An Inauspicious Start

One of my goals for 2014 is to blog at least weekly.  While this is a weak goal compared to previous years (every day, anyone?), take a look at the calendar.  It’s already the third week of the year, and only my first post.  Ah, well, I’m not going to give up because of an inauspicious start.

Another goal I have for 2014 sounds a lot like last year: I want 12 reject letters for Dragon.  That means I’ll at least have a few Query Count updates I can use for posts! 🙂

Believe it or not, even though the gap is gone and story has taken a backseat to life, a few new ideas are perking in my head.  There are still some scenes I want to write for Mara’s tale.  A young dragon has raised his head and suggested that perhaps another novel in the same world as Dragon is in order.  I would also like to go back and revise Unexpected – there are some good bones there, they just need a little more meat.

So perhaps 2014 won’t be a banner writing year, but at least I can make some progress on a few fronts.

Cutting Myself Some Slack

Today I explained to someone who perhaps I’m behind on my word count because my heart isn’t quite into NaNo this year.  The advice I got in return was that perhaps I shouldn’t spread myself too thin, and maybe not participate in NaNo.

The reality is that I’m setting a couple of different goals with regards to NaNo this year.  The first is the obvious goal: 50,000 (new) words and a completed novel.  However, I have another, smaller goal.  I want to work on Mara’s Tale, and without the driving force of NaNo, that hasn’t happened.  Each time I fill in another gap, every day that I write (even a few hundred words) is a success in my mind.  Earlier this week I wrote only about 600 words, but they were important because they completed the last section I had left of a particular part of Mara’s life.  The word count may have been short for the day; the accomplishment was not short.

I think layered goals are perfectly acceptable, don’t you?

Counting Rejections

Last night I put together my official list of 2013 goals.  (I don’t do resolutions.  Resolutions you break; goals you work towards.)

I knew that I wanted to have working on getting Dragon published on the goal list.  The problem is that “get Dragon published” or “get an agent” are not good goals.  To me, goals are things you can control on some level.  When I was in high school, I told friends that getting married couldn’t be a goal, because it depends on something outside of your control.  It can be something you want, but it shouldn’t be a goal.  (Having marriage and family as goals can lead to some bad decisions, but that’s neither here nor there for this blog.)

The goal that I chose with the aim of working on Dragon turned out to have another element as well.  The goal?  Ten rejections in 2013.

Yes, I did make getting rejected a goal.  (Obviously if I end up with an agent before ten rejections, I’ll consider the goal accomplished.)  It seems weird, but it turns out to have two great things about it.

First, I can’t get rejected ten times if I don’t send at least ten queries.  It’s a more interesting way to make sending queries the goal than simply saying “send ten queries,” and it makes me get those queries sent earlier in the year so I can get my rejections before 2014 gets here.

Second, it adds a new perspective on the rejections.  No one wants to get rejected, and those letters can discourage a writer from sending more queries.  Now that I’m trying to acquire ten, I can just look at a rejection as another tick mark getting me closer to that goal.

So, officially, the goal is ten rejections in 2013.  I’m waiting on my first two now.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

Setting Goals

Goals are good.  They can help you get things done, look toward the future, and prioritize your time.

I have a rule about goals.  Is anyone surprised?  I will not set a goal that requires another person’s involvement.  Thus, when all my friends were setting the goal of being a wife and mother, I did not.  That depened on a man, and I have no control over the behaviors of others.  This means that I cannot make “getting an agent” a goal, but I can make “send out X query letters” a goal.

In the next 6 months, I have set myself two large goals: finish “Burden of Knowledge” for Serial Central, and complete another novel.  (You can vote on which novel I should work on in yesterday’s post.)  Of course, that is on top of continuing to post here everyday, and sending out more query letters to try to get the first novel published.  🙂  I like to do lots of things at once.

Wish me luck!