So everyone around issued their 2013 writing goals in the first week of this year. I suppose for many it was like a resolution list of sorts. I refrained from posting my set of goals because at that time it was still evolving. As a matter fo fact there was a burst of enthusiasm that accompanied my indoctrination to WordPress.
When you couple that with the discovery of the Scribbler’s Writing Group on Facebook that supplies a daily fiction prompt, there was a great deal of topics to capture my writing attention. At the same time I had the fortune of connecting with other bloggers and authors on WordPress who promoted good sites for contests. Coincidentally one of my goals was to enter more contests, so this hit my goals head on.
One of my major goals, like everyone else who writes, is to be published. No big surprise here, but there is some explanation required. At one time being published meant a bound copy of your work that resided in the shelves of the traditional bookstore, waiting for a reader to crack it open for their reading pleasure. Now that has changed. E-books, web sites and other alternatives widen the scope of being published.
Another thing I realized heading into 2013 was that I needed a brand for my presence online. Sure i have umpteen “friends” on Facebook and a couple hundred “followers” on Twitter, but who would go looking for a book published by me? Hopefully a few close friends and my family, but that is not what I crave. I want to be an author that draws people to my work. The guy that has a book everyone wants to read. But I also know that none of this could happen with the direction my writing was going. SO so here is the goals I set for 2013.
Enter at least twelve contests, or one each month. Progress:
1. Entered The Scribbler’s Prompt Writing Group January Contest – Won the contest and received a book called “Goal, Motivation and Conflict” by Deborah Dixon.
2. Entered one of my responses to the Scribbler’s Prompt on Pearce Publications website for their January writing contest. The offering “Jenny’s Secret Life” is featured on their web page. Please visit and help me win this contest.
3. Writer’s Digest-Your Story 48 (based on 25 word sentence about a young woman falling into a pool. (Deadline February 25, 2013).
4. Submitted “The Family Secrets” to 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition.
5. Submitted “The Cleaning Lady is Early” to The Collagist Literary Writing Site
6. Submitted entry to Charlottesville Winter’s Valentine’s Day writing contest
Okay, so I am an overachiever for this goal in January, but the opportunities began to flood in. There are several more contests coming in the following months, so I guess the twelve contest goal is going to be revised upwards.
Submitting to publications
For this goal I want to get at least four to six of my fiction works into literary magazines or other publications. This is taking a bit more time, but only because the time to find possibilities is so slim.
The Biggest Goal
Submit a fiction novel or non-fiction book to a publisher and see it published. As you saw above I submitted a fiction novel I named “The Family Secrets” to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition. The grand prize is a hefty sum of cash and publication. PUBLICATION. There are four second place prizes, a lesser sum and you guessed it…PUBLICATION. The contest had an initial gateway, which allowed 10,000 manuscripts to enter, but not one more. Based on the pitch I sent it will be judged and either deemed worthy of moving forward or eliminated. I will know this decision next Wednesday, February 13.
Regardless of that result, I now have a working fiction novel to send to Book Agents. As a matter of fact, due to another connection I have through Writer’s Digest I found an agent looking for the type of genre that “The Family Secrets” fits and I have made the first move. To me, this is phenomenal progress. I have posted the following more than once, but think it deserves the print another time. One of my friends here on WordPress shared a stunning simple, but powerful truth that woke me up to the future of my writing success. She said, “If you are not seeing rejection letters you are not trying.” I wish I could attribute this to the proper person, but so far I cannot remember who shared this nugget of truth. If I do discover who it was they will find a place on the dedication page of my first book.
A New Goal
As a writer I am always rolling around possible scenarios for my fiction stories. The writing contests help satisfy some of this backlog. But there are those flagship plots that beg for a full length manuscript. I have a germ of a plot I have outlined in my mind that is quickly becoming my next full length novel candidate. Actually I have started it with the intention of offering it to an agent within the calendar year.
These are the goals as of today, February 4, 2013. Will they change? Probably. But if you set no targets you will have nothing to shoot towards, right? I am happy with my goals so far and the progress I can report. I hope in ten days to celebrate a second round of the ABNA contest. Check back for the results and I hope you will keep up with my work.