellent strides in 2018 where my blogs are concerned. In addition to my four main blogs, I brought a blog out of hiatus and now contribute to 4RV Publishing Reading, Writing, & Art News and Christian Children’s Authors. My hope is that by the end of tonight (or by tomorrow) my calendar is updated with all my regular blogging dates.

Here is the key to it all–my calendar. My husband set up Outlook to automatically populate my phone–which is helpful–but I am still a paper calendar kind of person. If I can get at least the first quarter together this week, I have the chance of creating a good habit to bring me through the rest of the year.

Now, you know my goals, what are some of yours? What are you especially excited to accomplish in 2019?

 

2018 Goals Update

 

It’s time to review my writing goals for the year. I fear I’ll be sadly disappointed, but work and family come first.

GOAL 1: Submit Clever Tom to agents

Not yet. Deadline was February 15 and I haven’t really driven into that one. I’ve participated in Picture Book Pitch on Twitter, but nothing further. I’ll need to go back and look at that hashtag “PBPitch” to see if I can get some ideas of appropriate agents.

GOAL 2: Participate in STORYSTORM

Did this in January and won.

GOAL 3: Blog twice a week on all four blogs

When I am busy with work these get neglected, but at least two of the four stay regularly updated. I also added contributing to the 4RV blog twice a month and also contribute to Christian Children’s Authors.

GOAL 4: Guest blog at least once a quarter

Since I had a virtual book tour for Amos Faces His Bully  I did a bunch of guest blogging. I’ll probably set up another book tour in November.

GOAL 5: Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids this year

Looks like my best hope is the December issue.

GOAL 6: Finish Amelia’s Mission and get it ready for submission

I’ve been polishing the earlier chapters a bit based upon feedback from my local writers group and my critique partner. I’m in the middle of Chapter 20 now. 🙂

Overall, not a bad effort. What are some of your goals? Do you review them quarterly? How do you stay on track?

2018 Writing Goals

 

Happy New Year! Tomorrow it is back to school and work for everyone–actually, I’ve been working off and on since the day after Christmas–and it’s time to set some goals for 2018. A few of these goals will be carry overs from 2017, but that’s okay. I still made some great progress last year.

GOAL 1: Submit Clever Tom to agents

This is my most recent story. It was a Picture Book Idea Month (now STORYSTORM) idea that I was finally able to iron out the details of and write down thanks to my writing group.  Not thrilled with the title (titles have never been my strength) but totally in love with the story. It appears in good shape, so I plan to shop it around and see if I can’t get any bites on it. (Smaller goal is to research at least three children’s agents by February 15, 2018 and see who might be the best fit.)

GOAL 2: Participate in STORYSTORM

Just started today. No more logging ideas on my blog, but I’ll provide a weekly update. I’ve managed this challenge more than once. It has lead to one published book, another due to be released this year, and the story above. I also have several other partially written or waiting to be edited stories in the works thanks to this annual event. Can’t wait to see what this year brings.

GOAL 3: Blog twice a week on all four blogs

In addition to this site, there’s The Book Connection, An Imperfect Christian Mom, and Books Can Be Deadly. This seems manageable and not too overwhelming with my work schedule. I’m doing my best not to make my mommy blog only about books. There is so much more I would like to share there. I blog twice a month at Christian Children’s Authors. (Smaller goal is to set up my calendar a month in advance and log in two days a week for blogging.)

GOAL 4: Guest blog at least once a quarter

I love guest blogging on other people’s sites. I’m going to be reaching out to friends via email and social media to see who will host me. I’m always willing to return the favor. (Smaller goal is to reach out to fellow bloggers within the next two weeks to see about getting on their schedules.)

GOAL 5: Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids this year

I’ve wanted to do this for a while. Guardian Angel Publishing has been so wonderful to me. I must make time to return the favor by supporting their online magazine. This was a goal from last year and I want to make it a reality this year. (Smaller goal is to research all themes by January 31, 2018 and see which issue I would like to contribute toward.)

GOAL 6: Finish Amelia’s Mission and get it ready for submission

I’m seventeen chapters in. This will be my project at all my writing group meetings this year. Amelia is away at school now and has met a good friend. She also has encountered some mean girls who are out to make life miserable. She’s still pondering Aunt Martha’s secret and what she should do about it. (Smaller goal is to attend all monthly meetings.)

2017 Goals Update

It’s time for a goals update. I used to review my goals once a quarter, but now it’s more like twice a year. No matter how often it happens it is important to gauge progress.

GOALS FOR 2017

Considering my real estate work schedule and my family commitments, I am keeping it simple again this year.

  1. Participate in Picture Book Idea Month in January. I’ve participated in this endeavor twice, which resulted in Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving being published, Amos Faces His Bully being under contract, and four other picture books written. I’m game to do it again.
  2. Submit two short stories this year.
  3. Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids e-zine once this year.
  4. Seek out guest blogging opportunities once a quarter.
  5. Write four chapters of Amelia’s Mission by June.
  6. Attend writing group monthly.

JUNE 2017 GOAL UPDATE

Goal 1: Complete! Picture Book Idea Month became STORYSTORM this year. This allowed more writers to participate and certainly helped me to achieve my goal of 30 story ideas in 30 days.

Goal 2: I’m really not a short story person, but I am hoping something I have in my finished works might be tweaked. Might look at this on vacation next month.

Goal 3: Not yet. I may be too late, but I’ll see what the themes are for the remainder of the year and go from there.

Goal 4: Definitely got back into guest blogging this year. The release of Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and my participation in the Author’s Fair at our local library helped this along.

Goal 5: Did not happen and might not happen. I ended up going in a slightly different direction, using my monthly writing group meetings to review The Sisterhood, a women’s fiction story that I would really like to revise.

Goal 6: I’ve only missed one so far this year. I’ll miss next month’s while we are on vacation. Amazing considering how busy my real estate business has been.

New item: Amos Faces His Bully is currently being illustrated. That should come out sometime later this year. I’ll need to dedicate time October – December to promote it.

New item: I’ve given the Christian chapter book I ghostwrote to one of my publishers for review. With any luck I’ll be needing to work on edits to that this year as well. Say a prayer.

How are your writing goals coming?