After kicking off last year strong with my first sale, I’d intended it to be a year of revision, reading, and querying. Instead, it was almost more of a holding pattern.
My focus drifted. I did a lot of reading and conventions, less revising than hoped, and my fears (or hesitations) regarding the traditional publishing industry persisted, keeping my querying and submissions low. I did a fair amount of blogging and vlogging, but with minimal growth.
This year? My focus is on revisions, reading, and conventions. Oh, right — and Writing!
As always, I like to set SMART goals –
- Specific – Which projects
- Measurable – Wordcount and page goals
- Achievable – Things I have control over — number of queries and pages, not ‘getting an agent’ or making (another) sale.
- Relevant – My health goals and day-job goals aren’t on this list, I’m keeping it writing-related.
- Time-sensitive – Obviously, these are intended to be completed in 2023, but some items may have specific dates associated.
So? Let’s take a look at this year’s list. For once, I’m keeping it in the same priority order as 2022. Although, I might need to remind myself that the Blogging and Conventions aren’t at the top of the list… FOR A REASON.
Since my end goal is publication, and I’ve got 5 manuscripts, 21+ short stories, and 50+ poems just waiting for a home, I need to see what is salvageable, and what should be shelved.
This year’s goals? Get the feedback from my final beta reader and revise my Space Fantasy. Revise at least 1 short story.
2022, I continued binge-reading a lot of romances. I’m keeping my goal at reading 52 books this year, with at least one a month being from my physical to-read shelf.
Yes, I hit that target of physical books read last year, but only because I reread a long book series.
3. Querying & Submitting
(A quick reminder: you query agents, and submit to publishers. Typically, agents represent manuscripts and submit them to publishers for you (many not even accepting unagented works), whereas short story publishers don’t expect an agent.)
This year, for my short stories and poetry, I’m going to try to actively submit my polished short stories to 6 markets each quarter.
Consider revamping the second-world fantasy as not-strictly YA, and query relevant agents. Get my space fantasy into the trenches before NaNoWriMo.
Write new words for NaNoWriMo (even if it’s part 2 of last year’s Suburban fantasy, or a rewrite of it), 1 short story, and at least 12 poems.
I really like participating in NaNoWriMo — and you know I hate ending a winning streak. But, writing shorter pieces helps keep that create juice flowing.
You are my supporters, my community, and my friends. You cheer me on and watch me learn and grow. As always, blogging helps keep me out there, keeps me accountable, and gives me a way to give back to the community.
Plus? I haven’t missed a week on my blog since February of 2016 (although, I have done reruns) nor a vlog since I started vlogging on June 27, 2017. Here’s another streak to keep up. You’ll be seeing a new blog/vlog every Thursday with writing tips or writerly musings.
With the podcast and weekly Livestream. I plan on taking a week or so off between seasons, and no more than one livestream off a quarter (unless double-booked with a convention).
6. Conventions / Writing Groups
Last year’s goals worked out nicely, so I’m going to try for that again: panel at 3+ conventions, attend 6+ open mic nights, 6+ monthly writer meetings, and 3 NaNoWriMo events. Plus? Staff Balticon.
I’ll be returning to Ravencon (April), I’m hoping to be a panelist for Balticon again (May), and I’m on the schedule for Imaginarium (July) again. And my current town is having a ScribbleCon in February. (As before, all of my panels were topics from this blog that I feel I can talk competently on, where my mostly-unpublished perspective won’t be a detriment to my authority on the subject).
Plus, I’m running social media for Balticon’s parent group. So… there’s another time suck!
What does being on panels net me? Why do I want to do this?
First, it’s a greater reach for my blog/vlog/podcast that’s supposed to lead to a larger audience when I do publish. It’s a great way to network and meet more writers and readers who like the same stuff I do. Plus, a chance to talk about all the stuff I obsess over on my blog and on my vlog and my podcast in person with actual people.
But how does attending conventions count as a writing goal? Isn’t it just fun? Or part of your social media addiction?
Well, if you’ve been following my posts, you’ve probably noticed that over half the content is actually write-ups from notes at convention panels! I attend the panels partially for those who can’t (or don’t). Also? My sister teases me that I act like a teacher, trying to get her recertification credits, all in one weekend.
And? Well, I talked about it in my post on attending conventions, but, of course, there’s the networking aspect. The science-fiction and fantasy conventions I prefer are full of readers, writers, and even a few publishers and agents!
7. Beta Readers
This year, again, I’m going to try not to beta-read more than 3 full manuscripts for others.
Last year, I maybe beta-read a single short. But I did help revise a number of queries, synopsis, and opening pages with Patrick Hopkins and The Queery Helpline.
As always, I’ll be blogging and vlogging and podcasting throughout the year. Once again, I’m starting off with my focus on revision, reading, and submitting. Spring will be rather convention-heavy, but by fall, I should be back in the writer’s seat.
Except for December. I’m not a writer in December — everyone needs a chance to breathe.
Best of luck with all your 2023 projects!
What does your plan look like for 2023?
Did you build in flexibility?
And, how SMART are your goals?
See my previous years’ resolutions and reflections:
2017 Resolutions | 2017 Retrospective
2018 Resolutions | 2018 Retrospective
2019 Resolutions | 2019 Retrospective
2020 Resolutions | 2020 Retrospective
2021 Resolutions | 2021 Retrospective
2022 Resolutions | 2022 Retrospective Part 1 & Part 2