Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Rechecking and Editing Goals

With nearly five months gone in 2007 (where did the time go?) I've decided to revisit my goals for the year and see how I'm doing. Bold black is the goal, pale blue is the update I gave in February as to where I was on each goal, and the red is the update for today.

2007 Writing Goals:

1) Finish the first draft of Drums of the North Star (this will mean 1500 words a day, 5 days a week, for six more weeks.) I've been diligent in working on the manuscript. It now stands at just over 80,000 words, the original projected word count. However, this first draft is going to run closer to 90,000 words before it's all finished. So I've allowed myself a few more days to accomplish this goal. The former deadline was Feb. 14th. The new deadline is Feb. 17th. I'm 'stealing' that Saturday to wrap up the first draft. First draft done! Woohoo!

2) Write out plot cards for new book--Pam on Rye--by 3/20/07. Lots of composting going on with this one. I'm hoping to have all the plot cards done well before this date to give myself a little more time on the deadline for the first draft. I've got a few cards but have decided I can't finish the cards until I have about 20K words of it done. It's just the way I work. I have tried something new with this one though. I found photos of the characters and locations and did a storyboard. It is stuck on the side of my filing cabinet within easy reach. It's already proven to be a big help.

3) Write first draft of Pam on Rye by 6/29/07. This will be pushing it, but since we will be done with school, and hopefully this addition too, I will be able to focus a lot of concentrated effort on getting this first draft done in the allotted three months. I've got two chapters written on the first draft. I'm going to have to push this deadline out to the middle to end of July.

4) Write synopsis/proposal packet for Drums of the North Star, including series ideas. This one might come up sooner than I'd anticipated, if I do enter the Barclay Sterling contest, as they require a synopsis and query letter with the submission. This will be an August project in preparation for conference. I did not enter the Barclay Sterling.

5) Write synopsis/proposal packet for Pam on Rye, including series ideas. Haven't even started this one. Another August project for me.

6) Edit and revise Drums of the North Star, particularly the first three chapters and synopsis. Thanks to some terrific critique partners, this one has already begun. The crit buddies and I are deep into the edits for this book. Another couple of crit rounds and it will be done! Woohoo!

7) Edit and revise Pam on Rye, particularly the first three chapters and synopsis. No action here as all attention has been on Drums of the North Star. No news here yet.

8) Attend ACFW Conference in September. This is still the plan. I'm getting excited already. I've purchased airfare and reserved my hotel room. I have a roommate, and I've chosen my workshops and some editors to meet with. I can't wait for registration to open this Friday!

9) Follow up on manuscript request of my first novel, Beauty for Ashes. The follow-up came. A polite 'no, thank-you.' At least I can cross it off my list of things to do. Silly ms is sitting just where I left it on the bookcase.

10) Pray, pray, pray! (this one should be #1...or #1-10) Still praying. And God is working. God is still working, though my prayer life has slipped. I need to get back into the swing. Does this happen to anyone else?

11) I'm adding in here join a critique group. (Hee hee hee. I love lists, and I have been known to add things to my list for the day that I've already done, just so I can cross them off. I like to look back on the day/year and see I've gotten at least a FEW things accomplished.) All I can say is, "Girls, you smell GOOOOOOOOOD!"

12) Also adding: Enter the Genesis contest for 2007. I'm still waiting on one set of crits before I do a final polish and submit. Rest assured, I'll post when I turn it in. I entered, first round is over and the winners will be announced in September at the conference. Now I need to get a decent picture of me (is there such a thing?) and send it to the conference coordinator by July 15th.

How about you? Are you being deliberate, dedicated and determined about your writing goals this year? Have you made some progress? Anything unexpected happen as a result? I'd love to hear from you.


  1. What a great list Erica! I love lists too. I especially like the fact that Kaye and I smell good. You smell good too. No foul wind here.

    Now get that picture taken!

  2. Yes--get that picture taken and POSTED!

    I need to sit down and figure out my writing goals as they've been shifting about recently. The main one is to finish revisions of Ransome's Honor in time to get it to my agent a couple of weeks before the conference.

  3. I could never sit down and write a list of goals that would stick like that. I try instead to have short notes jotted down of stuff to accomplish--First Draft of ??,
    Send Query to. . . Then I use that as a weekly or monthly list. Sometimes I get to everything, sometimes I don't.

    I also try to start each day before I get out of bed outlining a plan. (In my case this can be semi-moveable--LOL) It might mean starting a first draft, printing out ???, doing edits on 2 chapters--along with homeschool, family chores, house chores, cat chores and Cookies & Milk obligations.

    Guess the most exciting thing in the first three months of this year was 1) Being snydicated in four other papers, 2) Going to a conference in Atlanta, 3) Hearing that my mystery is going to come out this summer, 4)Having an editor from Random House read my ms. and send a personal letter. (Hey, could have been better, but why quibble.)

    Can't even imagine a list like yours--it would freeze me in my tracks!

  4. I wish I was as disciplined as you in setting goals and working towards them. I have good intentions. We know where the road of good intentions lead.

  5. Are you being deliberate, dedicated and determined?

    No, I'm not!!! Bad Sally. Man, Erica, you're very motivating! I usually do this type of thing, but this year I didn't get around to it and it shows.

    But this is the last day of school for Child 1 (YIPPEE! no more schlepping back & forth) so I have my summer schedule planned out. Will be blogging about that this Friday, if you're interested.

  6. Are you for hire??!!! Wow. I'm going to slither back to my frumpy goal-slogging self and read your incredible plan of success. If you even teach a class, tell me!

  7. Welcome, Christa!

    Goal setting ain't hard...it's the shlepping every day to fulfull them, and trust me, it isn't always a success. But I've learned that if I aim at nothing, I'll hit it every time!