Recently one of my WOW friends wrote a post about resolutions. One of the things that Jodi wrote about what the reality that the holidays often derail even the best writing intentions. She thinks that that is the reality behind come up with resolutions or goals for New Years. It isn’t so much that it starts a new year but the fact that December has been so splendidly unproductive.
That’s definitely something to think about. But I’m also finding myself thinking about how well my goals for last year went. I don’t want to set new goals until I judge how this year’s goals worked out.
As I recall, I set three goals.
- Read 100 or more books in 2016. The GoodReads reading challenge let’s you set a goal of reading X books/year. I suspected that I could read about 150 but said 100 because that seemed less “braggy.” Really, I just wanted to find out how many books I read in a year. I quit keeping track in September at 112 books. I accidentally marked an analysis of the book vs the book itself and couldn’t deselect it. This took reading from fun to aggravating so it had to go.
- Start reading my way around the world. Reading a book from every country in the world in one year seemed overly ambitious so I was going to try to do it in 5 or so years. Was. That should give you a clue. I didn’t want to do all of the easy countries this first year — US, Canada, Great Britain, etc. But I was shocked to discover that anything in the middle east is more than a bit tricky. Part of the issue is that with political turmoil (the polite term for war), people move around. So does X author count as Iranian, Afghani or French? Again, things quickly became un-fun. I love to read books from and about other countries so I know I’ll keep doing it. I’m just not going to be systematic about it.
- Earn 50 rejections. I read a blog post about an author whose goal was to receive 100 rejections in a single year. I saw this about half way through the year so set my goal at 50. Looking at my tally, I have 2. Yup. Two. Annoyingly enough, several people I have yet to hear back from and things are still marked (Submittable) as “under consideration.” And I’ve gotten several rewrite requests. And then there are two or three things that I won’t hear about until January. That said, I think this one is a solid goal.
My way of thinking right now is to focus on 100 rejections. I’m going to do this by working much harder to find an agent. I think an agent will help me get better paying gigs and I have a kid starting college next fall. I have been remarkably ho-hum about doing the work needed to submit to an agent. I need to start pulling out the print outs of the ones that intrigue me and sending a manuscript out to four or five at a time. I have two pieces ready to go. Even if I do all of the leg work necessary to submit wisely, this is a pretty solid way to tally some rejections. Almost no one gets accepted by agent #3 or 4.
And submitting to 100+ agents and publishers will definitely help my bottom line.
So what are your goals for 2017?