Yes, my friends half of 2017 is behind us. As we suck in a deep breath before we plunge into the back half I wanted to find my way here to update a post I made at the first of this annum. A pastor of ours once said “If you have no target at which to aim you will miss every time!” I took that sage advice to heart, trying to always have a goal in mind for everything I do.
But a goal is only as good as the drive and willingness to follow through. Think of the almost coronation of the first female president or the chance anyone but New England has to win the Super Bowl last football season. A goal is vital, but only a piece of the equation. I have experienced peaks and valleys in my pursuit, but I feel pretty good about my standing right now.
- Submit a manuscript for publication. This is still in progress with the possibility of something coming through by year’s end.
- Find an agent. This is a function of the first goal, but no less important. To capture the interest and attention of an agent is something I do not have a lot of experience with obviously. I am working hard to leverage all the helpful tips and posts by authors on WordPress and Twitter as far as this task is concerned.
- Find a publisher. Again this is just an extension of the main goal. Here is my first obvious statement, but I would love to find a publisher that wants to publish all my work. I have reworked one of my ideas to create franchise characters because I see the value in a book series. I would love to be able to roll out a continuing set with these characters.
- Write more. This was from the first post in January “In 2017 I would like to write at least 250 total posts.” That was a considerably modest goal considering the fact that the total at the halfway point is 100+ more. Finding new challenges for my fiction and photography helps along with the 30 day A to Z Challenge I completed in March.
- Write every day. This is something I truly try to do. Of Course over the last five days that has been problematic in that I was pounding the sidewalks of Washington, D.C. visiting monuments, museums and the United States Capitol. But on the way home while in the car I went after it, sending three posts into the blogosphere.
- Develop my stable of writing friends. I gained a considerable number of new followers in the first quarter of the year. I also connected with some folks that have good practices and outlooks that will help me be a better writer, blogger and online friend.
- Attend Writing Classes and Conferences. I see so many offers for classes and conferences to help you learn more about all phases of the process, from plotting and character development to Querying, developing your pitch and dealing with agents and publishers. I could use help with all the above and I know it. The difficulty is knowing which is worth taking the plunge.
- Enter writing contests. I have done some of this, but it is a matter of finding out about contests with enough lead time to get a work written, edited and polished in time to get it submitted. Time management is always a struggle for anyone trying to accomplish broad goals, so nothing spectacularly surprising in the pursuit of this goal.
- Read more. I like to read. Not as much as I like to write, but I love a good story. I realized that when I was made aware of how much I like television. Seeing a story in visual format locks you in to a specific interpretation however. When you are reading the author gives you a framework, but you can color in the lines however you want. I also love to interact with authors. This happened with a book I read a couple of years ago and wrote a review on Amazon.
- Read and watch more critically. What I mean by this is to learn how the best and most successful tell their stories. Understand what it is about the books and programs I watch that draws me in. That will pay benefits as I work to get my writing noticed and published by the industry.
- Find a good place to try out my new story ideas. As I said in another paragraph I love to tell a story. One of the pitfalls is that I can get deep into a work in progress when another germ of a story idea bubbles up into the development space. One such came up during a March weekend trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.
- Develop a long term schedule. I read a post from anew blogging friend describing how she set out a long term schedule to make sure she had some accountability. After the success of NaNoWriMo2016 and the 2017 A to Z Blogging Challenge, I have “penned” those in going forward. I also am going to try the Camp Nono this month to get one of those just mentioned “gems” out of the mine.
As I reach the 1000 word mark of this post I seem to be running out of ideas for the goals I want to achieve. Maybe I will revisit this post as other goals come to me, but if I can take a solid swipe at what precedes this paragraph I will feel 2017 is a success. Perhaps I can even add selling X number of copies of my published book during the next 364 days. I invite you to return to see an update to this post in the coming months. Series posts such as this will help to fulfill the more writing and posting goals.