Writing Resolutions Check In

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.

SMART goals

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!

Speaking of…

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.

2 thoughts on “Writing Resolutions Check In

  1. jimmydevious says:

    I’ve submitted a total of six queries to agents and gotten three rejections so far.

    Have you gotten back any rejections thus far that are sooooo…uhh…let’s call them, “interesting” that they were worth framing yet?

    Years ago, I used to have one up over my desk that was quite literally one line and one line only.

    It said:

    Dear James,



    Joe Blow McAgent”

    (Well not REALLY Joe Blow McAgent, but you get the idea!! And he DID underline NO in bold and several exclamation points. I was honored to get so many! 😀 )

    It was only recently that I learned from my mother that her favorite TV show character/writer Richard Castle did the same thing.

    Puah!! What a copycat!! 😉 LOL

    Anyway, buena suerte on your search to find an L-A. My your quest not be nearly as long as mine!! 🙂

    • jlynnrowanliterature says:

      The only rejection I’ve ever gotten that warranted saving was a personalized rejection letter that I received about twelve years ago for the awful/melodramatic version of the HFMO when I was about 18 or 19. They congratulated me on my accomplishment and told me I had the makings of a good story, then listed out the strengths and weaknesses of the MS. So I’ve saved it because it was a personal response that gave actual feedback, while saying, “Keep trying!”

      Of the three rejections I’ve gotten, two were form, and one was most likely the agent actually replying back. Like, my original email was below it in the response, and she just said, “This sounds really interesting but I don’t feel it would be a good fit for me right now. Sincerely, Miss Agent.”

      I wish you well in your quest as well!

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