It feels like a really long time since I last posted, but I guess it’s only been a couple weeks. It’s been a little crazy around here with finalizing grades and report cards and visits from family, and a slew of other things that may or may not come up in future posts. It remains to be seen. BUT in spite of the complete lack of sleep I’m running on – seriously, like an hour if I’m lucky and not all at once – let’s try and stay on topic today.
Whether in education or writing, your goals should be SMART!
At the beginning of January, I laid out eight writing related goals for myself, which I hope to accomplish in the 2013 calendar year. Since we’re nearing the end of March, and thus the first quarter of the year, it’s worth checking int o see how those goals are coming along.
Goal #1 - Finish revisions to the HFMO Part 1, by the end of January
Status = DONE!
Well, I do have a few people still giving me nitpicks on the proofreading side of things on Scribophile, but it’s nothing major and I can say I’m really very happy with how the revisions have turned out.
Goal #2 - Continue submitting HFMO Part 1 to agents and small pubs (ongoing)
Status = In process
I’ve submitted a total of six queries to agents and gotten three rejections so far. The other three haven’t responded yet, and I need to sit down at some point this weekend and figure out if I need to follow up, if I’m still within their window of consideration, or if the lack of response means they’re not interested and it’s time to move down the list. I’ve been a bit lacking in submitting, I admit. I guess I just got so caught up in working on Goal #3 that I lost track of where I am in Goal #2!
Goal #3 - Finish Chick Lit Romance first draft and distribute to critique group(s), by the end of April
Status – In Process, finish line in sight
The fact that the Central New York Romance Writers holds a monthly “book in a week” challenge has really helped the CLR along. Usually I’m a very linear writer, but I did jump ahead a few weeks ago to work on a scene I wanted to share at critique during our March meeting. On Sunday I finished up Chapter 12, out of about 18 or so that are planned, and while it’s very rough, I’m quite happy with the bones of it. I feel like I’m on track to finish by the end of April, if all else goes well.
Goal #4 - Finish Historical Romance (HR) first draft and distribute to critique group(s), by the end of August
Status – Development Hell
This project hasn’t seen the light of day since the mid-October, even if I have played around with plot outlines in my head. Originally, it was going to be a short story (or rather, a long story) of about 15k words for an Avon Impulse submission call, but I didn’t get it done in time despite my best efforts. I’m hoping to give this the bulk of my focus over the summer, especially if I can get the CLR squared away and make myself write an extended synopsis.
Goal #5 - Revise/edit/submit at least five short fiction pieces, by the end of August
Status – In Process
I submitted a creative non-fiction piece last month but it didn’t make the cut. To be honest, it’s a piece I probably shouldn’t have submitted, in hindsight, because there really is no good market for it. But I have two other shorts almost prepped – one should be polished up enough for submissions within the next few weeks. I had hoped to get two stories submitted by the end of March, but time didn’t play well with my plans (see the opening paragraph).
Goal #6 - Begin revisions to HFMO Part 2 and distribute to critique group(s), by end of October
Goal #7 – Research self-publishing options by the end of December
Goal #8 – Look into necessary steps to start up proofreading/editing services, by the end of December
Status – In Limbo
All three of these goals are on a back burner that isn’t even lit right now, though I have started mulling over them. I’ve gotten a couple requests to continue with the HFMO, so depending on how the CLR and HR go, I might tackle the revisions to Part 2 early. I’ve also started studying up on the proofreading/editing services that are available out there, as well as what sort of courses I might want to consider taking if I can get such a business off the ground. And the self-publishing info is almost landing in my lap, thanks to an upsurge in news articles on the topic, as well as some information shared by fellow CNYRW member Jen Talty about the self-pubbing process these days. I will have to pick her brain if I get closer to the self-pub decision.
So that’s where we stand at the end of March! I wish everyone a happy and blessed Easter weekend, and if anyone is traveling, may you reach your destinations safely and return home rested and restored.