2013: The Plan

Sunrise CharlestonToday I am once again faced with the possibilities of a new year before me and the disappointments, lessons learned, and accomplishments of the year that just passed.

2012 was a bit of an unpredictable whirlwind for me.  A couple of major bumps cropped up in my personal life which took a lot of time, effort, and dedication to handle. That being said, I still pursued my writing and author goals… I just didn’t make the amount of progress I’d hoped for when the year started.  I did complete my tenure as President of my writing chapter, developed and conducted my first online workshop, and I did my first PR event as author.  I was also invited to contribute a short story to anthology which led to the successful completion of my first short story!

On the flip side, I did not make as much tangible process as I wanted on my UF series and didn’t get the chance to explore any other ideas.

In 2013, I will continue to pursue my writing goals.  My plans require focus & discipline and  include the completion of 3 full length manuscripts,  polishing at least one of these manuscripts, submitting my work to targeted publishers and agents, and the continual work on my building my author’s platform.

Here’s to a productive year and one certain thought:  2013 is the year for me to put in work and set myself up to be ready to take advantage of the opportunities heading my way.  This means I will have to learn to say “No”.  It’s nothing personal, but I can no longer afford to invest so much time and energy in others when I don’t get that same effort and support back.

2012: The Dawn of the New Year

 

Another year has ended and new one is ushered in.  Every January 1st  I’m compelled to take a look at the past year for an account of what I’ve accomplished and what I haven’t in relation to the writing goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year. It’s all in the spirit of accountability.  If I can’t be accountable to myself, then I will not be accountable to anyone else.  So, taking a look back at 2011, the goals I set for myself included:

 

 

    1. Complete polished draft of Edge of Desire (the UF) and begin submission process
    2. Complete 1st draft of WFF and get the first 3 chapters polished (for submission & contests)
    3. Outline 2 new projects
    4. Apply for PRO status
    5. Set up office

And just how did I fair with these, you may ask:

1. Not quite– I am actively still working on my polished draft of the UF.  To say I got side tracked in 2011 is an understatement.  But on the flip side, I have renewed energy for this story and I am furiously working on it right now.

2. Umm… No– I got nowhere near touching WFF in 2011.  Outside of my new outline, WFF has been in a coma… waiting to be revived.  In fact, I like to think of it as a modern day Sleepy Beauty, just waiting for its Prince to come along.  (And by “Prince” I mean me sitting my butt in the darn chair and hammering out the outline and cranking out the words.)

3. Yes, but No– I now have the next 2 stories in my contemporary romance series formulated (yay!),  but I have not put my thoughts on paper yet or made any tangible brainstorming progress. (I know, I know… There is no excuse)

4. No.  It’s a tad bit hard to apply for PRO when you are working on multiple manuscripts, yet not finishing one of  them.  But I digress…

5.  And for the 2nd year in a row, I gotta say NO!  This really shouldn’t be this hard; I’ve YET to redo my office.  But I have a feeling I won’t have a choice but to get this one done in 2012.  In fact, I’m almost willing to bet that if I don’t do a thing else, I will definitely have a new office set up going 😉

 

Now that the year-end accountability is over, I’m looking towards 2012 and the things I plan to accomplish this year.  Instead of my traditional resolutions and goals, I’m going to take my critique partner’s advice and rally around a theme.  After much thought, my theme for 2012 (In all aspects of my life) will be PURSUIT.  Just in case you are unfamiliar with this term, Dictionary.com has it defined as:

Pursuit [per-soot] –  an effort to secure or attain; quest:

I am very committed to my goals of becoming a successfully published author.  I have invested years into increasing my knowledge and understanding of the craft, improving the consistently of my writing, and the development of my voice and style.  So, in keeping with my Pursuit theme for 2012, I have two areas I want to concentrate on as far as my writing goes.

In pursuit of my goal to become a published author, I will:

  1. Complete my polished UF draft, enter it into contests and pitch it to editors/agents for consideration
  2. Complete a rough draft of WFF (book #1 in my contemporary romance series)
  3. Complete a rough draft of book #2 in my contemporary romance series

 

In pursuit to my goal to develop/expand my own author platform, I will:

  1. Develop  workshops centered around my subject matter expertise (social media, branding and PR) as it relates to helping authors promotion themselves and establish a web presence.  It is my hope that I will be able to conduct said workshop(s) throughout 2012 at a variety of venues.
It doesn’t seem like much, I know, but  I’ve essentially called myself out.  I need to finish not 1, but 3 manuscripts this year; all the while balancing my author responsibilities, being President of my local RWA chapter, and the other roles I play in life.  It’s a lot, but with some focus and discipline (both of which I severely lacked in 2011), I know I can do it.  But we shall see…

So here you have it. You know what I’ll be working towards in 2012, what about you?

Someday I’ll fly, someday I’ll soar
~John Mayer

If interested, you can check out my personal 2011 reflections and plans for 2012 here.

A New Year, a New Plan

It’s 2011 and time for me to think about my plans and goals for the new year.  But before I take a look ahead, I thought I’d take a peek back at 2010…

I set 6 goals for myself in 2010:
1. Set a writing schedule and stick to it- DONE!
2. Read my top 3 craft books- Erm, not  so much
3. Complete at least 2 manuscripts this year-  Not quite
4. Send out at least 5 query letters- HAHAHAHA (that’s a no)
5. Set up my office- Sort of, I got organized, but not painted & decorated
6. Set up tax binder- Yes

There where some things I didn’t get to in 2010, but there’re several milestones and accomplishments I did complete.  By adhering to a schedule, I wrote a total of  114,748 words last year, the most I’ve ever written in a year, or period for that matter,  since I started by in 2008.  But my biggest accomplishment of the year is finalling in the Drive ‘Em Wilde contest sponsored by Savvy Authors.  The competition was fierce and while I didn’t pull down the win, 2nd place ain’t bad at all.

Other milestones achieved in 2010 include:
1. Getting 50% through my romance manuscript (which I started over from near scratch)
2. Finishing the draft of my Urban Fantasy novel- My first completed draft ever!
3. Receiving my first rejection
4. Finishing my first sex scene (you have no idea how long I’d been putting that off)
5. Gaining more confidence in my process

All in all, 2010 was a good writing year for me, but I can make 2011 better.  I have a solid foundation now as far as craft knowledge, excellent critique partners, and a process that works for me.  But of course, being the goals oriented type of girl that I am and my need to strive for greatness, I have 5 goals for 2011:

1. Complete polished draft of Edge of Desire (the UF) and begin submission process
2. Complete 1st draft of WFF and get the first 3 chapters polished (for submission & contests)
3. Outline 2 new projects
4. Apply for PRO status
5. Set up office– yeah, this one again- LOL

2011 is the year of No Excuses for me.  Time to pee or get off they pot, as “they” say 🙂

~Someday I’ll fly, someday I’ll soar…

2010: It’s a New Dawn

Nina Simone said it best with:

   It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

2009 marked my first full year of taking my writing seriously and actively pursuing my goal of becoming a published author.  I started the year with a set of goals and a plan.  I looked over my 2009 writing year and I have some things to be proud of, and some things to work on.  It’s these things I learned about myself that shaped my writing goals for 2010.

My overall objective for this year as a writer is to the cultivate my strengths while depreciating my weakness.  This means eliminating distractions, excuses, and negativity (especially the self-generated kind).  Actually, as I think about it, this is no longer my goal for this year; this now is my main focus as a writer, period.

So to help me reach my goal this year, here are some specific, concrete goals I will strive to complete in 2010:

1.  Set a writing schedule and stick to it
2.  Read my top 3 craft books
3.  Complete at least 2 manuscripts this year
4.  Send least 5 queries or submissions this year
5.  Set up my office
6.  Create a binder to better track my writing activities (workshops, conventions, receipts, etc.)

So here’s to a success year.


2009: It’s a New Year, A New Beginning

Happy New Year’s to everyone.  I wish you all a successful, safe, and prosperous year.

I love January 1st, it’s one of my favorite days of each year.  The new year is always a time for reflection and goal setting for me.  When I look back on 2008, I see that I spent a good deal of time actively pursuing my goal of becoming a published author.  And for me, that entailed a lot of time spent reading, contemplating and learning about the actual craft of writing– with not so much actual writing getting done 😉  .  But I wouldn’t call that a waste of time.  On the contrary, I now have a pretty solid base of knowledge and a good feel for both what I want to do, and what I need to do.

Now, on to my goals.  My primary focus for 2009 will be on actual production.  Getting published is still my dream, but it is more of a long term goal at this point.  My immediate goal is to finish a completed manuscript or two.  So with all this in mind, I set my 2009 writing goals with actual production in mind.

  1. Write for a hour a day, minimum
  2. Have at least 2 completed manuscripts by Dec 31, 2009
  3. Query/submit at least one manuscript this year
  4. Enter at least one contest this year
  5. Cycle through my craft books

By working towards 100% acheivement of these goals, I hope to learn more about myself as a writer, and as a person.   I will tag all future entries concerning my writing goals [the achievements and lack there ofs 😉 ] with the Goal tag so you can easily get pull them up from the tag cloud.

~La-Tessa
“Someday I’ll fly, someday I’ll soar”