What I'm reading: U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton.
Thanks, Tory, for sharing your adventurous life. If you haven't read or commented on her post, you should--she's giving away one of her books. Scroll down and comment there. The winner will be announced next week at Romance With An Attitude.
Hard to believe another year has slipped away. Aside from an early dinner at our local favorite Italian restaurant, we don't normally go out to celebrate, figuring there are too many crazy people on the roads, but we felt "obligated" to go out on New Year's Eve when 1999 became 2000. Was it really 10 years ago?
It's the time of year when everyone is reflecting on what they've done, what they should have done, and what they're going to do. For us, on the real-life front,we dealt with hubby's retirement and with trying to sell a house. For my writing, I contracted two short stories as part of an anthology that's supposed to come out in 2010, and I rewrote a romantic suspense which is due out in July. I also parted company with my agent, and am stepping off the edge of the cliff in trying to begin all over and find a home for it. And, like everyone else, it's time to look at goals.
For the past couple of years, I've shared Roxanne St. Claire's goal setting strategy as it pertains to writing. I've also been seeing other advice, so I thought I'd share those as well.
First, from JA Konrath:
Goals should be within your power. In other words, anything that involves a yes or no from another human being isn't a goal, it's a dream.
You can and should dream, and dream big. But "I want to be a bestseller" isn't a goal. "I want to attend three writing conferences this year, polish my novel, and send queries to ten agents by November" is a goal.
Learn the difference. And don't forget to reward yourself when you reach those goals.
Read the full post here.
Next, from Nicola Morgan:
But dreams and aspirations are not goals and they're not resolutions. I believe the best way to look at goals is to follow the well-known "SMART" doctrine. This states that goals should be "specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and time-based". These are the sort of goals that we do need to achieve, otherwise we may spiral into powerlessness.
Read the full post here.
And, from Roxanne St. Claire:
1. Write every goal on paper and make sure it is MEASURABLE
2. Post your goals where you will see them every day
3. Don’t go to bed until you’ve written a word minimum
4. Keep a daily track of words/pages produced
5. Do one thing every day, first thing in the morning that’s on your goal list
The common denominator: Goals have to be under your control. Dreams are good, and setting and meeting goals can help you meet those dreams, but if it's out of your hands, understand it. I found these goals which I'd set back in 2007. Whether I met them or not was totally in my hands. Some I met; some I didn't; some I exceeded.
3 ring binder for research for Book 5
500 words a day, 6 days a week = 3000 words/week
Sort and file workshop notes
Create an expense record keeping system by Feb. 15th
Clean desk Sunday night Sub chapters to crit groups
Query 3 agents by March 15th
Deconstruct one book for plot by Feb. 1st
Listen to two tapes on pacing
Try the story board to review first 10 chapters of #5
Read 6 books a month for pleasure
Critique within 3 days of receipt
Attend craft focused workshops at Fun in the Sun
Website updates twice a month
Blog twice a week
Post to groups once a week Research postcards & bookmarks
Good luck with your own goals – and dreams.