Tuesday, December 31, 2013


With the start of a New Year writing and submitting time seems to reset. It just can't help but feel like an exciting time to kick up our heels, freshen up those goals, and make some brand spaking new ones.
As writers, goals can really help us move forward instead of flailing around in limbo trying to decide what we should do next. But this is important: MAKE YOUR GOALS REALISTIC!

I've seen this sort of thing so many times. People say they are going to sell a book this year (or five!) Or are going to get an agent (or even a specific agent!) These things are absolutely, positively NOT UNDER YOUR CONTROL! You cannot force an agent to love your work. And selling a book? It can take a multitude of people to say yes at one house alone for you to be offered a publishing contract. Not that it can't happen. I know you've heard it before, just write the best book you can! The rest is not totally up to you.

Of course, there are great goals you can make that are under your control. What do you want to write in the New Year? Do you have partially finished manuscripts that you want to get completed? What about submissions? Submission goals are great! (That's why I love Sub It Club!) There are cover and query letters to write. Maybe a synopsis. And research! Plus there's all that extra online stuff. Need to freshen up that blog? *raises hand. Update your about pages on your social media? *raises hand again.

So much to do! For sure, the more great things you write and the more well targeted submissions you make, the more chances you give yourself for publishing success. But, a successful year is going to be different for each and every one of us. Be sure to take your time constraints along with the way you work into consideration when making your goals. Of course, big goals are good, but be sure to put smaller ones in there too. Small successes can definitely help you keep going.

My goals can tend to get a bit out of hand. I have lots of things I want to write and not enough time to write them all. I'm in the process of going through my humongous list of picture book manuscripts and picking out the ones I think are most viable. I also have more than a few new titles I want to complete as well. I want to get my chapter book out for critique and ready for the next phase, which is hopefully submission. And I have a YA that keeps knocking on my brain. I'm 6 chapters in and feel like completion in 2014 as a goal is iffy. But, I can't help but put it on my list anyway. I'm a dreamer, and sometimes I surprise even myself.