Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Some Thoughts on the New Year

It's that time of year again. Time to be reflecting some, but looking ahead more. Time for resolutions. I am not a great believer in New Year's Resolutions, for I feel that if I was serious about striving for a goal, I wouldn't be waiting until New Year's to start it.

I am a great believer in setting goals. In October I listed my new goals for the year (culminating in September of 2008 at the ACFW Conference). I think it's time to review those goals and see how I'm doing.

1. Research 1870's southwest Minnesota. Did this. Read many books, many newspaper articles, and gov't reports.

2. Write a first draft of "Hope of the North Star" (tentative title) by February 14th, 2008. {I don't know why I chose this date, but there it is.} I've shelved this for the moment. The story wasn't coming together as I had hoped, and after setting it aside for awhile, I can see a major restructuring is in order. I'll come back to it later, perhaps this summer.

3. Edit and rewrite "Hope of the North Star" by May 15th, 2008. See above.

4. Write proposal packet, synopsis, and pitch for HOTNS before September 2008. See above.

5. Work on Deep Editing Course by Margie Lawton, incorporating what I'm learning. I have worked on this packet of notes. The more I work, the more I realize that in striving to fulfill all the great possibilities this course has opened up to me, I am in real danger of losing my author voice. The course is loaded with great examples of fresh writing, literary devices, power writing, and so much more, but after awhile, I found myself trying to emulate those examples to the point I didn't sound like me anymore. I have benefitted from the course, but I have to remain true to who I am at this point in my writing life.

6. Read 5 books on craft this year. Two books I've read so far are:
On Writing Romance: How to Craft a Novel that Sells by Leigh Michaels. My take- lots of excellent thoughts, some YIKES in the examples of the different categories within the romance genre.
The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life by Noah Lukeman. My take- This book didn't make a big impression on me. For a book on plot, I'd recommend Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell.

7. Begin new novel targeted at Heartsong with deadline of Feb. 14th for first draft.
8. Edits on new novel by May 15th.
9. Pull together an entry for the Genesis Contest 2008.
10. Finish rewrites of opening of Drums of the North Star and send them off to the agent for sending out to editors. - DONE! :)

How about you? Where are you on your goals? Are you readjusting, working, being specific and deliberate about what you want to accomplish?


  1. We were definitely on the same wavelength :-)) I like that you evaluated where you were with each goal. It sounds like you have a busy and exciting year in progress. I'm going to read (again) Donald Maas's book on Writing the Breakout Novel. It's been awhile since I've done that. Definitely liked JSB's Plot and Structure. Also, I keep Techniques of the Selling Writer (Dwight Swain) beside my computer.
    Abundant blessings to you in 2008.

  2. I have a few goals, but I love your point about being serious and not waiting for a New Year's resolution.

  3. Goals sound so much more positive and productive than resolutions. Looks like your year is off to a great start

  4. I got my 2008 writing goals up today. I may be keeping y'all busy with critting this year!!

  5. Good going, Erica. You sound so organized.

    I've done a study on writing fast so plan to give it a try. I'm about 70 pages into a mystery. :)

    I'm taking 3 online classes--just for the month of January, teaching two classes (February and March) and getting back to some freelancing. :)

    I'm not going to conference this year so I feel no pressure to come up with a pitch, one-sheets or 'that professional look.' ha!