There are three months left in the year, and I have a lot left to accomplish. I need to implement beta reader feedback, send my book to my editor, implement her feedback, format it, get proofs, and publish it. I also want to get a draft of Book 4 down.
Looking back at my goals, I’m doing okay, but I think now is the time adjust them to better fit my priorities at the moment.
2019 Writing Goals
1. Write every day, at least 200 words. I find setting the bar low helps motivate me even when I’m exhausted, and usually I end up writing a lot more than 200 words.
Now that I’m in the editing phase, I think I need to adjust this to a time goal. I haven’t been focusing on writing words for a while, so usually, I aim to spend at least 30 minutes a day on editing. It seems like a short block of time, but again, it’s the minimum. I usually spend longer than this each morning.
2. Finish a draft of The Island Experiment (Kepos Chronicles Book 3) by summer (hopefully sooner).
Well, this got finished late July, so I can check one thing off my list!
3. Publish The Island Experiment this year, ebook and paperback at the same time.
This one might not get checked off the list until December, but I’m still on track to accomplish this.
4. Do some book signings and get my books in local used bookstores.
Technically, I’ve done this. I did a signing Manassas Reads and at McKay Used Books in Manassas (which now carries my books!). There are definitely places I’m thinking of reaching out to, but I haven’t yet. Both of those opportunities were arranged primarily by someone else. I’ll be signing books at Capclave in Rockville, MD on October 19th, but again, I did not organize it. I haven’t taken the initiative in the are, and it’s something I’ll need to work on in the coming months.
5. Attend 2-3 local writing conventions.
This one is going to end up as a failure, I think. I’ll be attending parts of Capclave in Maryland, but that’s the only conference I’ll be attending.
6. Give a presentation/talk at a school.
I did apply to present a conference for teen writers and I’ll be doing that mid-November. I’m excited to present on worldbuilding. Again, this isn’t quite what I meant when I made my goal. This is an opportunity I’m taking advantage of, rather than creating. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing, but my intention was improve my comfort with reaching out and advocating for myself. This is another area where I still need to improve and take some chances.
7. Write a weekly blog.
At the beginning of the year, I started this blog for fun. My goal (one of my goals for the year, in fact) was to write a weekly blog post. I’ve missed a couple of weeks over the year, but I’ve mostly stuck to it. Now that it’s crunch time and I’m adjusting priorities, I’ll be reducing this to a post every other week. This will allow me breathing room on my other projects.
8. Write a draft of Book 4.
This is new. I’m adding it now, because I need time pressure to knock this one out. I’m going to attempt nanowrimo again, this time “competing” with another author in my writing group who plans to draft her next book during November. I don’t know how this will work with trying to edit and publish Book 3 at the same time, but we’ll see. At the very least, it should help me get words on the page.
Looking back at these goals, I can now see exactly why I failed at a few of them. My goal for book signings, conventions, and presentations was too vague. I need to look up local conferences for the year, choose some, and commit. I need to create a list of venues to contact for book signings and a list of schools to approach about giving a talk. These were too vague to be easily actionable.
There was also no time limit attached, like, “Reach out to a venue on your list once per quarter.” This format would have made it harder to push off taking actions that would help me achieve this goal.
Even though I’m not going to hit every target I set, I’m learning valuable information about myself and goal-writing that will help me when I set next year’s goals.
See you in two weeks!