Saturday, December 29, 2018

Time Management Tuesday (Sort Of): Welcome To The 2018 Recapitulation Post

Recapitulation! That time when we assess what we've done over the last twelve months in preparation for getting ready for the next twelve. I look forward to doing this, even if it leads to the knowledge that I've done less than I'd planned, because it gets me pumped for the new year. I love being pumped for the new year.

Recapitulation is easy, if you have specific and measurable (either you've done it, or you haven't) goals. And look! I had some for 2018.

Submission Boards (2017's, But Still)
Goal 1. Make Submissions Of  Completed Work Throughout The Year: I made 37 submissions this year, maybe 18 of them Twitter pitches, that resulted in one publication, one agent request, and a
few encouraging responses.

  • Submissions to editors and agents from November NESCBWI program: Done. Reasonable responses.
  • Research agents at Publishers Marketplace: Not as much as I'd have liked
  • Research agents for adult books for Becoming Greg and Emma: Nowhere near as much as I'd have liked.
  • Spend time at Essay Facebook group while on retreat in January: Done. Visited it during the year and learned of an on-line publication that I submitted to, which led to Heroes being published at Bending Genres. 

Goal 2. Begin YA Thriller: This ground to a halt half way through the year when a family member had a stroke the day after  Memorial Day. She survived, but the extra workload and, let's be honest, stress led me to dropping this goal, as well as going to writers' group.

  • Finish character sketches
  • Generate material for plot, setting, theme using Scott Turow Method, meaning working in very short sprints
  • Read YA thrillers
  • Bring material to writers' group each month: Dropped writers' group to conserve energy and then focus what was left on Good Women. See below. 

Goal 3: Generate New Work: Nothing to brag about here.

  •  Finish a first draft of Good Women: I have reason to hope that I'll have this done before going out New Year's Eve. It won't be pretty. The last chapter and a half will be a lot of choppy blueprinting, and I realized yesterday or the day before that I need a new thread and maybe a new chapter early on. But I've been making notes within this draft for that, and it will be done after I've put the so-called First Draft away for a while.
    • Do some work--any work--on this in January through March: Yes.
    • In April prep for a May Days Good Women sprint (NaNoWriMo model): Yes.
  • Food essays: No
  • External support for willpower essay: No
  • Essays developed from workshop proposals: No
  • Article on the recycling crafts in Saving the Planet & Stuff: No
  • Research markets all year: Sort of
  • Make essay and short story reading a priority: In fits and spurts
    • For instance, on Retreat Week next week.


Goal 4. Community Building/General Marketing/Branding

  • Continue with writers' group: I let this go halfway through the year. See above.
  • Continue with Original Content: Yes, though sometimes at a reduced pace
  • Start using a weekly social media calendar again: If I did this at the beginning of the year, I gave it up after May.
  • Check out NESCBWI spring conference, with possibility of attending: Check out, yes; attendance at conference, no.
  • Check out NESCBWI-PAL offerings this year, with possibility of attending: Did nothing.
  • Attend other authors' appearances: I spent a few hours at the Connecticut Children's Book Fair
  • Continue with promoting Original Content at Google+, Facebook communities, Goodreads' blog, and Twitter: The Goodreads blog hasn't had much attention, but I've managed to keep up with a lot of the rest of this.
  • Provide social media support for writers/bloggers generating diversity material: Did nowhere near as much of this as I had hoped.
  • Improve my use of Pinterest. It's not that great for marketing, but it's fun: The big thing I did with this was create boards for characters in Good Women and the YA thriller, providing them with clothing that fit their personalities.

Goal 5. Expect the end of the year to be a disaster. Get as much done professionally and personally before mid-November. Quite honestly, I felt pretty good about this one until I went over the above goals and saw how little I got done professionally before mid-November.

Not That Great A Year, Gail

Yes, I should feel pretty bad about how things went this past year. I don't because:
  1. I can accept the realities of needs involving elders, an actual elder crisis, a new baby in the family, two babies in the family now, and a six-year-old. 
  2. I managed a small publication this year, which doesn't happen regularly these days, as well as some interesting responses from editors and an agent.
  3. I'm nearly done with a first draft of a book I've been struggling with for a few years, been thinking about for many years.
  4. It's the end of the year, and I'm psyched for some things I have in mind for 2019. That's only a couple of days away. 


Next Week

A new year, a new set of goals and objectives.

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