Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

I can't believe 2010 is gone. I can remember going to the movies to see 2010: The Year We Make Contact in the theater. I don't remember anything about it anymore, but I do remember seeing it with my parents. Dad was a huge sci fi fan.

So, January 1 is a day of resolutions and goal setting. It's like page one of the novel of our lives. There are certainly things I hope to accomplish this year.

I should start with "finish Shifter 3 edits/copy edits" since that way I know for sure I'll complete one thing on my list, but that would be cheating. So here are the real goals I've set for myself and how good a chance I think I have of meeting them.

The Writing Goals

1. Write my spy novel and have it ready to go to my agent by August.
Odds of success: 100% for the writing part, maybe 70% by August. You never know how a book will go. But I do want it done before I have to start ramping up for the launch of Shifter 3 in October.

2. Write a few short e-books on special writing topics.
Odds of success:  100%. I'll be doing these in January while I'm researching world-building stuff for the spy novel. I'd like to do two or three as test books and see how they go. If they're a hit, I'll do more.

3. Do NaNo with an MG fantasy idea I have kicking around.
Odds of success: 50%. The end of the year has always been busy for me, and being able to do 50K in 30 days takes a lot of time. But I'd like to try it this year, and 50K is a good size for an MG novel so I could get a first draft done quickly. Odds can go up here depending on...

4. Do a fun blog/NaNo tie-in idea I had last year.
Odds of success:  50%. I'll go into this more later if it all works out, but I think October is going to be NaNo prep month on the blog (and everything will also tie into regular writing) while I'm doing the blog tour again.I'd also like to tailor a lot of November posts to NaNo (and again, it will all also apply to those not doing NaNo) to tie in with a "do NaNo with me" type thing.

5. Finish a novel called "Creatures" that's almost done and had to be back burnered, and keeps getting back burnered.
Odds of success: 30%. I love this story, but it's one of those where the market is already saturated, so putting effort into finishing it is hard when I know the odds of selling it are low. But I could probably finish it in a month, so it's hard not to do it. Maybe I'll dedicate a weekend a month to it or something.

6. Blog Tour!
Odds of success:   90%. I enjoyed it last year, so I want to do it again, with some tweaks. But I also want to have all the posts (aside from interviews and special request topics) done in September. I didn't make that work last year, but this year I won't have a book on deadline hanging over my head. (and hence the reason I want to finish the spy novel in August)

The Non-Writing Goals

1. Exercise 
Odds of success: 100% to start, 60% to finish the year. My husband isn't going to let me slack off, so maybe I'll be able to sick with it better this year. I've felt like such a slug the last few years because I've been too busy to get on that treadmill in the mornings. That has to change. Feeling better physically with definitely make it easier to accomplish my other goals. I'll need that energy!

2. Balance work, writing, and life better.
Odds of success: 70%. I got into a routine this last year, and while I was working too much, I did prove what I could do if I had to. Hopefully I can keep up the productivity and just cut out the "overworked" parts. Which shouldn't be too bad since I won't be on deadline.

3. Read more.
Odds of success:   80%. I really missed reading in 2010. I did put a dent in my To-Read pile by the end of the year, but I really didn't have time the rest of it. I love to read and miss it when I can't, so I want to make more of an effort to carve out some free read time for myself.

4. Get organized.
Odds of success:  70%. I have a bunch of these, but they're all like, "organize all the closets" so I won't bother to list them. Let's just say I want to streamline my life so the rest of it can flow more smoothly.

So that's my list of hopefuls for the year. It'll be fun to look back at this 365 days from now and see what I actually got done.

How about you guys? What are your goals for the year?


  1. Oooh, a spy story. Is it a real-world setting, or a fantasy setting? (It's okay if you can't tell us. I'm just curious.)

    Since you mentioned reading as a goal -have you ever read `The Magic Thief' trilogy by Sarah Prineas? They are lovely mid-grade fantasies. I was going to say they remind me of your `Shifter' series, but they're actually not very alike in mood or setting. I still think of your work and hers together because I discovered them both around the same time, and both are character driven.

    As for New Year Resolutions, every year I resolve to finish and send out one of my stories, but this year I've decided to put off resolving too hard until the end of Spring Semester to keep myself from getting frustrated.

  2. I like your goals! Looks like you have some excellent chance of achieving most of them :)

    Maybe you could just resolve to finish that backburnered story just so you can say you did, and get it out of the way.

    Happy new year!

  3. I love this. I set myself goals but didn't consider my success level with each of them. I just know I'm going to have to work hard to achieve them.

    Wishing you lots of luck and success with each of your goals in 2011


  4. Awesome list! I love the addition of the odds of success for each one. I hope you do try out NaNo. Though stressful, it was fun. And the spy novel sounds fantastic.

  5. Great goals - I need to add exercise more to mine. Can't let writing ruin my health! I love how you included your odds of success - now you really have something to strive for, to beat your own predictions. Best of luck with your goals. I enjoy reading your blog.

  6. Happy New Year to you too, Janice! These are great goals and I look forward to seeing how you do with them.

  7. Happy New Year! It sounds like you are going to be super productive this year. I'm hoping to do one more set of revisions, start querying, and start my new book.

  8. I posted my writing goals over here on my blog, but mainly I want to write and read more. I'm off to a good start since I have read and written a review of a YA book for a new genre series on my blog that will be put up tomorrow. Now I just need the rest of my library reservations to wing their way to me!

    It sounds like you have a busy and exciting writing year ahead of you- good luck and I can't wait to read the helpful blog posts your writing spawns.
    - Sophia.

  9. Wow, lots of writing goals. I couldn't begin to do all that in one year!! My goals for 2011 are to query my current novel - 100% chance of happening, and to write a first draft of a new novel - 100% chance of starting, 50% chance of finishing. I feel pathetic looking at your long list. My other goal is to get more organized. Just read your husband's post on dropbox - maybe i'll think of doing that for my writing. Good luck with all your writing goals!!

    OH! BTW - I read a book this weekend and the character reminded me so much of Nya that I wanted to mention it to you. It's Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. It's a children's historical novel (set in the American Revolution), but there was so much in it about forcing your character to make tough choices - it just really reminded me of everything you talk about and the character traits too reminded me of Nya for some reason. Also there's a 'protect the little sister' theme in it. Anyway, check it out if you get the chance. :)

  10. Hooray for goals. Mine is to finish polishing my mss and send it out!

  11. Chicory: It's a fantasy setting. I really wanted to play with mixing the genres. I haven't read The Magic Thief yet, but they're on my list. They looked good. I still have about 20 books on my to-read pile to go, then I can start buying again :)

    Trisha: That's what my husband says about that almost-done story. I should probably dedicate some time and whatever I get done I get done.

    Rebecca: Thanks, you too! I figured if I gave success odds I wouldn't feel so bad about missing the pie-in-the-sky ones. If I get some of them done, I'll still be ahead.

    Jaleh: Thanks! I'm sure gonna try. I wish it came earlier in the year when I'm not so busy :)

    Andrea: Thanks! You, too. Hopefully we can both get in shape this year.

    Elle: Thanks!

    Natalie: I hope so. Sounds like you have a full plate, too. Goals keep me motivated for sure.

    Sophia: Good goals. Good luck on them!

    Angie: Odds are I won't get them all done, but I'm gonna try. No need to feel pathetic! A lot on my list has a low chance of success :) If I get one novel done I'll be very happy. Thanks for the book rec. I'll have to pick that up next trip to the store when I get the Magic Thief. :)

    Cat: An excellent goal :)