Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Time Management Tuesday: How Temporal Landmarks--And Goals And Objectives--Could Help You This Year

Last Thursday, July 2, was the mid-year point, which I'm sure is a relief to many. An official mid-point to a year is what's known as a temporal landmark. Temporal landmarks create fresh start opportunities. "The first half of the year is done! For the rest of the year, I'm going to do A!" Or "For the next quarter of the year, I'm going to do B!" Pick your own unit of time to go forth. As well as your own A and B.

I had planned to check in with my goals and objectives for 2020 at the end of each month, also temporal landmarks. I think I got distracted from that even before this pandemic thing started. Reaching the mid-year temporal landmark, however, jolted my memory. So I took a look at what I had managed to do and considered what I wanted to focus on for the rest of this very, very unique year.

Goal 1. Concentrate on submitting completed book-length projects as well as completed short-form work. I've done 27 submissions of both book-length and short-form work in 2020 to date. I've had one acceptance, resulting in the publication of Fears That We May Cease To Be at The Blue Nib Literary Magazine website.

This next month or two I'm focusing on objectives for this goal that involve submitting a seasonal essay and buckling down on agent/publisher research. 

Goal 2. Work on short-form writing, essays and short stories.  I didn't actually address the objectives I created for this goal. Instead,
  • I wrote two humor pieces. After submitting them to a number of places, I experimented with publishing at Medium with Well, How Many Masks Have You Made? I have plans to continue that experiment in the coming months, and you just know a blog post will turn up about that at some point.
  • I'm signed up for a six-week flash writing distance workshop that begins tomorrow night. Again, you can expect to hear about that.
During the six weeks I'll be taking part in the workshop, I will concentrate on all things flash--writing and reading. That, my friends, is a new objective, since I had no idea this workshop was coming up back in December when I was creating my goals and objectives for 2020.

Goal 3. Work on the 365 story project.  I've done absolutely nothing on this.

However, one of my objectives for this goal was "Focus on this as short-form writing."  I may be able to integrate the 365 story project into my flash study this summer.

Goal 4. Work on YA thriller that could become an adult thriller. I actually did a great deal more on this than I planned to.
  • I have the most extensive blueprint/outline (an actual objective) I've ever had for a book project
  • I've done well with developing Character 3 (another objective)
  • I'm good with theme (still another objective)
  • I've actually written nearly three chapters.
This is going on the back burner for the next six weeks, while I work on flash. I will, however, try to keep up with some reading on history I've been doing in relation to this book (This was not an objective for this year, but I've done quite a bit with it.), as well as adding to that blueprint. 

Goal 5. Community Building/General Marketing/Branding.
  • I've switched from maintaining a calendar of Connecticut author/illustrator appearances (because there aren't any) to doing a couple of posts a month supporting new books publishing during the pandemic.
  • I was actually registered for the NESCBWI spring conference (an objective), which, of course, was cancelled.
  • I've taken part in a few local NESCBWI Zoom gatherings.
  • I'm attending a Zoom workshop for the next six Wednesday nights.
  • I've been promoting Original Content on social media. 
Goal 6. Stay On Top Of Upcoming Known Events Easy. There are none. Or are there? I could actually be doing more with the objectives for this goal.
  • Do more planning for the year/particular months. I could try to plan work projects for each month, as I have for the rest of July into August. (In fact, I will have more to say about this at some point.)
  • Check in with goals at the end of each month. Yeah, I could make a point of doing that. Look what checking in at the mid-point of the year has done for my planning.
  • Expect the end of the year to be a disaster. Some family members have already started discussing the impact of the pandemic on the holidays. It could actually have a...calming effect. We must keep our minds open.
 Goal 7. Continue collecting material and ideas for an adult scifi project, far in my future. Ha, ha, ha. Interesting story. And I'll tell it here at OC soon.

So, what is the takeaway here after you've read this post all about Gail, Gail, Gail? Looking at your goals and objectives for the year (and you do have them, right?) could be a very good use of time. You may find that you've done more than you thought you had, which is always encouraging.  And you can use your goals and objectives to help you make the best use of the rest of the year.

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