12 for 2012: Progress So Far!

So, the new year is in full swing and I’ve got goals to accomplish.  I’m happy to report that I’ve made some progress thus far!

Get my novel Someone’s Watching on the market.

My first attempt is going to be for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.  I’ve been gradually working on editing, but I need to take another look at the entry guidelines and such.

Get up at a decent hour and write every weekday for Textbroker.

I haven’t been very faithful about the “decent hour” thing, but I have been writing every day.  Baby steps.

Finish writing that business plan by the end of February.

I’ve been doing some market research and I have a basic outline.  I’m still wading through statistics and trying to figure them out.

Read at least two completely new books each month.

This is going exceptionally well.  I finished Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants last weekend and am almost finished with the first book in Terry Brooks’s Genesis of Shannara series.  Next month I plan to finish the trilogy and then move on to some classics I’ve had sitting on my shelf a while.

Write reviews of each of the 24 books I read.

Look for a review of the book and movie adaptation Water for Elephants in the next few days!

Keep a writer’s notebook.

Lots of lovely scribbles already 🙂

 

These aren’t all of my goals, but 50% isn’t bad for only the third week of January.  How are your 12 for 2012 going?

12 for 2012: A Year of Writing

First, my apologies for the unexpected delay.  I rang in the New Year with a pulled muscle and a stomach bug, but I’m back and ready to hit the ground running!

My last post was about making your New Year’s resolutions.  I agreed to make 12 Writing Goals for 2012, and to share them on here.  Well, here are my 12 for 2012:

1.  Get my novel Someone’s Watching on the market one of two ways:

a.  submit to Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Contest, and if nothing comes of that

b.  send queries/samples to at least six agents.

2.  Get up at a decent hour and write every weekday for Textbroker.  It’s my main source of income and I need to be more consistent with it.

3.  Finish writing that business plan by the end of February.  Market statistics, prepare to be discovered and conquered!

4.  Be more consistent updating my blog.  Aiming for at least one post per week!

5.  Scrap the original draft of SW’s sequel and begin a new one while waiting on contest results/agent responses.

6.  Read at least two completely new books each month.

7.  Finally start that cooking blog I’ve been dreaming about for weeks.  Keep a lookout for the link!

8.  Write reviews of each of the 24 books I read.

9.  Try writing something besides novel-length fiction.  I’ve done short stories, poetry, and CNF many times but only under the eyes of a professor.  It’s time to break out on my own with a different genre I enjoy.

10. Pitch a few articles to a print publication.  I love the freedom and simplicity of ghostwriting, but I do miss seeing my own byline 😀

11. Participate in NaNoWriMo again.  I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment!

12. Keep a writer’s notebook.  I had one in high school, jotting down any random idea, phrase, or image that popped into my head.  The last few years, I’ve slacked and probably lost a lot of good ideas.

It’s a lot of writing and will take a lot of dedication.  But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, the only way to move forward in life is to set your eyes on a target and push towards it as hard as you can.  The act of writing itself is heading towards a goal.  As we finish each sentence, we’re one step closer to the resolution of the story.  So, I raise my metaphorical glass to you and welcome the New Year!

What Are Your Writing Goals For 2012?

2011 was a whirlwind year on my end, and 2012 promises to be even more so.  That’s why, I propose to make it interesting: 12 Writing Goals For 2012.

Why 12?  Because that breaks it down nicely into 1 goal per month, it’s easy to remember, and it makes a good blog title.

I think it’s important for everyone to have goals, especially those of us in the creative disciplines.  It’s far too easy to just drift around, letting the Muse take us wherever, not committing anything because we don’t want to stifle that creative drive in ourselves with deadlines.  And while drifting with the winds of inspiration is a fun and vital part of being a writer (or artist, or whatever), those of us who really want to make something of it do have to knuckle down at times and commit.  Just like our characters need to move and grow to make a story, so we writers need to move forward.

How far you move forward, to where, and at what pace is up to you.  One writer may commit to searching for a publisher/agent for that fermenting manuscript, while another may just want to finish a sonnet started a few months ago.  Some of us may want to move into freelancing full-time, go back to school, try a new genre, or market an already-published work.  Some of us have goals of finally cleaning out that spare corner of the basement to make into a personal writing space.

Whatever your goals are, I encourage you to commit them to paper and keep them somewhere you’ll see them everyday.  Shoot for the big pie in the sky, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself or make a “goal” out of something you really have no control over.  By that, I mean, don’t try to tell yourself you’ll have signed a publishing contract by December 31st, since even the best writers really have no control over whether or not someone offers them a contract.  (Unless, of course, you have publishers knocking down your door to publish your novel, in which case, I envy you and implore you to make signing a contract a goal.)

So, instead of saying, “I will get a contract!” say, “I will send my completed manuscript to [X number of agents/publishers] by [date]!”

So sit down and think about your writing goals (and other goals) for 2012.  Write them down, think about them, talk them over with a trusted friend or fellow writer.  Revise them as necessary.  Share them on your favorite writing website, on your blog, over dinner with your family, with random strangers.  Make yourself accountable for achieving them and come up with a rewards system when your do.

I’ll be back on December 31st to share my goals and see how you’re doing 🙂