Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Time Management Tuesday: Time To Recapitulate

Yes, people, it's time for my annual ritual of recapitulation, which I learned about, as I do so many things, in an issue of Yoga Journal. I've modified YJ's plan, so I won't be feeling remorse and letting it go or creating a list of negative thoughts that I'll then tear up. What I will be doing is assessing how well I did at meeting my goals this past year before creating more for next year.

So let's see how I did.

Goal 1. Adhere to Goals and Objectives

  • Plan goal work for each month, making sure that each goal gets some attention each quarter.
  • Continue weekly checks of goals
ASSESSMENT: The planning goal work thing I don't believe I did even once. I'm going to try something similar but different next year. The weekly check of goals I did keep up with, and it's been fantastic. That will be another post sometime.

Goal 2. Prepare Mummy Hunters for Submission

  • Complete revision of paper draft
  • Prepare synopsis
  • Prepare cover letter
  • Submit to first four agents
  • Prepare for next round of submissions
ASSESSMENT: Happy with this one. I submitted to two agents, did another revision, and have submitted to at least one editor.

Goal 3. Generate New Short Work/Programs


  • Prepare Writing Strategies workshops for school appearance at beginning of March. Set aside time each week in January and February for this.
  • Prepare articles using material from last year's workshop submissions. Set aside time each week after Writing Strategies is completed.
  • Complete at least one short story, using the weekly time set aside for new work/programs.
  • Essay possibilities: The workshop slide change; my love for my iphone
ASSESSMENT: Well, I did the workshop. I wrote one flash essay. And I submitted it. So that's all I have on these objectives. I did a number of other submissions of short work, though. There's that, though I didn't have an objective for it. I will have a submission goal with objectives next year.

Goal 4. Marketing Saving the Planet & Stuff eBook

  • Look into taking book down from Barnes & Noble and Kobo to take advantage of Kindle. marketing for books exclusive to that company.
  • Look into the expense involved with printing a paper edition. (This would involved negotiating with the cover artist, since our contract only involves a digital edition.)
  • If I move to Amazon KDP Select, plan some Twitter promotion, maybe in relation to Earth Day month
  • Collect names of some authors who might be interested in doing a Christmas eBook promotion this year. 
ASSESSMENT: Ah...er...I did take the book down from B&N and Kobo and did one Kindle marketing thing. I promoted it on Twitter. I have a goal with objectives in mind for next year.

Goal 5. Community Building/General Marketing/Branding 


Janet Lawler Colchester library appearance
  • Continue with writers' group
  • Continue with Original Content
  • January--Cybils judging
  • Check out NESCBWI spring conference, with possibility of attending
  • Check out NESCBWI-PAL offerings this year, with possibility of attending
  • Look into starting Instagram account (I have a plan.)
  • Attend other authors' appearances, as I did last year
  • Continue with (and keep better track of time used on) promoting Original Content at Google+, Facebook communities, Goodreads' blog, and Twitter
  • Continue reviewing environmental books at Amazon
  • Research markets for short work.
  • Do at least two updates for my website, one this month relating to my work for the Cybils and the new workshop I'm developing and another after the school appearance date, when I will post a workshop description.
ASSESSMENT: Did well on this one, though I haven't been doing much with environmental books. Instead of Instragram I did Pinterest. Which is not very useful for writers, though it's fun.

Goal 6. Generate New Work: Revise Adult Version of Becoming Greg and Emma

  • Summer or fall
ASSESSMENT: Did well on this one. I finished the revision and got feed back from beta readers. I also finished a picture book and began submitting it.  In November I restarted a project I began during National Novel Writing Month in 2004. So I'm working on another adult manuscript. Both these manuscripts will figure prominently in next year's goals, as will the picture book.

Overall Assessment Of My Year

I was a little chagrined when I went over these goals last week. I had been feeling pretty good about this year, and then I saw how little I did for Goals 3 and 4. However:
  • Marketing the Saving the Planet & Stuff eBook shouldn't be as high a priority as generating new work at this point. It's been out in the world for a few years. My marketing efforts now are experiments and training for marketing future work.
  • Generating new book-length children's fiction like The Mummy Hunters and Trouble at Wee Play World is higher priority than generating new short adult pieces, because, remember, I'm a children's writer.
  • In addition, I did some significant work on adult full-length manuscripts, which will mean a whole new world of submitting.
Next year's goals and objectives will definitely build on what I did and didn't do last year. Stay tuned.

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