It’s that time again. Time to examine and evaluate my writing progress, as I promised to do on the fifth of each month this year. If you are new to these posts, you can follow my progress for January, February, March, April, May, and June. Here’s what I had declared as my goals for June 5 to July 5:
My goals for June 5-July 5 are:
1.Novel - Before Aspen, proofread and read aloud novel to self; then, send draft to an unnamed amazing mentor who has offered to read. Follow up with anyone I should after Aspen — including (fingers crossed, yes, please), maybe an agent? Continue researching small presses.
Evaluation for Novel goal. Proofed and read aloud? Yes. Sent to mentor? Yes. Aspen follow ups? Yes, yes, yes! And a few still in progress.
2. Submissions – two essays still sit in my e-files. Time to send them out.
Evaluation – Um, no on the essays, but I did submit two pieces to the Wisconsin Writers Association contest. Unfortunately, one category (novel – first chapter) ended up being cancelled due to insufficient numbers of entries.
3. Encouraging other writers – blog twice a week here; once a week at the Lyon Review.
Evaluation – While I slacked on the blogging, I did encourage other writers in other ways. I believe I was a good participant in Aspen in terms of offering valuable critiques. I also proofread three friends’ stories. I try to share helpful blog posts and articles on Facebook and Twitter. And, I coached young writers for a week at Red Oak Young Writers camp — something I LOVE!
4. Ongoing education — all about Aspen this month. Let’s see what happens!
Evaluation – Thought it would be all about Aspen, and it was. As I posted in yesterday’s post, Recommended Reads from Aspen – Part 1, I’ve added several writing craft books to my to read list and will be diving in soon.
So, I think I give me a B+.
How to realistically set goals for July 5 – August 5 when I will work another week at Red Oak Young Writers, I will visit family, friends (and an editor I met at Aspen) on Cape Cod, and take a long weekend trip to the Upper Peninsula with my husband? (Also, as I write this, we’re in a heat wave in Milwaukee and our home is not air conditioned.) Hmmm…… sounds like I’m making excuses, doesn’t it? Enough of that! The point of making goals and self-evaluating is to AVOID the sinkhole of excuse-land. Never surrender. Never give up. So, let’s have at it…
1. Novel – If response arrives in this time period from one editor who requested pages, respond quickly and professionally. If response arrives from another editor who offered to review my query letter, ditto. Work on revisions to chapter work-shopped at Aspen for submission. Continue researching information about potential agents. (Calendar rereading first draft of second novel for August.)
2. Submissions – Need to submit a 6000 word piece to another conference (more on that soon). Those two essays mentioned last month are still waiting for me. And, I want to submit something to Flash Fiction Fridays at WUWM.
3. Encouraging other writers – Try to pick up the blog pace again. Once a week in the summer is probably okay, but try, try, try for twice. Get back in “Little Engine that Could” mode.
4. Ongoing education – Order and begin reading one of the Stafford books discussed in yesterday’s post.
I hope you’re using whatever goal-setting and self-evaluating means work to keep you and your writing on track. Fear of public humiliation can work wonders for me. I don’t like admitting when I didn’t meet a goal, but I do it. And then, I adjust. It works.
Keep chugging. Happy #writing.