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2009 Goals Review: Writing & Career Goals

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

d0009115I can’t believe I haven’t looked at this list in a year. I’ll be re-reading it for the first time since originally posting it as I go through to comment on what I’ve accomplished and what I haven’t.

1. Judge in at least two contests for unpublished authors.

  • ACFW Genesis contest. I already know I’ll be judging in this one, because I do every year.
  • Possibly an RWA contest, since romance is my area of expertise and it’s the genre I feel the best capable of judging with any kind of authority.
  • [Done—judged a “first-three-pages” contest for a friend’s RWA chapter, the FHL-RWA chapter’s contest, and the Genesis contest.]

2. Submit four applications to teach at the ACFW conference.

    I may submit the same four I submitted last year, or I may work up something different. Whatever they are, I need to figure that out pretty quickly.
    [Submitted applications, weren’t accepted (but I was on the conference committee). I ended up planning and teaching a one-day “miniconference” for Middle Tennessee Christian Writers the weekend before ACFW.]

3. Writing Conferences.

    I am going to try to attend two conferences this year: Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers’ Conference, which several other people in my local group are thinking of attending, and ACFW, which I attend every year.
    [Did not go to any conferences this year. Blue Ridge was the same weekend I participated in the LifeWay Fiction Day and attended a friend’s wedding in Alexandria, Louisiana. Couldn’t afford to go to ACFW in Denver. But I was given the opportunity to attend ICRS this year, so that almost made up for missing ACFW.]

4. Ransome’s Honor

  • Currently working on edits based on feedback from HH editor.
  • Turn in RH on or before deadline of February 1, 2009.
  • [Done, obviously]

5. A Case for Love (100,000 words, due July 1, 2009)

  • Complete first draft of ACFL by April 15 by writing an average of 1,000 words per day. [Not done]
  • First round of edits April 20–30. [Not done]
  • To Beta Readers by May 1. [Not done]
  • Back from Beta Readers by May 29. [Not done]
  • Final revisions/edits, May 29–June 19. [Not done]
  • Turn in ACFL on or before deadline of July 1, 2009.[DONE!]

6. Ransome’s Crossing (105,000 words, due December 1, 2009)

  • Pre-writing/scenes/minor research through April 15. [Not done]
  • Begin first draft in earnest April 16, 2009. [Not done]
  • Finish (rough) first draft by July 24 by writing an average of 1,000 words per day. [Not done]
  • Additional research and revisions, August 1–31. [Not done]
  • To Beta Readers by September 1. [Not done]
  • Back from Beta Readers by September 30. [Not done]
  • Rewrites, revisions, and final research October 1–November 20. [Not done]
  • Turn in RC on or before deadline of December 1, 2009. [Done!]

7. The Matchmakers Series (new contemporary romance trilogy)

  • First three chapters of Love Remains complete by April 30. [Not done—primarily because Chip told me I didn’t need to]
  • Love Remains synopsis complete by May 8.
  • Cover Model synopsis complete by May 22.
  • Turn About’s Fair Play synopsis complete by June 5.
  • Proposal complete by June 15.
  • Proposal submitted to Chip MacGregor on or before June 20, 2009. [Not sure on what dates I finished each of the synopses, but I e-mailed the proposal to Chip on June 9, 2009]
  • Begin writing Love Remains August 1. Complete first draft by October 31. [So not done, it’s not even funny.]
  • Love Remains to Beta Readers on January 1, 2010. [Let’s see…It’s December 30, and I’m sitting at 20k words. Yeah, don’t think I’ll make this one!]

8. Marketing

  • Get new headshots taken. [Done! Did them myself, as a matter of fact.]
  • Participate in/set up at least six book signings. [Well, Barbour took care of this for me with just the trip to Michigan in March. But I’m pretty sure I did at least six this year, when all was said and done.]
  • Look into different marketing ideas (such as book trailers or other publicity venues). [Barbour & Harvest House were wonderful and created trailers for MFR and RH. I haven’t been able to spend as much time on marketing as I’d like/need to.]
  • Start budgeting for a real website. [Back-burnered]
  • Go on at least one book-signing tour outside of my home area. [Book signing tour in Michigan (thanks, Barbour!), four signings in Louisiana, signings at ICRS in Denver, signing at a booksellers’ conference in Atlanta.]
  • Follow up with Waldenbooks in the Hot Springs mall to set up book signing event for May or June. [That store closed. But at Thanksgiving, I went to the BAM & Family Christian and signed books at both stores. Got info from FCS to try to set up a signing next time I’m there (March).]
  • Participate in book signing at ACFW conference in September. [Sadly, did not get to go.]
  • Find out if Stand-In Groom is eligible to be entered for the ACFW Book of the Year/RWA RITA awards in 2009. [Entered SIG in both the debut novel and contemporary romance categories of the ACFW BOTY contest—it didn’t even final. :-(]

9. Freelancing

  • Pick up 2–3 additional publishers to freelance for by following up on leads, contacting non-traditional sources. [While I didn’t pick up the 2–3 additional houses, volume from the two or three I’m working for picked up enough I didn’t need to.]
  • Generate enough income from freelancing to start rebuilding savings account. [Done!]

10. Teaching

  • Follow up with community college regarding opportunities to substitute and/or adjunct teach. [Haven’t done this, because I don’t have time.]
  • Submit at least four proposals to teach at ACFW conference. [Did it. Didn’t have any make it past the first round of cuts.]
  • Contact all (small) local colleges about opportunities to guest lecture or provide special seminars. [Haven’t done—more due to time than anything else, but I will be speaking at a college—Blue Mountain College, in Blue Mountain, Mississippi—in January 2010.]
  • Teach at least nine writing-craft/industry series through [When I set this goal, I obviously hadn’t gone back and looked at the writing series index to see that I’ve pretty much covered most of the subjects when it comes to writing. I may come up with some other, more unique series in the future, but for now, I’ll just refer you to the index and leave it at that.]

What were your goals (your hopes, plans) for your career and/or your writing this year? Looking back on 2009, are you at a better place in either or both than you were at the beginning of the year? What have you learned throughout the course of the past twelve months that will help you to grow and move forward in your career/writing over the next twelve months?

  1. Carol permalink
    Wednesday, December 30, 2009 4:47 am

    Wow Kaye, you’ve accomplished a great deal this year. Congrats on all your success.

    My goal for the next 24 hours is to figure out what a realistic writing goal for next year looks like for me.


  2. Wednesday, December 30, 2009 6:42 am

    Congrats on all your accomplishments!!!!

    I’ll be doing a similar “look back” next week on my own blog, so I’ll save my thoughts on what I’ve accomplished (or, ahem, not accomplished) until then. But it is funny how life doesn’t turn out how you expect. Just a brief glance at my goals makes me smile huge. God sure does take is in directions we don’t anticipate. Goals are good… but God is SO much better:-)


  3. Wednesday, December 30, 2009 9:39 am

    Knowing how much you accomplished in 2009, I was astonished to look back at how much more you had planned to do. Do you sleep, Kaye? 🙂

    You had a great year. What I found most interesting is that you got ACFL and Ransome’s Crossings done even though your process didn’t follow your plan. What does this tell you for the future? Was your plan too ambitious? What was your reasoning behind the plan, to spread out the work, involve others for feedback, other? Would you plan in the same manner again, or do you think the process you actually followed is more realistic for accomplishing your goals?


  4. Wednesday, December 30, 2009 10:32 am

    Considering that I’m sitting here commenting on your blog post when I should be writing my own post for tomorrow’s Inkspirational Messages blog, one would consider that I am, by nature, a procrastinator.

    You’ve inspired me, though, to sit down and map out a plan. And not just for my writing life, but the rest of it, too. What do I want to accomplish? What do I want my family to accomplish, and how can I mesh writing time in with being a full-time librarian, wife, mother, “church lady,” etc.?

    Hmmmm . . . .


  5. Wednesday, December 30, 2009 2:20 pm

    I had hoped to get my ms to the next level, but alas, I’m still on my last (hopefully) rewrite. Oh, well, it needed it. Hopefully this year…

    And congrats on your accomplishments!!!!!!


  6. Monday, January 4, 2010 6:08 pm

    Wow…you really plowed a lot of ground in 2009. It’s good to see you didn’t just leave out the things that you didn’t reach but showed that you didn’t make it all. Says a lot about you.


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