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2015 Rounded Up + 2016 Goals

I knew 2015 wasn’t going to be highly productive, so I set my goals what I thought was accordingly. I clearly had high hopes.

The second two trimesters of this pregnancy were even worse than the first – and the first was no cake walk. I also came across a fact I knew, but didn’t KNOW: that having two children simultaneously is harder than simply doubling the amount of effort to care for one child.

I still did achieve a few goals. Goal #1, to be a good president to my writers group Vision Writers, well I was voted in for a second year, so I was at least good enough to justify that vote. Goal #5 of starting a mailing list went perfectly, 100% complete.

Goal #4, continue writing and selling short fiction went fairly well. Plenty of selling, got two confirmed sales (as in contracts signed and/or edits done) and one where I’m still waiting for a final yes(despite having done a pretty hefty amount of content edits at their request). Also there’s a couple of stories currently in the ‘final round’ before approval as well. I also scored another Honorable Mention, this time for ‘The Beauty of The Dance’ in the Q1 2015 Writers Of The Future contest. As for writing I didn’t quite go so well. I wrote Foxworth (5,000 words), Couple’s Counseling (3,400), and Ella’s Baby (500). I’ve done a lot of editing on other stories, and I’ve plotted out quite a few new ideas, but didn’t really commit new words to page.

Goal #3, completing my final revision of Written By The Stars is my disappointing one. I’ve almost completed it, but almost isn’t done, not to mention I’m wracked with doubts about it. Unfeedbacked editing is really very hard. Am I ruining something that’s actually good while ‘fixing’ it? Am I leaving actually-really-awful bits assuming they’re fine? I think I psych myself out, and of course finding the time to try and sit down and work on any real stretch of the story is very hard at the moment.

Goal#2 was always a stretch goal, for if a miracle occurred and I somehow completed all the other goals, so having done little more than writing down a few notes for this one isn’t depressing me.

Goal #6, keep learning, is an abstract goal. I learned plenty. I’ve learned more about making covers, about marketing, about editing and revision, about public speaking (I used to be great in High School, but a lack of practice has left me a little less confident than back in my teens apparently ;p ), about formatting ebooks, and – though not exactly pertinent to my writing career – about raising children. All up I suppose I’m happy enough with this one.

Overall it wasn’t too bad a result, but I think the over achiever in me is just pissy because I didn’t smash everything.

And now, next year’s goals:

Goal #1 – Finish the edits of Written By The Stars. Yeah, you know why that’s top of the list

Goal #2 – Be the best president I can be of my writers group, Vision Writers. Why? because if you’re going to do something, you better kick ass at it.

Goal #3 – Work on my several novellas: Footprints In The Sand, The Troll’s Toll, Princess Paladin, and my newest that exists only under the working title ‘Skeleton Romance’. I want to not just finish them all, but publish at least one of them.

Goal #4 – Keep writing and selling short fiction. Different to novellas because shorter, and not specified stories, whatever inspiration takes my fancy.

Goal #5 – Finish one of the NaNo novels I started, but then never touched again post-November. I’ve got a few to chose from, but I’ll tackle whichever takes my fancy at the time.

Goal #6 – Work with as many editors as I can. Since I have a few sales I still need to receive edits on that will give me a bit of a start, but I’m also hoping to hire a freelance editor for one or more of my aforementioned novellas. Also achieving goal 4 and selling some other short stories should expose me to further new editors. I want to do this so I can get professional feedback and increase my understanding of what needs fixing and what doesn’t in my own work.

Goal #7 – Find some dedicated beta readers. I already have a great critique group with Vision, but if I stick to my goals the volume I intend to write will be too much for polite group usage – I don’t want to hog all the group’s time. But I’ll still want feedback on a lot of what I’m writing. Obviously I will also need to allocate the time to reciprocate the effort my beta-readers will give me.

Goal #8 – Keep Learning. Because you don’t ever want to stop.

Stretch Goal – complete final revision on Storybook Perfect.

Yes, I know, I’ve got more goals than last year. But you failed Kirstie, why aim higher? Two reasons. 1/ I’m going to have a bit more time this year since Xander starts school (OMG, when did my little boy grow up!). I won’t be spoiled with an excess of time, but shall have more than I did this year. 2/ Because if you don’t reach higher you’re never really going to get anywhere, are you now?

So who’s ready for 2016 (and spending the next month or two accidentally putting ’15’ in dates instead of ’16’) ?

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