Friday, January 13, 2012

2011 -- In Retrospect

Looking back over my list of goals from last year, I'm fairly pleased with the results.

*Read at least 2 books on revision and self-editing. (Check!)

*Macro revision of memoir; eliminate all known plot and flow issues. (Check.)

*Micro revision of memoir; polish with a line-by-line review. (Checkity-check!)

*Recruit reliable beta-readers and make adjustments based on consensus input. (Yeppers! 4 non-related betas, all reliable and very helpful! :))

*Begin agent querying in by the middle of the year. (Early August--close enough.)

*Attend 2 workshops. (2 online, 1 in person. Thank you Margie Lawson!)

*Enter 2 contests for feedback purposes. (5 contests entered, finaled in 2)

*Finish reading: Writing the Breakout Novel. (Yes! And it was marvelous.)

*Read: Goal, Motivation, Conflict –Deb Dixon. (Nay.)

*Read: Heroes and Heroines – Tami D. Cowden. (Nope. :P)

*Read at least 15 books just for fun. (Roughly 40 read for fun. Cha-ching!)

*Write at least 500 words a day, regardless of what it goes towards. (Mostly, yes.)

*Continue going through all Writer’s Digest magazines, highlighting helpful material.

*Study the Sci-fi genre and read 5 well-rated, recent examples. (Only one recent example read--Across The Universe. 5 classic examples read in addition, at least...)

*World-build and create an outline for my intended sci-fi series. (Half of my character sheets were done before I got waylaid by NaNoWriMo ambitions.)

*Keep up with the blog at least once a month. (CHECK!)

*Regular exercise. (3 months consistently...then failure. :P)

What is amazing to me is how much I accomplished that I hadn't even thought to set as goals. 2011 was a year of firsts for me:

I judged 6 entries for a contest, joined the Birmingham chapter of the RWA, copy-edited 13 chapters for a friend, attended my first writing conference ever--Moonlight & Magnolias--where I pitched in person for the first time to two agents. I received my first 2 partial requests, received my first 13 form rejections and one personalized rejection, attempted NaNoWriMo and failed miserably (but learned a lot from that failure), found a published-author critique partner who challenged me to my limits and left me better off for it, and I was taken on as a book reviewer for RT Magazine.

A year ago, few of those things would have occurred to me at all. Most were simply opportunities that cropped up in what seemed like oddly good timing. Yet, all of these experiences have built upon each other to hone my sense for the writing craft in ways I never saw coming. I have a complete manuscript that's been screened and edited to a state I'm happy with, and I've made it 6 chapters into constructing a YA novel that keeps surprising me. I've truly gone back to school these last two years. I may not be agented yet, but I feel so much more prepared for that step. Maybe 2012 is the year. :)

In the mean time, I need to keep striving for goals and pushing forward. So without further ado and/or blathering, I present my goals for this year:

*Write at least 500 words a day, regardless of what it goes towards.

*Continue to keep 5-8 queries out there to agents regarding the memoir.

*Enter a least 4 contests for feedback purposes, both manuscripts.

*Judge for at least 1 contest.

*Love my family enough to avoid NaNoWriMo until children are much older and no longer need me...

*Attend a weekend writing retreat.

*Read at least 30 books just for fun. (Outside of monthly RT assignments.)

*Read at least 3 craft-related books.

*Expand my social media networking presence and familiarity.

*Write a query and synopsis for new YA novel.

*Finish YA novel, revise, and send it to be edited.

*Continue going through all Writer’s Digest magazines, highlighting helpful material.

*Keep up with the blog at least once a month. (Tune in every 2nd Friday of the month!)

*Procure 'the right agent.' (Lord willing.)

*Exercise regularly! Exercise every other day.

So, what are you pleased to have accomplished in 2011? And what are your project and personal growth goals for this year? Give me all of them, or just your top 3 if you're pressed for time. :)