(A monthly review which I challenged myself to do as my New Year’s Resolution — updating and evaluating my goals and writing progress on the fifth of each month. Yes, it’s the ninth. Oh well. That’s the best I could do, so that means, close enough! If you are new to these posts, you can follow my progress for January, February, March, April, May, June and July. )
When I set my goals for July 5th – August 5th, I knew there were some travel plans and visits that would likely make it challenging to write and follow-through on goals. Here’s what I said:
“How to realistically set goals for July 5 – August 5 when I will work another week at Red Oak Young Writers camp, I will visit family, friends (and an editor I met at Aspen Summer Words) 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…”
First, a picture of the Sylvania Wilderness where my husband and I enjoyed peace, calm and some serious canoeing and hiking.
Did I avoid the sinkhole of excuse-land? Not completely. But, somewhat. I’m thinking I deserve a C+.
My goals were/My results were:
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.)
1. Novel – No response yet from editor who requested pages, but I did recently email her a polite, how’s it going? email. Hoping for word soon so I can move on. I did receive a very helpful, very positive review of my query letter — thanked and have a nice email correspondence there. Did not work on Aspen piece for submission. Did a little research on agents — could have done more. Did not calendar rereading draft of second novel, but will have time in 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.
2. Submissions – Submitted the 6000 word piece to BreadLoaf in Sicily, which I will be attending in mid-September. Sent the two essays to an essayist I know in the cybersphere, and highly respect, for a paid evaluation. Received evals and have edits to do. Did not submit to Flash Fiction Fridays.
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.
3. Encouraging other writers – Blog pace has slacked off, but there are other ways I continue to be an enthusiastic encourager. I’ve reviewed two pieces for writer friends. I try to pass along blog posts and reads I’ve enjoyed on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
4. Ongoing education – Order and begin reading one of the Stafford books discussed in yesterday’s post.
4. Ongoing education – Did not order Stafford books. Had forgotten how much I learn when I teach — my week teaching at Red Bird Red Oak Young Writers Camp at Mt. Mary College was inspiring, motivating and my to read list has grown. Author Ann Angel shared a marvelous presentation on the work and trials of bringing her award-winning YA book on Janis Joplin to publication. Ann has visited this blog before.
So…..August 7 to September 5, goals …. realistic, achievable goals with some reaching…… Here we go…..
1. Novel – Get list of 10 agents set to query asap. Follow-up with editor when response received. (Calendar reread of 2nd novel post-Sicily — too much reading to do for Sicily.)
2. Submissions – Schedule three submit-it afternoons. Plan carry-in dinners as rewards for getting ‘em done.
3. Encouraging other writers – Schedule blog calendar for this month, plan and follow!
4. Ongoing education – Order Stafford books from last month’s goals. Reading and prepping for Sicily.
Writer friends – what is working for you with goal-setting and evaluating? Hoping you are moving forward, word by word. Don’t give up!