Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Time Management Tuesday: Joyful 2019 Goals

Yesterday I finished a 5-day final push to finish the draft of an adult book that I wanted to complete in 2018. I cranked out 3 times the amount of new material that I normally would in that period, though there are a lot of place holders, and I realized I needed to develop a thread more fully in draft 2 with an additional chapter at the mid-point. So while the project is nowhere near done, it's done enough so I can start this new unit of time, meaning the new year, with a change of work focus. Good Women can rest until the beginning of February.

It was a tense December working on this, and the last five days were brutal. I mention that to explain why I am ridiculously happy this is over. Giddy.

Now I can turn to my 2019 goals and objectives. Goals? What I want to do. Objectives? What I need to do to do what I want to do.

Goal 1. Work on short-form writing, essays and short stories. This will be adult work, primarily, something that I've been interested in for a long time, but couldn't get to. It's also the only work I've been able to publish for several years, so it makes some sense to put some energy into this. Also, given my family's attraction to health problems I may be able to handle shorter types of work more easily than novels. Writing a novel requires staying in the world you're working with, something that's difficult for me to do when I'm off to nursing homes, doctor's offices, independent living facilities, and new baby's homes, two or three days a week.


  • Revise His Times Or Mine essay
  • Start some eating Essays
  • Choose an essay or short story from the files or journal to do a little work on every day
  • Read an essay or short story every day. I began today with So Much Cooking by Naomi Kritzer, which I heard about while taking part in a Facebook discussion about food blogs. This is a terrific short story. 
  • Finish reading A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf during retreat week (next week!), because it will make me feel accomplished and smart.
  • Spend the last week of every month completing something. Anything.

Goal 2. Concentrate on submitting completed book-length projects as well as short form work.


  • Research agents at Publishers Marketplace
  • Research agents for adult books
  • Pay more attention to agents on Twitter. Which is not stalking them.
  • Spend more time with essay Facebook group. Those people are publishing and share their work, exposing me to new markets. Which is not stalking them.

Goal 3. Work on the YA thriller just enough so I'll have material to take to my SCBWI writers' group.


  • Start by revising the material I've shown them. No one is going to remember that.
  • Work on blueprinting.
  • Just work on scenes. Don't worry about connecting things. 
  • Read YA thrillers.
  • Keep theme in mind. 

Goal 4. Complete a second draft of Good Women by September. I would like to set an earlier deadline, but given the turmoil we've had the last two years, I've decided to give myself a long time. If I'm done earlier, how clever of me?


  • Give this a couple of afternoons a week, maybe less.
  • Concentrate on the new thread and new chapter. Presumably this will make fixing the placeholders at end of book a lot easier. That's my theory. It's happened before.


Goal 5. Community Building/General Marketing/Branding


  • Get started with writers' group again.
  • Continue with Original Content.
  • Check out NESCBWI spring conference, with possibility of attending.
  • Check out NESCBWI-PAL offerings this year, with possibility of attending.
  • Be open to attending events for writers of adult literature.
  • Attend other authors' appearances.
  • Continue with promoting Original Content at Google+, Facebook communities, Goodreads' blog, and Twitter.
  • Provide social media support for writers/bloggers generating diversity material.

Goal 6. Expect the end of the year to be a disaster. Don't fall behind on goals so that I have to struggle to catch up while dealing with the holidays.

Checking In With Goals

For a year or two, I was creating a done list each Friday, with which I checked to make sure I'd worked on goals that week. I found it very helpful, but also a little time consuming. It was one of the first things I gave up last summer when that family member fell ill. This year I'm going to try to do it just once a month.

I mention this because, as I just said, it was helpful, especially with the social media goals. I would hustle Thursday night to get things done, because I knew I had to report the next day. You might want to try it.

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