I think setting realistic goals is good for us. I also have come to the realization that as soon as I write them down and share them I no longer feel committed to them. Odd right. I am hoping to change that streak.
Things are on the cusp of change. Change that comes with some ups and downs. Ups) steady source of income, reasonable working hours. Downs) working hours equals less me hours, and the fear I harbor for work environments at this time.
This last issue is a post for another day, and it is long winded and mayhaps best saved for when I have further distance from it. It is like going through a break up, and you are at the point where you think you are fine, but then you see your ex, and you realize your fine as long as you never have to interact with them ever again in your life. Except in this case I have to interact with the proverbial ex and pretend like I wasn’t crushed by the experience. So that is the short version of it then.
But GOALS. Because I find having them keeps us going and gives us something to focus on.
First the big ‘ol messy goal. One year from now, I will call myself an author. At this time, I am a writer. I write. An author to me though is someone who does this professionally. I want that professionalism.
So to break this down.
Step One) Finish Novel
NaNoWriMo is coming up and rather than start a whole new project I intend on finishing Paris Above, the novel that sprung up last November as an idea that I have been chasing all year long now. I have started and restarted, and I think I have the beginning I need and all the machinery parts I need to build this story. It’s a matter of assembling and being happy with the construct I get. So first draft done by end of November.
Secondary goal to that will be to start on the sequel in November if I finish before the end of the month. But our primary concentration will rest on first novel. Paris Above.
Step Two) Polish said Novel.
Step two a) First round of Revisions.
Fix all that I can fix with my own eyes before I send it to critic group. Typically December is not a good month for me with Christmas and so on. Recognizing that and setting goals in regards to that is important. So January will be the month of personal revision. I realize with the advent of change that January in the new working environment is a busy busy season. I understand how I react to those situaitons and think too offset any of the January blahs is will be best to have a distraction in place. So polishing up novel will be that distraction.
Step two b) Critic group.
Send Novel to group in February. Would live to ultimately schedule a critic for March.
Step two c) Further revisions.
Think on what critic group has said and in March/April, work magic on your novel.
Step Three) Find Agent.
In May start querying. Keep going until I am successful.
In the mean time I should continue to keep writing on new works. I would also like for by this time to have a rough draft of Paris Below, witch is the sequel. I only plan on this universe being a duology.
So you will notice how this is October and I have set a goal that by next October I can call myself an author. The ultimate goal will be to have a publishing contract by that time. However, you will also notice that May is the month I start looking for an agent. What I am trying to take into consideration is that some things are out of my hand. I can’t guarantee that just because I love Paris Above that someone else will too. I can’t guarantee that an agent will pick it up right away. I can’t guarantee that they won’t want further revisions. I can’t guarantee that once those revisions are complete that an editor will want this book. I can’t guarantee that when there is an editor that they won’t want revisions. I can’t guarantee what the publishing schedule would look like.
If it comes October and I am still querying agents, I still won’t feel like a failure, because I will have stepped it up to that next level.
The goal is to step it up to that next level for me. And one year is a good time line to give myself. That gives me a little bit of wiggle room. But not so much that I slack until September of next year.
So what do you think? Doable? Overly ambitious? Need more steps?