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.