Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mid-Year check in

Okay, I know I'm late. The middle of the year was a couple of weeks ago. But anyway, I thought it was time to do a little check in and see where I've gotten to with the goals I set myself in a letter at New Year. Here's the original letter, with my comments on progress in bold...

Dear Me,

2010 was a great year with many successes and I learned so much about the publishing world. So I’m feeling far better prepared in 2011 to drive my writing career to the next level. Since writing my goals down was so useful last year, I’ve decided to do it again.

I will enter Assignment 9 in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest again. It made the semis last year, and I think the latest revision has fixed the problems my previous drafts had. Or at least, I hope so… But I’m not going to leave it at that and hope to win. I’m going to punch up my query letter and start submitting again. Hopefully someone will bite.

Entered ABNA, but only made it through round one. Latest round of queries ended up with nada, so I've given up on this book for now. I still love it, but I think I've done as much as I can with it, and it's time to move on.

Prayer and Prey, my Western/Romance novel was read by a couple of agents in 2010, and both came back to me with similar feedback. So a revision needs to be done, adding 20K to the manuscript’s length, primarily in Alice’s POV. I hope to get this done before June so I can re-submit it to the agent who said she’d take another look, and start submitting it to others.

Haven't gone near this book since early in February. It's just not calling to me the way other stories do. And until it does, I'm leaving it alone. It was always an experiment anyway, just to see if I could write a romance/western.

With my NaNo novel (tentatively called Chasing the Taillights) still in a very raw, first draft state, I need to dive into major revisions and get the chapters up for my critique group to review. My aim is to have this book polished and ready to submit to the Delcorte Press First YA Novel contests that closes in December 2011.

This one I dove right into and it has now been rewritten from start to finish, critiqued, beta-ed and is being quietly queried. And I've already had more success querying this one than I ever had with A9.

I also want to continue writing and publishing short fiction although with so many novel projects on the go, I don’t think I’ll be submitting at the rate I was in 2010. I will continue to write and publish in as many genres and styles as I possibly can, always seeking ways to extend and expand my capabilities as a writer. I’m still working on that Sci-Fi thing, since that’s the one genre I haven’t managed to conquer yet.

Yeah, not so much. I've had two stories published in 2011, both in anthologies. I just haven't been writing shorts, because I've been so busy working on novels. Something to think about getting back to between novel projects, maybe.

I will remain active in my critique groups and plan to get back into a regular routine with my reviewing again. As soon as I get back from vacation, I’ll schedule regular reviewing time, to go along with my regular writing time. I plan to be very productive in 2011, in every facet of my life.

This I've done. I've even done some beta reads/critiques for writers outside the WDC community which has been great.

I plan to continue blogging regularly, and hope that I can keep the blog engaging and interesting for the people who stop by regularly. Hopefully I will be able to run more contests on the blog too.

I'm still here, and the number of people following this blog keeps growing, so I guess I'm doing something right! I've only done a couple more contests, but I plan to keep doing them as the mood strikes. I may also run a blogfest soon, since I had a cool idea for one yesterday...

As far as my day job goes, I think 2011 may be a year of change. I have a new boss and there seem to be a number of interesting avenues I may be able to pursue. I’ve been reviewing on National Radio for a few weeks, and hope this may lead to other reviewing spots on TV and radio.

So far, no change in sight, but you never know... The reviewing didn't lead anywhere either, but for the moment, the job suits me even in its most frustrating moments.

On a personal level, I’d like to lose some weight (don’t we all). I’d like to say 10kg, but that’s probably a little crazy. I’d weigh the same as I did in high school then… But it’s a goal, anyway. I hope to be able to up my gym-going from three days a week to four, and I’m going to be very careful about portion sizes in what I eat, and not eating up my kids’ leftovers because its wasteful not to. Also, no chocolate biscuits after dinner!

Hmmmm... Well, the less we say about this one the better. Although I am going to the gym four times a week, most weeks...

So, that’s a bunch of things to aim for! We’ll do a half year review in June and see how we’re tracking on this, shall we? Then again at the end of 2011.

Love, Me

So, there we have it. Not tracking too badly, I'd say, although I've done different things than I had planned to. How are you tracking on your New Year's goals?


  1. Wow, Kate! You make me feel lazy! hahaha!!! You have been one busy girl. And hats off to you, you are our shining star in the forum :)

    I have a feeling this will be a good year for you, and you well deserve it! Now, step away from those chocolate biscuits! :D

  2. I am not a goal-maker. I start to obsess over the things I want to do, and I can sometimes/maybe/generally find motivation without it.