2020 Writing Goals

 

I posted my personal and professional (real estate) goals at my Christian mom blog. Now, it is time to set my writing goals for 2020.

Goal 1: Develop one of the ideas from my stash.

Over the last several years of participating in STORYSTORM (formerly Picture Book Idea Month), I’ve amassed a ton of ideas. Now, it’s time to develop at least one of them … or a few of them if I can manage it.

Goal 2: Decide which of my completed stories to submit next. 

I submitted Clever Tom in December. I have three totally completed stories and two that I’ve tried pitching in PBPitch more than once that don’t seem to capture any interest. I also have two others that need reworking.

Goal 3: Edit The Sisterhood and submit to the agent I met at a conference. 

I pitched the first full-length novel I ever wrote (with my sister) to an agent this fall. She expressed interest after some reworking of it. This is probably a year-long effort considering the state of the manuscript.

Goal 4: Finish additional material for the new version of A Christmas Kindness.

This book is be re-released with additional material that is due to the publisher this month. I’m halfway done, but need to stay focused on completing it.

Goal 5: Acquire and edit three manuscripts for 4RV Publishing. 

This isn’t entirely under my control, but this is a role I enjoy. I’ve always felt I’m a strong editor than writer.

Goal 6: Write for Guardian Angel Kids.

This is a carryover from 2019. I would love to write a story for their Christmas issue, which means submitting in October.

Goal 7: Write five chapters of Amelia’s Mission. 

I am so close to done. I think I’ll use writing group time for this, because then I can get quick feedback.

I’m sure there are more, but I’ll stop with lucky number 7. How about you? What are your writing goals this year? Have you submitted anything recently? How do you keep yourself focused on your goals throughout the year?

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?

Blogging at the 4RV Blog

 

It is my Wednesday to blog at the 4RV blog, Reading, Writing, & Art News. Today’s topic is Three Steps to Meeting Your Goals. You can find it at https://4rvreading-writingnewsletter.blogspot.com/2019/02/three-steps-to-meeting-your-goals.html

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 Review

 

It is that time of year again–time to review my goals and see how the year went. I’m a person who looks at the positives. Focusing on the negatives or what I didn’t accomplish is counterproductive. This was a year when real estate and caring for my in-laws took center stage. My latest book, Amos Faces His Bully, was also released by Guardian Angel Publishing. I’m satisfied with the progress made, even if it wasn’t all I wanted.

GOAL 1: Submit Clever Tom to agents – Made progress

This is a cute and funny story that came out of last year’s STORYSTORM. Though I didn’t submit it to agents yet, I did tweak it a bit before researching a few agents. I also participated in PBPITCH on Twitter a couple of times.

GOAL 2: Participate in STORYSTORM – DONE

I love this annual event. Thirty story ideas over 30 days. It’s tough, but not impossible. When picture book writers follow this up with National Picture Book Writing Week then great things happen.

GOAL 3: Blog twice a week on all four blogs – Blogged more than last year and made some additions

I started out with four blogs at the beginning of the year. The Book Connection and The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection are the ones that probably got the most attention. An Imperfect Christian Mom was probably the next most active. Books Can Be Deadly was active, but had some gaps. I resurrected Cheryl’s Christian Book Connection. I also began blogging twice a month at the 4RV Reading, Writing & Art News blog–which belongs to one of my publishers. I’m also still contributing to Christian Children’s Authors and play around with Laura’s Little Houses (my Little House blog) when I have time.

GOAL 4: Guest blog at least once a quarter – Not really

With the release of my new book in January, I did a bunch of guest blogging. Simply haven’t done much since.

GOAL 5: Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids this year – Tiny bit of progress

I took a look at themes this year, but only felt a connection to the December issue. I’m really not a short story person, which doesn’t help. I might still try it again this year.

GOAL 6: Finish Amelia’s Mission and get it ready for submission – Laughs a bit

Now twenty chapters in, Amelia is stuck at school when she receives some bad news from home. I’m dedicated to finishing this, but I am such a s-l-o-w writer. I have been attending most of the monthly writing meetings to help move things along. Our group has grown, so I don’t always get feedback right away.

An unspoken goal that has been on my mind for a while came to fruition this year. I became an acquisitions editor intern for 4RV Publishing. I’m also editing a children’s book series right now. So, I am keeping one leg in the writing world while real estate and family responsibilities move in to consume me. Look for my 2019 goals coming soon. It’s going to be a great year!

What were some of your goals for 2018? What did you accomplish? Any idea on what your goals are for the new year?

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?

STORYSTORM Winner and Goal Updates

 

Don’t think I ever announced that I completed STORYSTORM in January. By the end of the 31 days, I had 31 ideas to reconsider and figure out which ones I would work on this year. Some of the most promising are juvenile or cozy mysteries, a few new Beatrice and Charlotte adventures, and an Easter story.

Even though it’s early, I’ll use this time to review my writing goals.

GOAL 1: Submit Clever Tom to agents

Deadline on this was February 15, so I didn’t make it. Still a top priority on my list. Might be able to research a couple of agents this month.

GOAL 2: Participate in STORYSTORM

Done and won!!!!

GOAL 3: Blog twice a week on all four blogs

Not doing too badly on this. Until we went on vacation mid-February I was staying on top of this. I’m already set to blog at all four blogs this week.

GOAL 4: Guest blog at least once a quarter

I need to get this in soon. I guest blogged in December 2017, but not so far this year.

GOAL 5: Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids this year

I’m considering a contribution to the August, September, October or December issues.

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

I’m into the middle of Chapter 18 now. I’ve been using writing group time to move the story along. In addition, while we were away, I wrote an emotional scene that will change Amelia’s life.

Here’s looking forward to the next quarter of 2018 and what I can accomplish. Feel free to share some of your goals with us. We would love to hear them.