Public Declaration – 2009 Edition

On January 2, 2008, I posted a blog about goals.  This tradition began many years ago with a list serve that I belong to, and now I’m carrying it over here for the second year.  Much like my writing friend Dr. B, I believe in dreams, and I believe that the only way we turn our dreams into reality is by stating them publicly and following them consciously.  That’s the intention of this annual post.  As a recap, here are my goals from 2008:

# 1 – Finish my s/f novel and have it sold before the end of the year.  This is going to require a bigger commitment to writing time, and also to marketing time.

While I didn’t finish the novel, I did finish another which was subsequently sold and will be released in 2009.  I’ve set the S/F novel aside for now, but I am working on other projects – when you see the 2009 goals, you’ll understand.

# 2 – Obtain an agent with whom I can work amicably.  Having worked with two agents previously, the second half of this goal is more important to me than the first.  Not just any agent will do.  I’d rather go on representing myself than to have a bad agent/author relationship like I experienced previously.

I didn’t sign with an agent – at least not yet.  However, I made a wonderful contact this summer, and we are exchanging email regularly.  I’m actually working on a project specifically to send to him, and I hope to have that finished within a  few months. Again, when you see the 2009 goals, you’ll understand.

# 3 Increase my marketing effort for my existing books and secure more book signings, school visits, and teaching opportunities.  While the royalty checks are great, the money making opportunities provided by these activities could be worth as much or more than the books.  More money earned this way means less time teaching basic grammar (not that I don’t like my job, but I’m a writer first, not an English teacher).

I did much better here.  I’ve been fortunate enough to visit a number of schools, be involved in several book signings, and I continue to market and promote my existing books.  One of my editors told me that the publisher was considering taking one book out of print, and then suddenly received a large order for the book because of a speaking engagement I had done.  It’s working, and I will continue to promote in the future.

# 4 – Revise my earlier novel which received some favorable feedback from editors when I first wrote it.  I’m a much stronger writer now than when I started, and I still believe in this story, but I think I can rewrite it with a better voice, a sharper plot, and a more credible ending.  I’ll have this finished by the end of the year.

This, too has been put on hold so that I can focus on the novel for the agent.  It is a good book, and one which I have high hopes for, but it will have to wait just a touch longer before it gets attention.

So now, without further commentary, here are are my 2009 writing goals:

#1 – Continue to write, revise, and polish the novel I’m preparing for the agent with whom I’ve been in contact.  Ideally I’d like to have the first draft ready by March of 2009.

#2 – Continue to work on marketing efforts to promote existing books, but also to prepare for the release of the upcoming book, The Deepest Blue, in 2009.  This includes getting my website updated, sending marketing materials to schools and book stores, and participating in more events such as signings, book festivals, and school visits.

#3 – Continue participating in my critique group. This affords me the opportunity to both sharpen my literary analytical skills as well as improve my writing.

#4 – Review the stories I have already finished, or those which I’ve started that are waiting for work, and develop at least one into a marketable piece for submission.

There they are. Nothing fancy or grandiose, but realistic and requiring effort.  Of course, they make me stretch and work to achieve them, but what’s the point of having a goal if it’s too easy to attain?

What are your goals? Share them with me, and let’s support each other in this weird and challenging journey.  I wish you each a wonderful and prosperous New Year where your goals are met and your dreams come true.

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10 thoughts on “Public Declaration – 2009 Edition

  1. deanjbaker says:

    this is one I’ll be thinking about – but it definitely involves having a book or more published this year
    and more so along the lines of finishing the stories, the separate prose poems etc…

  2. Hi Kim,

    Well I made a declaration about sending my book to a publisher and I accomplished this except I did better; its on the desk of the President. Waiting. No agent . Prestigious publisher. Noble Laureates, National Book Award and Pulitzer winners in house, as well.

    Writers need to be read at the end of the day, so I decided to follow Paulo Coelho’s lead and serialize the very first draft of One More Day, which is at the publisher, on a blog where I am a group author http://CafeCrem.wordpress.com [note: I was in your blog roll as Mike On The Road To Being A Writer, and that’s shut down. Now you can if you want list me as Michael / Cafe Crem using the above link.]

    At Cafe Crem we created Cafe Literati for writers so make a post on the site and mention to Miki that you would like to join if you like. That is a done deal for you my dear friend.

    Kindest,
    Michael Pokocky

  3. I like your idea for public declaration so it would be fun for those of us at Cafe Crem to do like wise, so tag Miki with the idea and mention my name. Fun is Fun hey!

  4. Kim Justesen says:

    Dean – good to have you visit!

    Michael – likewise, and thanks for the redirection. I’ve fixed the link (I think).

  5. Miki says:

    Hi Kim,

    I am quite impressed with this way of dealing with your dreams and goals! I totally agree with you, we have to announce our dreams publicly tp “force” us to turn them into reality. I have a great example in my family. My brother, who was a high rang officer in the French army and making a big career there, had announced, as he was 35 years that he would leave the army one day, buy a sailing boat and sail around the world. He repeated it continuously while he was making his army career, so nobody believed him. But in the background he was working on his dream, each minute he had free, learning sailing, learning everything about sailing, about the sea, the weather, etc… And finally, with 50, he was ready and did it. I am certain that the fact to publish his dream, again and again, helped him turning it into reality. The commitment to himself, family, friends and society was so huge that he HAD to do it. He is leaving on a catamaran in Tahiti, right now, and is infinitely happy… making and publishing new dreams!
    I am this kind of person too…
    And you know, I deeply believe that the world would be much a better one if more people were working on the realisation of their dreams, instead of passively enduring their reality.

    Nice to meet you, and congratulations for the achievements of 2008. I wish you the best luck for 2009, although I know that it is not luck which makes you successful… it is YOU.

    Happy new year!

  6. Ms. Kim,

    It is a great journey, huh?

    One nice thing about having a day job you enjoy is it frees you to write in the way you wish. One can develop the art over time and not have to cut corners to be sure the rent is paid.

    Of course the other option is the starving artist routine, but my kids didn’t dig that!

    Keep in touch. As I explore book stores in my neck of the woods, I’ll blog and keep you posted. In your tour you might hit N.C. some day, and the wife and I can show you all the best spots. (Professional courtesy- Dr. B put Utah on his list.)

    Dr. B

  7. Kim Justesen says:

    Miki –
    ” the world would be much a better one if more people were working on the realisation of their dreams, instead of passively enduring their reality.” This may become one of my most favorite quotes ever! Thank you!

    Dr. B –

    I have family all over NC – it’s like my second home! And I have been craving some good NC BBQ for ages! When my last book came out, Spellbound Children’s Books in Asheville invited me to speak at a local school and sign at their book store. I had a wonderful time, and I hope to go back again with the new book. That would certainly put me in your neck of the woods!

  8. deanjbaker says:

    Looking forward to seeing more, Kim

  9. mapelba says:

    I know plenty of people who are going to “write a book as soon as ________.” They have vague notions and never actually sit down to write. Always inspiring to see someone else with a real goal and who can put their dream into words.

    Good luck with all of it. And thank you for stopping by my blog.

  10. bkclubcare says:

    I admire the confidence in your words that I can sense as I read your declaration and I am here to cheer you on.

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