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How are you doing on your goals for 2019?
Recently I read on Psychology Today that “71 percent of people who were successful in their resolutions slipped in the first month.” Do you feel like you have been slipping on your 2019 goals already? If so, I hope you find encouragement within the quote and continue to move forward – you can still succeed!
If you need some inspiration and ideas for freeing up some time throughout your week, you may be interested in a free e-book just released by Ultimate Bundles entitled Make More Margin: Free up 1-2 Hours a Week for the Things You Love with These 75 Productivity Tips. It’s only available until Monday, February 11th, so make sure to download it before then if you are interested in it.
You can download Make More Margin: Free up 1-2 Hours a Week for the Things You Love With These 75 Productivity Tips here (affiliate link).
I downloaded it myself, and I was really leery when I saw it was 199 pages long. I was worried I would end up wasting time reading about how to save time, but I discovered it was a very quick read with quite a few useful tips. It was nice to know that I am not the only person who prefers a paper calendar and nontechy to-do lists!
The book provides answers from bloggers who were asked five different questions concerning time-saving tips, productivity tools, refreshing hobbies they have, how they use their small pockets of free time, and what to say to someone who feels guilty for not taking time for themselves. It can easily be read in small chunks of time since each page is simply a response from one of the bloggers to a particular question.
If you do download it, please let me know what you think of it. I might provide more of my own comments about it in a future post, but I am curious to hear what your thoughts are. The end of the book mentions an Ultimate Productivity Bundle that will be offered from February 20th-February 25th. I hope to include a link and more details in the near future for you just incase you are interested in the Ultimate Productivity Bundle.
We can all use some support, and I’d love to encourage you to continue reaching your goals.
Since I had previously mentioned my writing goals for this year, I have decided to give an update on how I am doing.
So, without further ado, here are my 2019 writing goals updates:
- continue writing monthly for Hands On As We Grow
- update: I’ve completed my monthly posts through the end of March, so my next post is due April 1.
- continue writing at least two posts each month for my website
- update: I published three posts in January (Winter Crafts and Activities Lead to Reflection in the New Year, 25+ Books About Owls, and Simple Valentine’s Day Craft)
- attend one SCBWI conference
- update: There is a conference scheduled in September that I am looking forward to attending. Registration isn’t open yet, though.
- be accepted by a literary agent to represent my works
- update: After doing quite a bit of research, I submitted one picture book manuscript to a literary agent in December. Unfortunately, my manuscript wasn’t accepted by her, but I am very thankful I received a response. I also submitted picture book manuscripts to another literary agent this month.
- Literary agents are flooded with manuscripts, and they can obviously only accept a limited number. I recently read on a literary agent’s website that she received 2,451 unsolicited queries or manuscripts (ones she did not request) last year within the six months she was open to receiving unsolicited works. The lowest month had over 200 submissions, and she had received 570 submissions during the highest month. That’s a lot of submissions to have to sort through! Out of those 2,451 submissions, she signed 10.
- Needless to say, I will be super super excited if I am able to get a literary agent to represent me. With that being said, I don’t want to submit my manuscripts to just any literary agent. I have been doing research and being intentional about who receives manuscripts from me.
- research, write a proposal, and submit needed information for a children’s nonfiction project I have recently started
- I have done a lot of research for this already.
- I read a couple of books and online articles to learn how to write a proposal for nonfiction books. When writing fiction, you often have to submit the entire manuscript. With nonfiction; however, you can typically submit a proposal that provides an overview, the target audience, comparable titles and how the proposed nonfiction book is different (possibly better) without bashing the comparable titles, a biography of the author and the reason author is qualified to write the book, possible suggestions for publicizing the book, a table of contents of the proposed book, and sample chapters of the proposed book.
- I don’t want to give away all the details of my book idea, but I am hoping to compile 50 separate biographies together in one children’s book similar to Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels by Linda Skeers and some other comparable books I have recently read.
- I narrowed the list of people I would like to include within the book down to 60, so I have 50 plus 10 additional just incase I can’t use someone due to lack of information appropriate for a children’s book. I wrote a quick synopsis for all 60 people and did more research on four of the people, so that I could include four sample biographies within my proposal.
- I submitted the proposal along with the four sample biographies to a member of my writer’s group who was gracious enough to read through it and critique it for me. I was really nervous what she was going to say, but I trust her judgment and knew she would tell me ways to improve my writing. I was very excited when I received her comments back stating that the biographies were awesome. She gave me some helpful suggestions on ways to improve the proposal itself, and she provided me with names of two literary agents to consider for this manuscript idea. I plan to continue doing some research and hopefully submit my proposal or query (whichever is preferred) to at least one literary agent in the near future.
- Since this was an idea I came up with (not something a publisher has requested), my manuscript may not get accepted by anyone and may never become a book. I really hope it does, though!
- research, write a proposal, and submit needed information for an adult nonfiction project I have an idea for
- update: I haven’t even started this.
- write at least one children’s book manuscript
- update: I have lots of ideas, but I’ve been too busy working on other projects to start a new manuscript.
- revise at least one of my current incomplete children’s book manuscripts
- update: I completely rewrote one children’s book manuscript I have that I had brought to my writer’s group last year as an idea. My original rough draft had over 500 words in it, and it was very clunky. My current revision has less than 300 words and flows much better, but it still needs work.
- 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!)
- update: I haven’t looked into this yet.
- submit at least one article to a magazine
- update: I submitted a query for an article to a magazine and a children’s poem to two children’s magazines, but I haven’t heard any responses yet.
- research some information about creating a course and possibly create a course (which will require even more research)
- update: I did research information about creating a course for a homeschool website my daughters and I have been enjoying. I came up with three course ideas, which I submitted. Within a couple of days, I received an email approving all three course ideas, so I am now in the process of creating one of the three courses for the website. In time, I will be completing courses for all three of the ideas I submitted as long as everything goes as planned. I am really excited about this!
- I plan to provide you with more information in the future on the current course I am working on.
- decide what to do with a particular children’s book manuscript I’ve had set aside for a while
- update: I haven’t thought about it much yet.
- continue going to writer meetings
- update: The January writer meeting was cancelled due to the weather, but hopefully we will be meeting again in February. We plan to talk about our writing goals, problems we are having with our writing, and what we need help with or want to know more information about at the upcoming meeting. It’s so nice to have a group to encourage me on my writing adventure.
- continue as a Network Chair for SCBWI Iowa
- update: I am still a Network Chair for SCBWI Iowa. Each month, I organize the monthly writer group meetings, and I work with the other members to figure out what topics we would like to discuss at future meetings.
- I also had the opportunity to interview two amazing women recently (Linda Skeers, author of 52 Women Who Dared, and Brooke Van Sickle) about websites they have created to help other writers with their writing journeys. I put the interviews together for a post I submitted to be published on the SCBWI Iowa website. If you are a children’s author, I highly recommend checking out their websites, Nonfiction Ninjas and Journey to Kidlit.
- continue adding and creating pins (and possibly a few boards) to my Pinterest account
- update: I have added more pins, and I created a board specifically for pins from my website.
- maybe join Twitter
- update: I haven’t yet.
I’d love to hear from you about how you are doing with your goals so far this year. Reach high and see what you can accomplish by moving one step at a time!