When I graduated from high school, one of my relatives gave me the Dr Seuss book Oh, The Places You’ll Go! The title became my mantra in the seven years or so afterward, as I grasped every exciting opportunity that came my way. I moved from San Diego to Chicago to L.A. to Prague to London by the time I was 26. I took interesting jobs, got two degrees and a teaching certificate, and made a fantastically diverse group of friends.
This year feels like I’m on the cusp of huge changes in my personal life, my writing career life, and my day-job life. I wanted to share with you some of the things I’m most excited about, and the goals I’ve set for 2011.
Let’s get this one out of the way. This year I’ll get to manage someone else for the first time. It’s scary, but by starting off with just the one minion I hope I’ll be able to do a good job. My goal is to not be a jerk-wad boss.
I’m also planning to learn some new skills this year, mostly techie web skills, that’ll be oh so useful.
My husband finishes his PhD this year, probably in the spring. He’s been a full-time student for almost four years, so we’re both excited about what changes this will bring. Hopefully this year will see him getting an academic job he loves, and if it’s based in London we’ll both be thrilled. It’s unlikely to happen that way, so we’re open to new opportunities and new countries. We could find ourselves moving this summer. My goal is to roll with the punches.
I’ve got a shed-load of writing-related goals. In order to avoid setting myself up for failure, I’ve tried to make them SMART – specific, measurable, agreed-upon (though there isn’t really anyone to agree them with me), realistic (always my biggest challenge) and time-based. As much as I’d love to make getting an agent and a three-book deal one of my goals, I know that would depend on things beyond my control.
So here they are:
– finish writing All Things Easy, find beta readers for it, revise it by end March
– finish first draft of No Fragile Heart by end April, revise it by end June
– go on my first research trip (to Bosnia for No Fragile Heart)
– go to RWA Nationals (my very first writing conference!) and pitch to either an agent or an editor; also, meet lots of the wonderful people I’ve connected with online
– enter at least three contests
– query agents with either All Things Easy or No Fragile Heart
– write the rough draft of another ms in the second half of the year
– judge two contests (including the Golden Heart), beta read for someone who betas my ms, and continue weekly critiques with my partners
– build a website by March
– connect with more people on Twitter (I currently have 150 followers and I’d love to double that, but it’s more important to me that I have quality conversations and make friends than that I have a big following.)
– blog once a week and make big changes to the design of this blog by Feb. Since blogging at least once a week is my goal for this year, I’m signing up to WordPress’ PostAWeek challenge.
I’d love to know what you’re most looking forward to about this year and your goals. But most of all, I wish you a happy, healthy year full of love, friendship and joy.