Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Time Management Tuesday: 2013 Recapitulation Post

Last year I started doing recapitulation posts, an opportunity to assess what I had done during a unit of time, a year in this case. At the beginning of this year, instead of making New Year's resolutions, I created goals and objectives for 2013. That's going to make this year's recapitulation easy. Assessing how I did with last year's goals and objectives will have a big impact on my planning of goals and objectives for 2014.

Remember, goals are what people plan to do, objectives are the steps they will take to meet the goal.

Goal 1. Publish the Saving the Planet eBook at the end of January.

  1. Final copy editing of text
  2. Assign ISBNs
  3. Amazon/B&N product description
  4. Work with Computer Guy regarding the uploading of final copy to Amazon and B&N
  5. Deal with any problems that turn up when uploading of final copy 
  6. Make sure website update is completed and posted
  7. Upload book trailer to YouTube
  8. Check press releases
  9. Contact first bloggers I'll be working with  and work with them regarding material they need from me
  10. Do a number of Original Content and Facebook posts building up to publication
Assessment: Met goal in February instead of January

Goal 2. Publicize Saving the Planet throughout the year


I have a multitude of objectives for this and will be doing a blog post on the subject later.

Assessment: I spent an enormous amount of time on this goal, managing coverage for the book at the following sites:

Alison Pearce Stevens Marketing Monday

Dude, Sustainable! 

Green Bean Teen Queen

Finding Wonderland: Review

Finding Wonderland: Interview

Little Hyuts

The Bibliophilic Book Blog

Word Spelunking

I was also able to promote the book at a high school book fair, the NESCBWI conference,  and the NESCBWI New Media Day. However, things began to fall apart for this goal in August when I had a disruption in my personal/professional boundary and had to spend some more time on the personal side of things. I let promotion slide in order to use my work time for writing and never got back into the heavy research I needed to do to continue promotion.

Goal 3. Maintain Time Management Tuesday Project (Last year's project went so well that it led to a workshop that I'll be leading at a writers' conference this spring.) 

  1. Continue Tuesday posts at least twice a month during this second year
  2. Read The Power of Habit
  3. Plan NESCBWI time management workshop for May
  4. Look for opportunities to write on the subject
Assessment:  I did Tuesday posts almost every week, read The Power of Habit, and planned and ran the NESCBWI time management workshop in May. I did not spend much time looking for opportunities to write about time management for writers.

Goal 4. Submission Binge (Last year's submission binge resulted in a short story acceptance and 2 excellent rejections, so I want to do another)  


  1. Plan a month or two period to do revisions and submit, probably September and October
  2. Look for markets in the months leading up to that point
  3. By July have one or two old stories selected and be working on them to make use of "archived" material.
Assessment: I did make seven submissions this year, one piece being brand new work, but I wasn't able to do it in a binge-like month-long period. I haven't been able to spend as much time researching markets as I'd like, though I did do some.

Goal 5. Write and submit an essay on blogging (Idea came about as a result of the NESCBWI Blog Tour I did earlier this year) 



  1. Seek out possible markets to determine whether or not this is a worthwhile project
  2. Write essay
Assessment: I have some notes for this essay. That's as far as I got.

Goal 6. Work on an outline for "mummy book" during May Days (I wasn't prepared for May Days last year. I hope to be this year.)


  1. Finish reading Wired for Story because I think we organic writers often don't know what our story is prior to writing, which makes plotting difficult.
  2. At least skim The Plot Whisperer for same reason
  3. Go over old research for this project and continue with more.
Assessment:  Did read Wired for Story and The Plot Whisperer. I also went over all my old research and did some more. I worked with the May Days Facebook group in May and again in October to plan out a series of scenes for this project, which for this organic writer is like an outline. I even put in quite a bit of time on starting the first few chapters.
Goal  7. Continue with community building   

  1. Next week--The Next Big Thing post here at OC
  2. Next Big Thing round-up post later in the month
  3. Support Cybils with a round up post of my reading of nominees; also post to Goodreads
  4. Continue with Connecticut Children's Lit Calendar and try to make a real calendar template accessible in the sidebar so the calendar can always be found and isn't buried in each month's posts.
  5. Continue looking for ways to publicize Connecticut Children's Lit Calendar
  6. Look for short,  local writers' workshops/retreats/events to attend
  7. Continue with the weekend roundup of blog and Internet  reading to help build community with other bloggers
  8. Consider the possibility of creating some kind of networking group for published writers, either on-line or some kind of local gathering. (This is a very low level objective because I suspect I won't find much support for it)
Assessment:  I met many of these objectives with varying degrees of success. The Next Big Thing--not at all successful. I supported Cybils early in the year and tried to support it this fall, but couldn't give enough time to it. Instead of a calendar template for the Connecticut Children's Lit Calendar, we created a link in my sidebar so it can be accessed immediately. I joined a Connecticut bloggers Facebook community to help publicize the Connecticut Children's Lit Calendar. I attended a writers' retreat and a couple of events at UConn. The weekend roundup hasn't been working well lately. I did make one feeble effort to get a networking writers' group started on Google+. It came to nothing. However, I joined Twitter this year, which I think could be argued falls under community building. Not one of my objectives, but a step toward the goal.
Goal 8. Publish a free Hannah and Brandon e-short story to support the Hannah and Brandon e-books published by G. P. Putnam's Sons.   

  1. Determine just how much publishing a free anything will cost me
  2. Reread the Hannah and Brandon books
  3. Check journal and files for story ideas
  4. Read other short stories for younger children
  5. Write the short story
  6. Decide how we will handle the cover
  7. Work with Computer Guy on the technical publishing work
Assessment: I dropped this goal early on, deciding that if I go to the work of writing a Hannah and Brandon short story, I'll try to sell it to a traditional magazine. Didn't even begin a story.
Goal 9. Plan publication of My Life Among the Aliens and Club Earth eBooks for winter, 2014 (I want to publish them together hoping to cut down on the time spent planning the marketing, which was very time consuming this year for Saving the Planet & Stuff)

  1. Wait for the return of rights for Club Earth (I already have the rights to My Life Among the Aliens, and the request for Club Earth has already been submitted.)
  2. Wait to see how Saving the Planet & Stuff sells before deciding whether to go with professional covers or look for a cheaper type
  3. Look into companies that prepare texts for e-book publication
  4. Discuss with Computer Guy whether I should go with a company for these books or have him prepare them as he prepared Saving the Planet
  5. Wait to see how Saving the Planet sells before deciding how to market these books--whether to buy advertising right away or start with promotion through blogs and websites
  6. Plan at least one book trailer 
Assessment: I do have the rights back to all my books that G. P. Putnam's Sons didn't do eBook editions for. However, my experience with the Saving the Planet & Stuff eBook suggests that putting effort into creating more eBooks isn't a good use of my time. I gave this goal up mid-year in favor of getting back to more writing.

Next week I'll do my first Time Management Tuesday post of the new year. It will be my goals and objectives post for 2014. You'll see some carry over from this year, but you'll also see a big shift in where I'm going to be putting my time.

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