Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year! And Now, the Plan for 2012

Happy New Year everyone! There’s something invigorating about a clean slate isn’t there? A defined day to start anything we feel like, and it’s okay. So, here are my 2012 goals:

The Writing Goals 

Get the new YA polished and off to my agent and editor

Chance of success: 100%. Note there are no dates on when this will occur. This novel has proven to me that it’ll get done when it’s done, but it’s almost there. Crits come back in a few weeks and I’ll be ready to dive in and polish that sucker up.

Write at least one of the new MG reluctant reader series I have planned
Chance of success: 80%. I want to say 100% here, but until I know how the YA pans out I won’t know what my schedule will be. I assume I’ll have several months to work on a new project while agent/editor reads the YA, but you never know how these things go. Good news, these books will be short, and I plan to outline the snot out of them, so they should go quickly once I start. (Famous last words. Watch, these will be harder than Blue Fire was)

Write another YA novel
Chance of success: 50%. A lot of this will depend on whether or not I sell the current YA project. (I hope so, and things look good for it, but you never know) The project could be a series, so if it sells as one, I’ll jump on book two. If it doesn’t, I’ll probably focus more on the reluctant reader project before I do anything else. All this can change of course if my agent has a better suggestion on where I should focus if it comes to that. Career planning and whatnot.

Go to a few of the big conferences
Chance of success: 50%. I’ll attend a few smaller and local ones for sure, but I’d love to do a national SCBWI or RWA this year. And go back to Surrey. Not sure it’ll be in the budget though, as these things can be pricey.

The Blogging Goals

Grow the blog

Chance of success: 100%. Well, 100% that I’ll do stuff to grow it. Whether or not it grows is out of my hands. But I plan to try several things, like:

  • Tweak the design to make it even more user-friendly
  • Write those dang e-books and get them out there
  • Write and submit articles to writing magazines
  • Do more guest posts and introduce myself to new readers
The Marketing Goals
New category! Marketing takes up time and is its own beast, so I think it deserves its own set of goals.

Be more active on social network sites in a way that doesn’t steal all my time
Chance of success: 50%. Yeah, I have doubts about this, as I haven’t been real successful here so far. But I miss commenting on sites like Absolute Write and keeping up with blogs and comments, and my poor Facebook page has been silent for far too long. There’s got to be a way I can do this and still get my writing, blogging, working and life stuff done.

Do more events

Chance of success: 50%. This is really out of my hands, so I guess the better goal is “submit proposals to more events.” That I can do. But I’d like to get out there more and meet folks over the year. Both at writer’s conferences and reader festivals. Oh, and workshops. Those are always fun.

The Personal Goals

Re-do my office

Chance of success: 100%. My office was originally created for my day job, but that has slowed down while the writing has picked up, so I now need a better setup. I want to move some furniture around, shift files, put up more shelves, etc.

Eat better

Chance of success: 60%. I’m a junk food junkie, always have been, but this whole getting older nonsense makes it harder to eat like that and stay alive. Luckily, I like veggies and whatnot. I just gotta buy them more often, and then remember to eat them. And plan meals instead of hitting dinnertime and deciding it’s easier to eat junk than cook.

Exercise more
Chance of success: 60%. If I can get back on a regular routine, this will be easier. Typically, as soon as something throws me off, exercising goes right out the window. Maybe if I move the Wii into my office. That way I can at least do the Wii-Fit yoga stuff in the afternoons when I need a break and need a pick me up. I have fun doing that.

Have more fun
Chance of success: 80%. The last few years have been pretty hectic and crazy, and in 2011 I tried to take more time for myself. I did okay, and it’s time to carve out a little more me time. Except that me time is always the first thing to go when I get busy. (If you see me and I desperately need a haircut, you know I’m swamped). The hubby will help here though, which will increase my chance of success. He already has fun stuffed planned for us.

Read more

Chance of success: 75%. I think I’m going to try to do one of those reading challenges, and read a book a week if I can. This will fit well with the more me time goal. Spending Sunday mornings curled up with a book is both fun and easy to do for me. If I can just keep myself from getting on the computer. I also enjoy reading before bed, so I need to keep a book on the nightstand as well. Different books most likely. I’ve found nighttime reading is better with lighter books. They’re easier to put down when you get sleepy.

Things I’d like to do but probably won’t

Start a vegetable garden.
I’ve wanted to do this for a year, but I think it’s just a recipe for dead plants. I want to go out every day and play in the garden, but actually doing it is another story.

Be more active on the author site blog
Right now, the blog part of my author site is more for displaying news, but I’d really love to make that a weekly post so I can connect to my readers more. Something like the Sunday Social I tried (and failed) to do here. I think I might be able to do a weekly “here’s what I did” type post, as long as there’s something interesting to talk about.

And that’s it. Not as heavy as last year, and I think a lot more doable.

So what about you guys? What are your goals for 2012?


  1. Happy New Year! I know, a clean slate is just so appealing for goal-setting. I really liked reading about your goals, especially the ones unrelated to writing as mine are quite similar. Anyway, here are mine:

    Finish, edit and send out my current WIP.

    Try new extra-curricular activity.

    Give Script Frenzy a try.

    Write at least 3 short stories (hopefully more)

    Read 30 new books.

    Exercise and eat more healthily.

    Stay organised.

    Be more productive/procrastinate less.

    Complete NaNoWriMo 2012.

    Good luck with those goals and I hope you have a great new year. :)

  2. Finish my YA cyberpunk/urban fantasy novel and find an agent to represent it. Hopefully sell said book to a publisher too.

    Write and sell more short stories - aiming for one a month.

    Read more YA and steampunk novels.

    Improve my Finnish language skills and maybe find a part time job.

    Enjoy the summer and take a roadtrip to Lapland with friends and my pup, Lego.

  3. Tricky thing putting a percentage on these, Janice. Sort of forces you to face reality, doesn't it.
    I'm going to do the same thing for my 2012 goals.
    Happy New Year! :)

  4. Awesome goals! I like how you've got the chance of success ratings for each goal. Hope you have a great new year.

  5. I like your goals and the way you assess their success. Nice! My goals are to:

    Keep my butt in the chair to finish my third novel and start the fouth.

    Get said butt out of the chair enough to take off the twenty extra pounds so much chair sitting has added to it.

    Work on getting more comfortable with social media (considering the fact that my camera stumps me, this is a large goal)

    Happy New Year, here's hoping we all move forward in the New Year.

  6. I love how you include your chance of success with your goals. I hope you accomplish everything you set out to do and more!

  7. Happy New Year!

    I hope you meet all your goals. Mine right now is to focus on the writing and finish up two manuscripts this month. Then put myself knee deep into revisions.
    I also want to learn how to write a short story. I suck at it.
    Happy writing everybody and I hope you meet all your goals.

  8. Happy new year to you too!

    My main writing goalposts are:
    • Write my next novel.
    • Write at least six stories that come in under 5000 words.
    • Write at least three short stories (which can count for the previous goal as well) that come in under 1000 words.

    I was tempted to put probabilities for these, but I think I'm going to refrain. This not being my day job, I don't want to daunt myself before I begin. (I've never seen "daunt" used that way, but it ought to work!)

  9. Excellent goals! I also love how you evaluated each of these goals as well.

    Mine are to finish, edit, and query my zombie book. I plan to start another book while I am waiting for crits and queries, and work on my website.

    I also want to stretch more. Exercise just scares me, so I just call Pilates "stretching".

    I figured I'd keep my goals super simple considering the huge change the baby is going to cause. :D

  10. Those are some pretty awesome goals, Janice. Wish you the best of luck (being a ROW80 sponsor I know just how hard it can be to stick with goals through the chaotic events of a year).

    Two suggestions for the goals you listed. On the "more active on social media" you might try Kristen Lamb's books "We are not alone" and "Are you there blog?" I'm a graduate of her blogging class and she has excellent suggestions on how to handle social media while still leaving plenty of time to write. All about balance.

    Second, maybe you could combine "more reading" with the vegetable garden by listening to audio books while you garden. Just a thought.

    Hope you have an excellent 2012!

  11. Love your goals, Janice. I especially love the idea of your reluctant reader project. I never understood this and stood in judgement on people who didn't like to read...until my second child struggled with reading (went through remedial tutoring is on the other side, doing great now) and my third could barely figure out the kindergarten sight word list at the end of first grade. We just finished his evaluations for special ed. High IQ + low reading skills = learning disability. It has been a relief as he's been getting more help and I've been given more tools. But there are just not enough books out there for an eight year old with reading skills just above kindergarten level. I can imagine what it will be like in later elementary, middle and high school. So bring on the reluctant reader series. I'll snap them up as soon as they are published. With kids from 12 down to 3, I'll have somebody to read them for the next decade or so. :)

  12. Like all of your posts, your goals for 2012 are well thought out. I love how you did the percentage thing. Good luck with all of them, and I hope you have an awesome 2012.

  13. I just want to love writing again. I just don't know how anymore.

    I had to white knuckle the holidays again, but they're over, and this hasn't gone away.

    Why people think the dark side is "fun" is beyond me.

    Nothing about how I feel is fun. Nor does it feel "Normal."

    I just know it can't be spirited away.

  14. These are great goals--my own are pretty similar actually. I want to grow my own blog on creativity (check it out:!) and launch a short story website I've been working on for a year. Hopefully both with come together with a good blog tour. And I am going to edit the hell out of my first novel's first draft, hopefully get it ready for agent queries in 2013.

    I also hope to get myself back into a regular running routine. We'll see.

  15. Nice to see everyone has such great plans for the new year. Fingers crossed for all of us to hit our goals. Even if we don't make them all, striving for them is a good thing. Progress is progress, even if it's small.

    I figured guessing my odds makes it a little easier. Not hitting something I didn't think I'd do isn't as bad as total failure :)

    Gene, I'll have to try Kristen's books. I keep hearing great things about them, and I love her blog. Oo, I like the audio book idea. Multi-tasking!

    Amelia, that's so great your kids are getting help there. I never knew much about this market until folks started telling me my books were good for this group. The more I looked into it, the more I wanted to write for them. Best of luck with your readers :)