Ramblings

2018 End Of Year Writing Goals Update

It’s already the end of 2018! Where does the time go?

Earlier this year, I posted some writing goals I had hoped to accomplish during 2018. I know my “goals” shouldn’t technically be considered goals since they weren’t very specific, but this is what I had written earlier this year as my writing goals along with updates for each.

  • continue writing posts periodically for this website
    • update: Including this one, I have published 48 posts this year on my website.
  • continue adding items periodically to my Pinterest page
    • update: I have added quite a few pins, which has generated some traffic to my website. I currently have over 380 pins for my Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles board and over 740 pins for my Jobs of a Preschooler board. I hope to continue adding more pins (and boards) in the upcoming year. I also learned how to use Canva earlier this year to create more eye-catching pins. My daughter really enjoys creating the Pinterest graphics, and she has actually created some of the images for my website and Pinterest account using Canva. Below is one she created for my thankful chain post.

Give Thanks This Thanksgiving

  • learn more about Goodreads
    • update: I did learn more, answered a couple of the “Ask the Author” questions, linked my website to my Goodreads account, reviewed some books, and I joined a group earlier this year. However, I realize as I am writing this (a few days before New Year’s Eve) that I haven’t been on Goodreads for quite some time. I should get on there and add a few reviews of books I recently read.
  • rewrite a story about a planetarium visit
    • update: I looked at it, rewrote some of it, but it still needs a lot of work. I originally wrote it as a rhyming story, but those who have critiqued it have encouraged me to remove the rhyming other than a few key rhyming phrases. This would definitely cut the word count, which would be a good thing. It has been set aside for a possible future project.
  • read at least 240 children’s books
    • I stopped recording the titles of the children’s books I read after reading 240, so I definitely read quite a bit more than 240 children’s books this year.
  • write at least two books for a series I hope to publish some day
    • update: I wrote one manuscript and had it critiqued by my writing group. I ended up spending quite a bit of time creating a character profile trying to figure out who my character is, what he would do in different situations, and why he does what he does. I rewrote my manuscript (again), but I decided to wait to write a second book manuscript. In the meantime, I have come up with many ideas and notes on future books with the same character.
  • write and submit at least 20 articles, stories, or poems to magazines or websites
    • update: I wrote and submitted 13 posts to Hands On As We Grow. Some of them have already been published, but others are scheduled to be published in the upcoming year. I wrote 2 articles that were published in The Old Schoolhouse magazine (1 online and 1 in print). I also had an article published on A Fine Parent. I did write and submit other articles and stories (so I did more than 20), but those have all either received a no as a response or no response.

TOS Magazine Cover

  • write a numbers and letters story
    • update: I looked at it, did some research, read some books to give me more inspiration, but I am still struggling with some of the writing. This one still requires a lot of work before I will even consider bringing it to my writing group to have it critiqued. I’m not sure if this is one that I will work on in the upcoming year, or if it will be put to the side for now.
  • finish and submit an alphabet book I’m currently working on
    • update: I finished and submitted it in January to one publishing company. I heard back from the publishing company in December, which was exciting for me. I am very grateful whenever I hear back from a publishing company even if the answer is a no (which was the response). I’m not sure if I will try to submit it elsewhere or if I will hold on to it for now.
  • submit a manuscript of at least one other book
    • update: I submitted three manuscripts to one publishing company that had an open submissions window.  I also submitted other manuscripts to a few very select places.
  • continue going to the author group meetings

grow picture book conference

New opportunities arose throughout the year that I hadn’t planned for when I had written this list of 2018 writing goals. I ended up doing a lot more research than I had anticipated, listened to a webinar about creating query letters, learned more about websites, attended the two SCBWI conferences, became a Network Chair, signed up for HARO, responded to some queries, was used as a source on a few online publications, wrote multiple manuscripts for various children’s books (even if they haven’t been accepted…hopefully yet), and more.

If only all of that work would actually lead to a book deal. Maybe next year!

So, I didn’t complete all of my writing goals I had written for 2018, but that’s okay. I’m thankful for the opportunities I did have, the time I spent with my family, the privilege to be able to stay home and homeschool my daughters, and other experiences I had throughout this past year. I don’t want to get so caught up in trying to complete my writing goals that I neglect those who matter most in my life.

Plan today and make it great!

With all that being said, I am looking forward to continuing my writing journey in 2019. I would love to get some manuscripts accepted and ready for future publication.

Although I don’t know what will happen in the upcoming year, my current writing goals for 2019 include:

  • continue writing monthly for Hands On As We Grow
  • continue writing at least two posts each month for my website
  • attend one SCBWI conference
  • be accepted by a literary agent to represent my works
  • research, write a proposal, and submit needed information for a children’s nonfiction project I have recently started
  • research, write a proposal, and submit needed information for an adult nonfiction project I have an idea for
  • write at least one children’s book manuscript
  • revise at least one of my current incomplete children’s book manuscripts
  • do at least one school visit or story time (I didn’t do any this year, but I had so much fun doing them last year!)
  •  submit at least one article to a magazine
  • research some information about creating a course and possibly create a course (which will require even more research)
  • decide what to do with a particular children’s book manuscript I’ve had set aside for a while
  • continue going to writer meetings
  • continue as a Network Chair for SCBWI Iowa
  • continue adding and creating pins (and possibly a few boards) to my Pinterest account
  • maybe join Twitter

Again, these are not necessarily very specific. I love lists, and I intend to break some of these goals down into detailed steps as I attempt to complete them.

I found it was beneficial for me to create detailed monthly goals (on a list) last year. These were written on a piece of paper and taped onto a wall for me to easily see. I checked off the goals as I completed them. This kept me focused on what needed to be completed first (items with an actual due date) and what I hoped to accomplish if I still had time. This also made me feel as though I was actually completing something as items were checked off.

I also have a habit of writing a daily list of things to do on a dry erase board when I’m home. I hope my daily to-do list will help me finish my monthly goals, which in turn will help me accomplish my goals for the year.

I’m as ready as I am going to be for 2019. Are you? What are your goals for the upcoming year? I’d love to hear from you. We can encourage one another to succeed!

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