It’s that time of year – time to see how we all did on our 2011 writing goals. You know that we take our writing goals fairly seriously here at Routines for Writers. We may or may not accomplish what we set out to do, but we do try to keep track. That helps to hone the following year’s goals so that we’re always closer and closer to creating goals we can accomplish. Very important for self-esteem and momentum.
Last January I taught an online class on goal setting and time management (I’ll teach it again this January) and at the end of the class I posted my goal list along with all the rest of the class. Here are my goals for 2011 along with what I accomplished.
TOP 5 GOALS FOR 2011
Finish Superhero Book
To be blunt – it didn’t happen. I lost my confidence while getting critiqued by my classmates who were more on the literary side. Plus, after the RWA Conference, my goals changed significantly. See below.
Submit Superhero Book
Sort of done. I didn’t submit it officially, but I did pitch it to a couple agents and editors at the RWA Conference this summer. One agent asked me to submit it officially, but the feedback I got from the editors was that they didn’t know how to successfully sell romantic comedies (enough to make it worth their while to buy). So I made a decision not to submit it to the agent and possibly wait for a year or more to find out no editors wanted it – like I’ve done in the past. I made a career change decision. Keep reading.
Write First Draft of Angel Book for Master’s Degree
I thought I’d be able to pound out the first draft of this in my last semester of my master’s degree, but two things happened. One, we found out that John’s job was scheduled to end a few weeks before my final classes, so I had to reschedule everything so that I took nearly twice the load a semester early so I’d finish just in case John didn’t get renewed. That made it difficult to get as much done as I would have if the load had been spread over two semesters. Good thing, though, because John’s contract wasn’t renewed.
Two, I found it difficult to connect with my teacher for my final class where I was to write my book. She and I had completely different ideas about what constituted a contemporary Young Adult novel aimed at the American YA market. I felt like I was fighting her the entire way. By the time I got to the end of the class, I no longer knew what I wanted my story to be about. I’ve got some of the worst writer’s block I’ve ever had on this book. My solution – start over.
Finish Master’s Degree
I DID IT! YAY! There are pros and cons to this of course. The great part is that I did something I really wanted to do. The hard part is that I found myself second-guessing myself and my story ideas most of the time. There were a few times when I really felt encouraged, and I need to keep my mind on those moments. But it’s taken me these last five months to begin to regain my equilibrium. It’ll take me a bit more time to get ahead of the game confidence-wise.
Start My Author Web Site
DONE! YAY! Of course, there is a TON more to do that I haven’t had/taken the time to do. I’ve got a 2-page list of things that need to be done on the site in 2011. But at least I made my goal of starting the site. Next year I can make and meet some of the goals on that 2-page list of mine.
SECONDARY 5 GOALS FOR 2011
Attend RWA Conference in NYC
DONE! YAY! The morning after my last master’s degree class I got on a plane in Sydney and headed for New York. (I loved New York City!) I’d been thinking about the pros and cons of trying digital self-publishing if things didn’t go well at the conference. Doing some research, it looked like something I could do, something I might enjoy doing. So when I didn’t hear anything encouraging about the current market for romantic comedies, I went home with all the information I could gather from workshops on epublishing and self-publishing.
That’s when I altered my goals for the year. My new goal as of July 6th was to get my romantic comedy Little Miss Lovesick digitally self-published by the end of the year. Within a couple weeks, I’d altered the goal to get the book out by the end of September. On September 21, I MADE MY GOAL!
I also wanted to get my book in print before Christmas. I’d made a tentative goal of December 1st, knowing that I may or may not be moving then. Turns out I did move, so now my goal is to get it in print before the end of the year. The more I learn, the more I’m not sure if I can do it. I’ve decided to spend the time needed to do a great job rather than hurry to try to take advantage of the Christmas rush. But I still hope to get it out before Christmas.
Run 2 Half Marathons and the City2Surf Race in Sydney
There is a trio of running events in Sydney that is comprised of the Sydney Morning Herald Marathon and Half Marathon in May, the 14km City2Surf race in August, and the Blackmore’s Running Festival Marathon and Half Marathon in September. We ran the last two in 2010, and we wanted to do the trio in 2011. Unfortunately, I had nearly two semesters’ worth of classes happening at the time of the May race, so there was no way I could train for a half marathon. We ran the City2Surf in August and beat our 2010 times – yay! And John was deep into overtime on Happy Feet 2 by September so there was no way we were going to be able to run that race. Still, we kept running all year. That was a huge win for us!
Visit New Zealand
I didn’t think we’d be able to find time to take a trip between school and work, but work was the key to our trip. John wanted to see Wellington, New Zealand, where Weta Digital is located, to see if it was the kind of place we’d like to live. We only got to see Wellington, not the surrounding countryside or any other towns, but we got to be there for five days! Yay!! It was awesome!
Finish Jessica’s baby blanket (Caroline was born in 2009!)
I’ve been working on this blanket for two years! I still haven’t finished it, but I worked on it. (I tried a new crochet edging that is super cool but incredibly time intensive. Time is something I haven’t had a lot of since mid-2009 when I was halfway done with the blanket.) I have to finish my goal of getting Little Miss Lovesick in print first, then I can work on finishing the blanket. Thankfully, Jessie is happy to get it whenever I finish it.
See More of Australia Before We Move
We didn’t get nearly as much exploring done as we wanted! Very sad. But we had to keep in mind that we were doing other things that were important to us – school and work. Still, we saw a good amount due to our friends. We went to Melbourne for our anniversary in 2010 and we wanted to go back, but we didn’t have time. However, our friends took us on day trips to Hunter Valley (wine country), the Blue Mountains, and pretty drives around the area. I guess the only way to see more is to be on vacation for a while. LOL!
So there are my goals and what I accomplished. Not bad. And here is the reason I believe in both writing down your goals, and looking at them later: you see that you did more than you thought you did. At least, that’s the case with me. I was wondering if I’d accomplished much at all, but I see now I did pretty good, especially considering I was a full-time-plus student for half the year.
If you’ve been thinking that you need to get your goals not only written down, but broken down into workable chunks, take my online class next month. There are no formulas that you have to fit your life into. I’ll give you several ideas on how to proceed and you use what works for your personality and lifestyle. The goal of the class is to come away with a workable plan, and to know how to change it if your circumstances change (as mine did twice in 2011).
How about you? What goals did you accomplish in 2011? Next week I’ll show you a rough draft of my 2012 goals. Think about yours and we’ll compare notes.