Thursday, January 03, 2008

Browsing Blogs and Goal not met

What I'm reading: All Through the Night by Suzanne Brockmann

What I'm working on: The e-publishing workshop I'm giving in February and March. Website updates.

As a long-time central Floridian, freezing temperatures aren't the norm, so to wake up to temps in the low 30th is a major adjustment. It was one of those mornings I'd have been happy to stay in bed, but getting my exercise in (one of those measurable goals) got me moving. And it gave me the chance to start reading the book the library delivered yesterday.

Before I get into the depressing look at what I didn't accomplish last year, I found a great recipe for candied walnuts on Nancy Robard Thompson's site the other day. I didn't have walnuts, but I did have a nice bag of pecan halves, and they came out yummy. So yummy, in fact, that next time I make them (and I know I will) I'm going to up the 'generous pinch of cayenne'. A LOT. Because that's the only way I can think of to slow down the gobble factor. And since I'm trying to get back into my normal eating habits, which got shot to blazes during a month of having to eat out 3 meals a day, I need to slow down.

And then there was the toenail color survey on Mimi's blog, repeated on Macy's. I took it, and for some reason pink was my color. I have NEVER been a pink person. I have a pink t-shirt given to me by the Wild Rose Press publisher, because it's their color. And one hand-me-down pink shirt my mom gave me, which I wear once in a while, but not if I'm going beyond the grocery store.

Since I posted my accomplished goals earlier, it's only fair to keep looking through my notebook to see where I fell down, and to decide if I ought to give it another shot, but probably via a different method. I did start a 3-ring binder for my 5th book, and I did research, but I failed to write chapter summaries (post-plotting, I call it) after 4 chapters. And my character notes are sorely cryptic. Not good if I want to write a series.

I took the IRS for writers class -- good. I set up a spreadsheet -- good. But 'set up filing system for receipts? Well, a file folder labeled 'receipts' doesn't count, I dont think.

My next page sets a goal of summarizing/deconstructing/reconstructing 3 chapters a week from books by authors I admire (sub-goal of pacing) -- well, total zero on that one.

Keep character notes updated weekly? Nope.

Keep track of promotion? Not after February. Not to say I didn't do it, but I have no way to track what I actually did. This is one I doubt I'll ever quantify. There are too many loops, and too many sudden opportunities. I'll probably revise the goal to something more like, "spend XX minutes/hours a day/week doing promotion."

Meanwhile, the temperature icon on my computer says 36 and it's flashing red. Wind chill advisories. A nice day to put a log in the fireplace and drink hot chocolate -- but then, maybe it should be Rooibos tea. Keeps me on track with one more personal goal.


7 comments:

Macy O'Neal said...

I also did the whole where-did-I-fall-down-on-my-goals thing. It's a very uncomfortable process to say, "Yep, I failed and I think this is why..."

So far, I'm pretending that the new goals start Monday when I go back to work. For now, my exercise plan hasn't really started -- and won't tonight because it's too cold (I love it, though) -- and I've been staying up way too late reading and getting up way too late.

Monday, the real world starts.

Dara Edmondson said...

Keeping a few goals is better than most folks do. I think you did well. Remember - Rome wasn't built in a day.
I'm with you - fire in the fireplace and hot chocolate by the computer.

Terry Odell said...

Thanks Macy -- and good luck. Nothing wrong with having a 'starting point'.

Dara, I'll admit to having something stronger than hot chocolate tonight! It was a long day, with lots of frustrations caused by constant internet outages. I did manage to get my 'day job' work finished, but it took 3 hours longer than usual.

Julie S said...

I think I'm going to skip the 2007 goal review this year. I hit a few, but there were definitely a few misses. I'm going to start with a clean slate and try harder this year!

JanW said...

You said:

Keep track of promotion? Not after February. Not to say I didn't do it, but I have no way to track what I actually did. This is one I doubt I'll ever quantify. There are too many loops, and too many sudden opportunities. I'll probably revise the goal to something more like, "spend XX minutes/hours a day/week doing promotion."

Here's a trick I use. Since I usually send queries by email -- wait, I just figured out you said 'promotions', not 'queries'. Oh well, I'll finish what I started. Ahem. The trick is to use email folders. You can create a folder for sentqueries and one for queryreplies. I also have folders for crits for each wip that is out for crit. When I get an email back on a query, it goes in the reply file. When I get a crit, it goes in the corresponding crit folder.

Hope this helps someone. Think I'll copy and blog it to my own place.

Now about tracking promo....maybe you also send emails about it?

Jan

Terry Odell said...

Hi, Jan -
I was/am very meticulous about tracking things like queries and submissions. But the day-to-day promo got out of hand. I did put a folder in my email system, but I stopped tracking every time I sent an email to a loop, because it's hard enough to keep track of which loops permit promo on which day. I DO have that list written down and propped up in a copy holder on my desk. If I do anything that costs money, it gets tracked on my spreadsheet, but I got very lax about the other kinds of promotion to the on-line groups.

Lara Dien said...

This is sad -- comparing, I mean. I, for example, managed to put together (or write on) a folder labeled 'receipts' and I considered it a success. Maybe I should add 'keeping track of things' to this year's goals!

But I just did a 'write your dream bio and then pare it down to goals' exercise for the boot camp I'm doing, and the truly scary thing is that my pie-in-the-sky bio is actually doable if I bust butt and do it.

If I don't, I'm blaming it on my attempt to keep up with everyone's blogs, finally.

Lorena