I do hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year's. I have returned from my (very brief) break, refreshed and excited for the new year!
I have many plans in the works for 2018. Plans I’m actually going to make a for reals effort to achieve unlike last year. But after spending 2017 reevaluating my life, learning more how to balance things, and healing after a not-so-great 2016, I am back and more excited than ever to dive into a year of productivity and accomplishments!
Which means today, for my first 2018 post, I’d like to share what my goals are for this year. (Because it’s a fact one is more likely to achieve their goals if they shout them to the whole wide world. Huzzah for peer pressure!)
GOALS OF 2018
EDIT BURNING THORNS
My absolute #1 goal for this year is to do another full revision for Burning Thorns. (Which is my YA Beauty and the Beast retelling for any who don’t know.) Yes, that was my main goal for last year and it didn’t happen…at all. But this year I’m ready! SUPER READY. I’ve already started reading back through the manuscript to give me a full scope of the story and what all needs major changes.
I HAVE MISSED MY BBYS. I love these characters and the fairytale world
and all the pain I caused and just the STORY. I cannot wait to work on making it the best it can be. (Annnd I may need another round of beta-readers later this year. *wriggles eyebrows*)
After I do a full-on revision (because I’m thinking there may be some drastic changes to the story, though that’s still in the works), I’ll probably do some smaller polishing up.
My goal is to get that done by July. Becaaaaause…
ATTEND REALM MAKERS
I’M GONNA TRY TO MAKE IT TO REALM MAKERS THIS YEAR! *SCREAMS IN EXCITEMENT FOR A THOUSAND YEARS*
Now, it may not happen. There is definitely a chance it won’t work out. But if I can get enough time and money and everything together, IT COULD HAPPEN. I’ve already talked to my family about it and we’re trying to make this dream a reality SO WE’LL SEE. And hey, even if I can’t make it this year, maybe all the work I put toward it will make it where I can go next year? Whatever happens, I AM making it to Realm Makers someday! Buuuut I’m reeeally hoping that someday will be this coming July. *SHRIEKS*
SO YES. That’s gonna keep me busy as well as I prep for it. Getting Burning Thorns ready to pitch there is of course the main goal, but there’s other prepping I want to do as well like make business cards, a one-sheet, research all the staff/editors/agents/etc. that’ll be there, and all that fun stuff that conferences require.
The best thing about this, even if I don’t go, is it’s setting up a deadline and something to work toward. Yes, getting published has always been my main goal, but sometimes it’s hard to force myself to edit and look into literary agents and work on query letters, etc., etc. when I don’t have a tangible goal to work toward. Does that make sense? With Realm Makers, I know I’ll have a real, physical thing to keep me pushing on with editing Burning Thorns. And I need that. Boy do I need that! Having this July deadline is just the motivation I’ve been searching for!
RESEARCH LITERARY AGENTS
This is something I’ve been meaning to do for, erm, years? And I’ve failed. I want to buy the Guide to Literary Agents 2018 and start combing through it. BECAUSE I’M SERIOUS ABOUT THINGS THIS YEAR, GUYS. I AM!
WORK ON A QUERY LETTER
Am I the only one who is terrified of these things? I mean, essentially it’s just a couple of paragraphs about myself and my novel (both of which I have like thousands of words of blog posts of). If I sat down and worked on one, I’d probably find it’s not all that overwhelming. But for some reason just even the term “query letter” makes me want to go hide in a hole at the ends of the earth forever. I DON’T EVEN KNOW.
BUT I NEED TO MAKE ONE. This may happen later in the year, but it’s gotta happen.
Although I would like to also build a “resume” of sorts for a query letter. Such as writing articles for some magazines and things? Soooo that may also be on the goals-list this year, but these thoughts are still in the works. But hey, if you guys have any good ideas and or/links of magazines, contests, what-have-you I can join to help build that writers resume, I’ll give you an infinite supply of (virtual) cookies and love you forever!
I fail at this so, so, so, soooo bad! The year before last I had gotten into a pretty good exercise routine, but this last year I got busy and just…stopped. IT IS NOT GOOD. This year I’m getting back into it! I’ve got to stretch and exercise my body more. Being a writer requires like 29389 hours a week (you can do that math…) on the computer which is not good for our poor bodies. So yes, EXERCISING HAS GOT TO HAPPEN.
I will be doing stretches and exercising nearly EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I WILL!
It’s just sad how little time I make for reading. For the past few years, 30 books a year is my average. PATHETIC.
I’m realizing I’m probably not always fueled to write because I’m not filling my brain with story like I should. For some reason I have in my head I’m not allowed to read until I have all my tasks done??? Well GUESS WHAT. It’s basically impossible to have everything done. There are aaaalways things to do. Thus I just…barely ever get around to reading. And yet last year I spent like a gazillion hours playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and watched a ton of movies??? Hmmmm. Priorities, Christine?
This year that’s all gonna change! I’m going to make time for reading, and try to choose books over pointlessly scrolling on social media for hours on end. I also want to read some writing-help books. (Because I’m bad and tend to only ever get around to reading fiction.) But I’d like to give Go Teen Writers a reread (that book is when my writing life completely turned around and I got serious about things, 30000% recommend), and I also received Storyworld First by Jill Williamson for Christmas and definitely want to dive into that one soon.
Basically, I WANT TO READ MORE. And need to read more. I think my writing is suffering because of my lack of reading. READING IS GOOD. READ BOOKS, CHILDREN.
(I also own waaay more books that are unread than read and that makes me weep daily and it must be fixed.)
PARTICIPATE IN NANOWRIMO
Ooooobviously this is happening. I’ve done it 8 years in a row and most certainly don’t plan on stoppin’ now!
I have an idea of a book I may write for it. But sheesh, that’s 10 months away. I’ll probably change my mind 87 times before then!
Despite all my big writerly plans, I very much want to unplug more. If the last couple of years taught me anything, it’s that one cannot spend every waking second on the computer and social media. That’s just not good!
I’m thinking I may set a time in the evening (like 7 or 8?) where I have to stop and not touch the computer again until the next day. And use those hours before bed to, ya know, read or something. This isn’t a solid plan. I’m still figuring things out, but it’s certainly something I’d like to try. My natural instinct is to work until I diiiiie. I am not one to take breaks. But one can’t survive without breaks. That’s not healthy! I’ll be able to do more work and produce better quality if I give myself rest and refueling time each day.
And on that note…
ORGANIZE MY TIME
Another failure of mine—time organization. I’m either working 24/7, or wiling away my time scrolling on Pinterest for hours, or being productive with useless things, or…yeah. You get the idea.
This year I want to be more organized with each and every day. This means daily goals. At some point last year, I started making Thursdays my blog post writing days. Every Thursday I knew I’d need to write a post for the following Monday. That way, I wasn’t overwhelmed the other days thinking, “Should I write a post today?” but I also wasn’t scrambling around on Sunday or Monday trying to get a post together. This helped ease the stress of blogging a ton. And made it where I could relax during the weekends knowing I had a post all set for Monday. I’d like to do this with other things as well. Such as setting a day or two out of the week for answering emails, and doing social media, and another day for researching things. And so on and so forth.
But, on a smaller scale, I’d like to set hourly goals. Such as from 3 or 4 answer emails. Not sure if this will work, but if I can get it to, it’ll really help me not wile away my time, but, on the flipside, help me not spend so much time working and draining myself. Because once the hour is up I’ll have to stop.
I haven’t actually worked out any of this yet, but it’s something I’d really like to try. I think it’ll help me stay focused and ease the stress of each task if I had a specific day and/or time for everything. I know it works with blog posts, so I suspect it’ll work with all my other projects as well!
A lot of people choose a word for each year, something to focus on and live by throughout the year. It’s a wonderful thing to do, and I’ve done it myself for a few years now. But this year, I hadn’t planned on choosing a word. I was just going to go with the flow and work on my tasks and do the best I could.
Then, right as the new year rolled around, I found myself using and focusing on a single word.
It just kept cropping up on its own accord. I couldn’t seem to shake it. And then I realized, that’s exactly what I want to be this year. Intentional. Because I’m not always intentional about the way I live. I don’t pursue my dreams as hard as I should, I can be so selfish and not intent on helping the people around me, and even my walk with God gets pushed to the back burner far, far more than it should. I’m not intentional with my life at all. But this year, I want that to change.
I want to purposefully work toward being publishing, I want to help others more, be there more for my family and friends, and follow God with every fiber of my being.
I want to live intentionally.
Not wandering aimlessly, not wasting time and putting myself before others and throwing my dream to the wayside. I want to be intent in everything I do.
God gave me a word for 2018 after all. And I hope to pursue it with all the energy I possess.
So those are my plans for this year. More may come. I’m still working on my list, and I suspect little things will be added to it as I think of them. But these are my big ones—edit Burning Thorns, work on making it to Realm Makers, and living intentionally.
I think 2018 is going to be an amazing ride!
TALK WITH ME!
Let’s talk the new year! Who’s shocked we’re already to 2018??? (*raises hand and waves it wildly* Me me me!) What is your main goal for this year? Who’s all attending Realm Makers??? Because I WANT TO MEET YOU ALL SO BAD!!! Any hopes you have for this year? Let’s make it the loveliest one yet! <3
P.S. What do you think of my new leafy text dividers??? I’m trying to make things more fancy schmancy ‘round here. AND I’M EXCITED. But I’d looove to know your opinion! Though bear with me because they are subject to change. I’m still playing around, but I do like these. So watcha think?