2018 First Quarter Update

I wrote a post about my “writing adventure” goals for 2018 earlier this year. I have decided to give an update to my goals since we are already about a quarter of the way done with 2018. Where did the time go? Hopefully, this will keep me motivated to do more! Below is a list of my “goals” and what I have (or haven’t) accomplished so far this year.

  • Continue writing posts periodically for this website
    • wrote and posted 11 posts
    • wrote 7 other posts to be added in the future
  • Continue adding items periodically to my Pinterest page
    • added over 500 pins to 7 public boards
    • learned how to use Canva to create more visually appealing pins, which I wrote about here
    • converted from a personal Pinterest account to a business account
  • Learn more about Goodreads
    • read more information about Goodreads, although I have room for improvement
    • linked my website to my Goodreads page
    • answered a couple of the “Ask The Author” questions
  • Read at least 240 children’s books (and review those I like on Goodreads)
    • read 133 children’s books (and skimmed through many others)
    • rated 23 books on Goodreads (2 were books for adults – I do read those, too!)
  • Rewrite a story about a planetarium story
    • haven’t started
  • Write at least two books for a series I hope to publish some day
    • wrote one
      • I brought it to my author’s meeting to be critiqued and was provided with a lot of helpful suggestions/insights, so I edited it quite a bit. I’m hoping to bring my edits to the next meeting to have them critiqued.
  • Write and submit at least 20 articles, stories, or poems to magazines or websites
    • submitted 3 posts for Hands On As We Grow (which have either been published or will be published in the near future)
    • submitted 5 queries (2 were accepted, 3 I haven’t heard anything from)
    • submitted 1 short story (declined)
    • submitted 3 articles (one accepted and published on AFineParent.com and the other two for the magazine that accepted my queries)
    • created a list of potentional magazines and websites to query
  • Write a number and letters story
    • created a lot of notes for this story and did some research
    • did not complete the rough draft
  • Finish and submit an alphabet book I’m currently working on
    • Finished and submitted it to one publisher in January
      • I wrote this book specifically for this publisher because they have many beautifully illustrated books with a similar format. I haven’t heard anything back yet, but I hope to hear something from them (even if it is a no).
  • Continue going to author group meetings
    • went to the author group meetings in January and February (March meeting was cancelled)
      • read and discussed multiple children’s books together
      • discussed books that have won the Caldecott Award
      • discussed the differences between picture books and magazine stories
      • discussed query letters
      • looked at and discussed children’s books with controversial topics
      • completed a fun brainstorming activity
      • critiqued manuscripts
      • set goals
      • had a lot of fun while learning!
    • attended another writer’s meeting in February
  • Submit a manuscript of at least one other book
    • wrote and submitted a short nonfiction riddle type book
  • Have fun!
    • definitely doing!

Other things I have done that weren’t on my list include:

  • registered for a SCBWI nonfiction book conference, which I will be attending in the near future
  • listened to a webinar about creating query letters
  • researched and wrote a nonfiction story about an event
  • applied to a one year author mentorship program (only two people will be selected for)
  • researched some information for an adult nonfiction book
  • researched the authors (and publishers) who will be presenting at the upcoming conference
  • researched nonfiction books for children

I have been getting really excited about the upcoming nonfiction book conference. Last week, I borrowed over 50 books from the library to look through and see how nonfiction books from specific publishers have been written and presented. I do a lot of research!

The publishers that are presenting at the upcoming conference generally do not accept unsolicited manuscripts (meaning they won’t accept manuscripts of books unless they have asked for them), but they are allowing attendees of the conference to submit nonfiction manuscripts after the conference. So, I am trying to figure out what topics I could write about and how it could be presented in a fun manner to children.

I also found another publisher (not attending the upcoming conference) that is accepting nonfiction manuscripts only through the beginning of May, so I have been researching their company as well. I have a lot of ideas for nonfiction books, so I am going to be doing a lot more research finding as much information as I can about these specific topics. My problem is I have too many ideas – I need to narrow down my list and stay focused!

Just because I do the research, write manuscripts, and submit them to the publishers does not mean they will actually turn into books. Publishers can only publish so many books each year, and there are a lot of writers submitting to them. It is almost like entering a competition (or a lottery). Only so many can be accepted and published each year.

All I can do is try my best and continue to learn as I go (and of course actually write something to submit!). I have decided to not let rejections discourage me because rejections are part of being a writer. In the meantime, some of my fiction children’s books I have been working on have been put to the side momentarily.

I am eager to continue working on more books and writings through the year. I have post-it notes with ideas posted to a wall in my house. I hope to slowly move the post-it notes from my “ideas” area of the wall to “submitted manuscripts”. I have also been posting monthly goals to accomplish on a paper taped to the wall. As I complete certain goals, I mark them off. It seems to be keeping me motivated to get things done and focused on what I need to do. Thank you for being a part of my writing journey!

How are you doing on the goals you set for yourself this year?

Plan today and make it great!