I’m interrupting my previously promised post on Problem Endings and How to Fix Them for a discussion on goals. I’m dealing with a time sensitive matter that I need help with ASAP. Please read on for more information.
It’s hard to believe, but more than a quarter of 2010 has already passed. I recently read a post at Honorary Chick Autumn Jordon’s blog about how she was doing so far on her 2010 goals and I was inspired to do the same. Usually I set goals at the beginning of the year, stick them in a drawer, and forget about them until the next year rolls around. But this year one of my goals is to be more productive and to actually finish things I’ve already started. With that in mind I pulled out my list of writing goals for 2010 to see how I’m doing.
My first goal was to work on edits for “Welcome to Paradise” by April 30. Okay, I’m already in trouble here. I took a week off in January, fully intending to work on this project. But then a shiny new project wormed its way into my head and took over my life for about three months. I finished “Flawless”, a novella length romantic suspense set in World War Two, by the end of March and it is currently with editors at The Wild Rose Press. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Writing “Flawless” is a good thing, but it means I didn’t finish my work on “Welcome to Paradise”. I had received good feedback on this manuscript when I sat down for a blue pencil session with Susan Wiggs last fall at the Surrey International Writers Conference. She even gave me the name of an agent at her agent’s firm who she thought might be interested. Must. Finish. This. Story. And. Submit. Somewhere. Besides, I’ve been working on this manuscript for ages and I’d really like to move on.
Writing goal #2: Finish first draft of “Twice in a Lifetime” by June 30, 2010. After that, polish this manuscript and send for critiquing by December 31, 2010. Because of the backup in writing goal #1, this one will likely get pushed back as well. The reason I gave so much time to polish up this story once a first draft was written was because the second half of the year at my day job is very busy and I tend not to get a lot of writing done. I thought I was being realistic by trying to get must of my work done in the first half of the year. Now I’m worried I may not even get to this story. And again, I received good feedback at SIWC last October in my agent session with Donald Maass. He invited me to query him with the first 50 pages when it was completely done and as shiny clean as I could make it, even if it took two years. Good thing he’s not in a big hurry for this story.
Writing goal #3: Rework “There Goes the Groom” by July 31, 2010. Do a first draft of “Always a Bridesmaid” by December 31, 2010. Okay, did I say I was being realistic about my goals? Perhaps not. These two stories have been swimming around in my head for a few years. I’ve envisioned them, along with my published novel “Her Best Man”, as my “Left at the altar” series. The stories all begin with someone being left at the altar. I love the idea, but unfortunately “There Goes the Groom”, the second story in this series, isn’t cooperating at all. But I’m determined to make them work. The question is when?
And now I’m facing a dilemma. I am taking a few days off to write. My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, has recently put out a call for submissions in its “Last Rose of Summer” line. The premise is a 25th year Class Reunion (Class of ’85) to be held in the upstate New York town of Summerville. Stories are to be between 7,500 and 40,000 words. I’ve got an idea that I think (hope) will work. My question is, should I pursue this new venture or stick to my game plan and finish at least one of my other projects? I’m so confused!
I’d appreciate any and all advice. How are you doing on your goals for 2010? Do shiny new projects tend to distract you from polishing and editing?