Tag Archives: writing goals

Writing Wins and Woes: Revamping

As I so often do in my blog, I’ve looked over my progress and goals for the last year, and I’m renewing my efforts to write again. I have to admit I’ve floundered miserably the last few months in my writing. To be perfectly blunt, the only writing I’ve been doing since October has been my weekly blogs. You may have noticed that my blogs have gotten progressively more informational/personal. That’s because I had no progress to report because I wasn’t writing. Some of this is understandable. I had a rough year. Refer to my last blog. I had an injury. My mom got cancer. My boss died, increasing my work hours. But these are all excuses and I don’t want to blame everything on circumstances. You make time for what you want to do in life, and I chose to focus more on family, and I’m not sure that’s all bad.

So, how did I do last year?

  1. Three submissions a month. I didn’t achieve this goal. I had 20 submissions for the year, which is a little less than two submissions a month. Only two months did I actually make this goal; March, where I had three submissions and August, where I had four. From October-December there were 0 submissions. So, It’s probably amazing I made 20 submissions last year.
  2.  Finish my novel. No, I did not achieve this goal either. I didn’t finish my novel. I almost finished it but not quite.
  3. Read 20 books, two of them writing books. I did not read any writing books. However, I did read 22 books, so I did accomplish that goal, sort of.
  4. Re-evaluate publishing my book. Since I didn’t finish it, that was put on hold, too.
  5. Write 4-5 hours a week. This is a hard one. I can’t even begin to figure out how I would be able to be accountable to this goal because I didn’t keep track of my writing hours. This goal definitely needs to be changed so I can track my writing.

New Goals for 2017

  1. 25 submissions this year. I’m changing my monthly goals to yearly ones because this is easier to attempt and I can work at it when I feel the most inspired and when I have the most time to do it.
  2. Finish my novels. I have two and I want to finish both of them this year. I mean really finish at least the rough drafts of them.
  3. Read 40 books. I think I can do this goal because I now listen to audio books at work on my kindle. I have more time to read now.
  4. Write a story or a chapter every week. I’m not going to care if they’re good or not. I’m working on practice and I need the practice.
  5. Publish my children’s book, even if I have to do it myself. We’ll see about that one. I’ve been “hankering after” this goal for years.

Here are my goals and here I go. Wish me luck, everyone and God speed.

Writing Wins and Woes: How Did I Do?

1286The time has come for making some writing goals for 2016, but wait…Let’s examine my goals last year and see how I did.

1.My Submission goal is downsized now to one a month.
I submitted 24 articles/stories to  publishing places. That is two a month, so I made this goal. Yay!

2. Writing: I’m going to endeavor to write one hour every week day. That will probably include lots of stuff; journaling, blogging, or story/novel writing. It will not include emails, though. I’m not cheating that much.

I blew this goal big time. I had many times especially mid to late year I did not write one iota. I think this may be an impossible goal with holidays, sickness, vacations and family crises. I’m going to revise this one to a weekly goal.

3. Reading: One book a month, at least, and three of them must be writing books.

I easily made this goal. I read way more than one book a month. I read two Pearl S Buck books, a writing book, a Miss Read book, a few classics, Frozen Fairy Tales, My own Fairy tale book, Twice Upon a Time, Several Elsie Dinsmore books, Vitro, 2 fictional books about the Amish and I’m currently reading a divergent book and a book about Barbara Newhall Follet. However, I did not make my goal of three writing books. I only read one.

4. Get an agent. Or try to anyway.

I did try to get an agent. One time. One agent. Did not succeed. Quit and decided not to continue the effort.

5. Be on the way to publishing a book.

This is the hardest and most painful. I am not on my way to publishing my book. I have submitted somewhere and am waiting for a reply but things at this point do not look very hopeful.

New Goals for a New Year:

  1. Three submissions a month. I’m upping this from what I did last year. It seems attainable even with working on publishing my book and finishing my novel.
  2. Finish my novel; both first draft and finished product.
  3. Read 20 books; 2 writing books. Since I only read one writing book and I need to improve, I’ll say two this time.
  4. Reevaluate publishing my book. Decide whether I want to stick with a publishing company or self-publish. Decision dead-line: end of May. Work on whichever I decide for the rest of the year more diligently.
  5. Write 4-5 hours a week. I’m changing to a weekly goal so I can do it all at once or in stages. This works better with my work schedule anyway.                                                          Well, there you have it. Whatever your goals may be, I wish you success in what you do. Each day gives you a clean slate to do it in. Enjoy.

Writing Wins and Woes: Writing Resolutions and the winner is:

Autumn's dresses and stuff 003

And the winner is: Melinda Moore. Melinda Moore picked the same random fairy tale I chose, Beauty and The Beast. Sorry, Holly. Unfortunately, Twice Upon a Time is temporarily unavailable on Amazon. Hopefully, it will be back soon. A free copy will be sent to our winner as soon as that happens.

Here are some ideas I came up with for some new year writing resolutions. Feel free to choose one of these or come up with some of your own. I’d love some comments on these or any you might have or if you have writing resolutions of your own.

Here we go:

Writing Resolutions for 2015

1. Spend X amount of time writing each day. You pick the amount. It’s all up to you. But stretch a little.

2. Write X amount of words each day/week. I did this last year. I made my writing goal 3000 words per week. Sometimes I made it. Other times I did not.

3. Read X amount of books in the year. Make some of them writing books. A good reader is a good writer.

4. Join a writing critique group.

5. Enlist a critique partner/ hire a critique professional. Believe it or not. Some are not terribly expensive. A writer’s Path has submission guidelines for Under the Microscope. You can share the beginning of a novel/story and he will critique it for free if he picks your story. Here’s the link: http://ryanlanz.com/utm-submissions/

6. Start journaling every day. It helps keep the writing process in focus.

7. Start a blog/change up the blog you have.

8. Make a submission goal. I did this now for three years. My submission goal in the past was two submissions a week, but now that I’m going to focus more on getting a book published, I’m downsizing it a bit for this year.

9. Pursue the agenting process/ or self publishing process/ or small publishing company process. Pursue something anyway to further your writing.

10. Finish something you started. Take that short story off the shelf and finish it. Finish that novel or novella if you’re not ready for the bigger book yet. Finishing something gives you an incredible feeling of accomplishment even if it is not published.

Well, that’s a few. Now here are the ones I’ve chosen for this year.

1.My Submission goal is downsized now to one a month.

2. Writing: I’m going to endeavor to write one hour every week day. That will probably include lots of stuff; journaling, blogging, or story/novel writing. It will not include emails, though. I’m not cheating that much.

3. Reading: One book a month, at least, and three of them must be writing books.

4. Get an agent. Or try to anyway.

5. Be on the way to publishing a book.

There you have it! Feel free to comment and adopt one of these goals yourself. Share
your resolutions with me. Let’s be inspired together!

Writing Wins and Woes: Everlost series

everlost

For this special after Christmas day, I thought I’d share a little review on a book series passed on to me by my daughter. This is probably the only way I end up reading YA books. However, I really liked this trilogy. Everlost is a place where kids go when they die. It’s not the final destination. It’s a place where they sometimes get “side-tracked” into when they are on their way to where they are going. The book never mentions Heaven or Hell, but I would say strongly suggests Heaven is the final destination. Nobody knows what that is like, though, because nobody sees the end of the tunnel. This is all beside the point. All the adventure happens in Everlost, where two kids start out after a car accident in which they accidentally end up in Everlost. Everlost has sinking ground that pulls you to the center of the earth, that is unless you find the “places” that are so dear to the living people that they resurrect in Everlost. For example the Twin Towers are in Everlost. There are also trains, trees, small patches of ground and even the Hindenburg. The series follow Nick and Allie as they discover how to live in Everlost and how to get out of it. Along the way, they find some friends and a villain, Mary Hightower, who wants to make sure everyone who comes to Everlost stays there. I read all three books of the trilogy and really enjoyed them, particularly the first and the third. This series is called the skinjacker series. Skinjackers can inhabit real living human bodies, but only a few of the people in Everlost can do this. To find out why, you have to read the books. I hope you do.

Although I am discontinuing whine box and brag box, I am happy to relate that I sold three stories to Guide recently. I wrote a story for them, and I got a reply. This is no good as it is. It needs to be a three part story. How often does that happen to a writer?

The new year is coming. What are your goals? I haven’t figured mine out yet. Last year, I made a goal of writing 3000 words a week. Sometimes I made the goal, but often I didn’t. Since I won’t be submitting as much this next year, I will have a goal. Keep tuning in to my blog to find what that is. In the meanwhile, share your own writing goals. Hope you make some.

Thought for the Day: Make a realistic New Year’s goal but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t always reach it. It’s the struggle that makes you strong.

Writing Wins and Woes: The Best Kinds of News

Lucy and cover photo 005

What does a writer get excited about? Mostly, they get excited about publications and acceptances. Well, I’ve found a lot of new things to be excited about as a writer. For instance, I’ve had my first cover story in a printed magazine. Okay, it’s not the Atlantic or the New Yorker or something earth shattering. It’s Guide Magazine, a Christian kids’ magazine, but I’m still excited. The illustration of my story made the cover. Wow!

Also, I am excited because TA-Da! Finally, my Daily Science Fiction story is going to be posted. The big date is Wednesday, Oct 15th, folks! I will be linking to it that day because I am super excited! I’ve been waiting for forever for this. Yes, when I say forever, all the writers out there know exactly what I am talking about.

And my good news is not over. I am going to be doing a guest blog on Blogs by Christian Women. Yay! This will be on Monday of next week, so I will have three blogs next week, instead of one. I hope I’m not overplaying my hand. I hate to inundate people with my blogs. I will link to this as well. So, join me Monday, Tuesday and Friday of next week for my good news blogs. Friday, I will be doing my monthly stats for September, a bit late, but I still want to do it.

Thought for the day: Make the most of every opportunity as a writer. Stretch your vision, set some goals and go for them.

Writing Wins and Woes: Don’t let clouds stop you from writing

Writer Wins and Woes: Don't let clouds stop you from writing

A cloudy day often stops many things. A picnic. A cook-out. A hike. Swimming. A walk with the dog. Clouds can burst into rain and so it deters us; but clouds can also break into bright sunshine. It’s all perspective. As a writer, I can’t let a few clouds in my way stop me from continuing on in my writer’s journey.

Shari’s Stats for May:
Submissions: 7
Rejections: 8
Acceptances: 2
Publications: 6 (this includes my author story and interview)

This week I’ve had two rejections. One from Youth Imagination and one from Enchanted Conversation. That was just a matter of not winning a contest. I also had a very nice email from Guardian Angel Kids, telling me they “love my work.” This is a reminder of why I’m in this for the long haul. There’s going to be some lovers and there’s going to be some haters. I submitted to two places this week. Guardian Angel Kids and SQ magazine. Check them out here if you’d like to submit to them as well.
http://sqmag.com/submissions/

Guardian Angel Kids is on my sidebar if you enjoy writing poems, stories or articles for kids.

Thought for the Day: Set a goal of writing for so many minutes each day. Even if it’s only 30 minutes per day. You can get a lot accomplished in 30 minutes if you are focused.