New Year’s Goals (Resolutions are SO Outdated)

Woot! Made it another year. And this year, this brand new 2018, I can call myself an author.


I have a short story published in Eclectically Heroic AND my first novel, Tarbin’s True Heir, has shown itself to the world with a modest, though growing, splash.

I like to judge my success based on progress. Now that I’ve been doing this for a few years, I have tangible data to pull from. The spreadsheets I’m about to post I purchased from Jamie Raintree.

2016 Chart

As you can see, I stopped using the useful tool halfway through the year. I had a difficult time REALLY dedicating to writing. To myself. I still struggle with that. I’m slowly but surely divesting myself of some of my volunteer responsibilities to free up more time for this creative career I’ve chosen.

I did have some victories that year though. Inklings Publishing accepted Tarbin’s True Heir for publication and I finished The Innkeeper’s Daughter: An Ella and Wink story. At least, I THOUGHT I was done.

It says seventeen blogs, though I did write twenty-four. And I put in 12,000 words for CASE OF THE FALLEN DRAGON in NaNoWriMo that year. Sadly, it’s probably accurate otherwise.

Hey, it’s a start. Now for 2017.

2017 Chart

Look at all those one hundred percents. It warms the heart. Best year yet.

Compared to 2016, it looks like I revised less, but I actually changed from words to chapters. If you look at the numbers, you can see I revised The Innkeeper’s Daughter TWICE this year. And it’s pretty awesome. I can’t wait until the right agent reads it at the right time. I can’t wait to get this one into readers’ hands. If you long for a taste, check out this blog post with the intro. Though, the final version has been modified quite a bit. I maybe, might have, learned a bit in the past two years? But you’ll still get the feel of the story.

I began my role as acquisitions editor at Inklings full time in June. I’ve edited one book four times, one twice, and one once. Plus, I’ve helped put together two anthologies. And I kept working on the rest of my projects. Not as diligently as I should have, as the numbers profess, but much more tightly than in the past.

I wrote two short stories this year as opposed to one the year before. I need to get better at those maybe. Or just abandon them all together. I can’t decide. It’s nice to play around in a new world for a second then move back to the more complicated nature of novel writing. I haven’t decided if it helps or hinders my progress.

Overall, not a horrible year, but could certainly be improved on. Let’s check out my goals for 2018.

2018 Chart

Jamie must have gotten bored with the chart, so she spruced it up. I think I like it? I’m not so good with change. As I fill in the numbers, I’m sure I’ll grow to love it.

I decided to move the Revision side back to word count. The large numbers might seem more daunting, but it’s also much more satisfying to write down the double and triple digits every day. Four thousand words feels so much more productive than one chapter, even though it’s exactly the same amount of work.

Manipulating our own brains and our own expectations is half the battle.

Look! Tarbin’s True Heir isn’t on my to-do list. It’s so gratifying to look at the years and see an absent project because it’s COMPLETE. It’s been on my list for at least five years. TARBIN’S FALSE PROPHET will live on my chart for three years. The third one should be on it for only two. Now THAT is progress.

The Innkeeper’s Daughter isn’t on there either because there’s nothing more to do until an agent or editor decides they love the story. I do believe in setting goals you can control and I can’t control whether or not that story will be traditionally published. It’s a wait-and-see game.

I have four more projects under the revision category, but those are Inklings’s top secret projects that I can’t share……..yet.

If everything goes as planned:

  1. TARBIN’S FALSE PROPHET will be ready for release September 2018;
  2. CASE OF THE FALLEN DRAGON will be in query hell looking for an agent;
  3. THE DRAGON RIDER will be drafted. (Part 2 of The Innkeeper’s Daughter);
  4. The third Tarbin will have a title, an outline, and a draft;
  5. I’ll have three more short stories to play with for either giveaways or anthology submissions.

To the writes

I can mark off “1” under blog posts for 2018. It’s nice to get something done immediately. Only twenty-nine more to go.

Yes, I’m being ambitious. I’m trying to write three books next year when I’ve only ever written one and a half in the same time span. Just two will be polished and ready for publication though. That counts as two a year, which is only modestly more. Right?

I can do it. I know I can. But it won’t be easy.

What are your goals for this year? Where do you want to be at this time next year? And how do you plan on getting there?

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