Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How Did You Do?

It's time for lists and resolutions. I'm great at lists, not so much for resolutions. I do set writing goals, however. I'm part of a group that posts weekly goals and this has been a tremendous help to me. I can see where I've fallen short and where I've succeeded each week.

One tactic of this group, a counterintuitive one, surprises me at how well it works. When you miss a goal, you don't try to make it up the next week, or try to get everything done better. You cut your goal back. You're after success, not failure. Setting a goal that you miss, week after week, is setting yourself up for disaster. Cutting a goal that you didn't meet seems to work really well. If I've decided I should write 10,000 words and I only write 8000, then I'll aim for that 8000 the next week. And if I meet it (or even surpass it), then I'll fell much better.

How did I do in 2010? Pretty good. Better than I ever imagined, in fact.

üCHOKE - query my whole list, then small pubs SOLD!

ü-SMOKE (sequel to CHOKE) - finish writing

finish editing (not done)

ü -ICE - keep querying (Jan-Aug & Oct)

sketch out a sequel to ICE, just in case (not done)

üshort stories - get more than 2 published [5 accepted, but don't know pub date on two, and one

is 2011] *

üstart new mystery blog - started three

üpublish short story collection on Smashwords, Amazon DONE (createspace paperback)

So, on to the next task. I guess it's time to put up or shut up. Here are my 2011 writing goals:


CHOKE - promote and sell (being published in May)

put together mailing list

start newsletter

SMOKE (sequel to CHOKE) - finish editing, submit to Mainly Murder Press in May

BROKE (3rd in series) - first draft

ICE - keep querying with new direction and possibly new title

sketch out a sequel to ICE & write first draft

short stories - get more than 3 published

publish book on self-publishing (createspace paperback)

I like to give myself a boost when I journal every day, so I put a little bit of motivation at the end. Last year I used GET 'ER DONE for six months and I CAN DO IT the rest of the year. Next year I think I'll use either DON'T QUIT NOW or KEEP ON REVVIN' IN 2011, or both.

I feel good that I'm starting the year with three stories accepted! TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING will appear in "Dark Valentine" at the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas series. RESCUE 2005 was accepted by "Sniplits" and MAKE WAY FOR DONUTS by "Untreed Reads". I don't have publishing dates, but I'm VERY excited about these.

I'd love to hear about your goals!

Photo by Rich Tea


  1. My immediate goal is not to make myself crazy trying to do a million things before the semester starts. After that, someday my page proofs for the nonfiction book must show up, so I've have some double-timing weeks that I hope to make it through without being exhausted. Beyond that: be satisfied with my mss. and query materials and query my two novels. I'm longing to start a new project, but as you see, I have things to wind up. I'm writing stories in the meantime, and do have some out.

  2. I know what I want, but I haven't written it down yet. I'll work on that between now and Friday midnight. Of course, in the process of writing, I'll probably find other things I want, which might be better than what I want now. Which is not a bad thing.

  3. 1. Revise and polish my latest novel by August. Includes figuring out what to call it.

    2. Finish at least four short stories.

    3. Complete the first draft of a new novel after #1 is complete.

  4. Barbara, you sound extremely busy! Not going crazy is a good goal under your circumstances.

    Focus, Kathy, focus. Or keep your eraser handy.

    Sounds good, Sam!

    I hope everyone stays on track in 2011. Contracts for all!

  5. I'm blogging on the same subject this Monday--But I don't have as many or as demanding goals as you do, Kaye! I want an interview in April (after reading an advanced copy!) Too bad Choke won't be out before Malice, but no matter. It will be well received. My only resolution is to write more and move up to the next level. Have a great New Year's celebration. You have a lot to celebrate.

  6. It's that time of year, E.B. :)I'll put you down for April and an ARC!

    But CHOKE will be there for Malice--I'm planning on having my picture taken beside me books for sale on the table! May 1st is the official date, buy my publisher says they usually have them out a couple of weeks before that. Woo hoo! (Of course, they might NOT make it, but I'm ignoring that possibility.)

  7. I've GOT to start writing down my resolutions, or as least goals, because I truly don't remember those that I made last year at this time. I did get a publishing contract, so maybe that was one of them.

  8. Ricky, just assume that was a resolution and cross it off as accomplished. Might as well--who's going to check? Maybe you'll get another contract in 2011!