New Year, New ROW80, New Goals!

It’s been a second, welcome week of only two days at work, and my second five-day weekend. Our furry houseguest is still here as I write this, but scheduled to leave tonight.

She has been a lot of fun, both for us and for Isis. (The gerbils are still not too sure.) If the neighbors were to come back and say, “Oh, why don’t you just keep her,” neither my husband, our daughter, nor I would be a bit disappointed (and a trip to the pet store for more indestructible toys would be in order).

The girls "wrestling"

The girls “wrestling”

Isis afterward

Isis afterward

It’s also that time of year when we tend to reflect back on what we’ve accomplished over the last one, and what we hope to achieve in the coming one.

If I look at my writing in terms of pure production, it’s kind of disappointing. I intended to finish a short story by March; I ended up with NOTHING. But when I look at what happened (story turned into a novella, then a novel, then a longer novel!) and count up how many words I wrote (close to 100k, counting work on other projects and stuff that got cut), and look over how much I learned, including most importantly, how to have fun with my writing again, it’s not so bad. Not at all. And also hopefully a lot of which will set me up for a good 2015.

I do best breaking goals into manageable chunks, and ROW80 Round 1 starts tomorrow (Monday, January 5), so it’s time for some quarterly goals. (For those who don’t know what ROW80 is, it’s “The Writing Challenge that Knows you Have a Life” and lets us set goals that work for us. More info on the ROW80 blog.)

ROW80Logo175So here are my goals for Round 1:

  • Finish the WIP, get it revised, and out to beta readers
  • Prep work for next one, which includes a self-directed workshop (I want to do some of this concurrently with the above, so I’m  ready to start getting words on it when the above goes out)
  • Make changes to the Love’s a Beach anthology for my publisher–Ohio Valley Romance Writers of America shut down at the end of this year 🙁 so those references need to be changed in both the text and cover I designed for them
  • Read one craft or business book (already started)
  • Take one online workshop or video series (already started as part of “prep work” above)

For this week, that breaks down to:

  • Quick review the rest of the WIP for major-major changes OR write one new scene (I think will be needed)
  • Do one set of worksheets for the next WIP workshop
  • Bonus: Finish writing craft/business book
  • Bonus: any work on the anthology changes

What I read this week: I am about halfway through a novel, and also about halfway through the craft/business book mentioned above, so I will discuss one or both next week. As a side note, I read 43 books last year, a half-dozen of which were short stories, and another half-doze were Dean Wesley Smith’s Smith’s Monthly magazines, each of which includes a full-length novel and about a half-dozen short stories. There were three nonfiction books on my list that I didn’t finish, one because it was really long and I had to return it to the library before I finished, and two because they just weren’t that interesting and I wasn’t learning anything new from them. There was also a novella I didn’t finish that was very good, but kept me awake afterward, so I’ll finish that sometime when I want to read fiction some time other than before bed (which I don’t have a chance to very often).

What about you–how was your past year? Did any of your accomplishments or things you learned surprise you? And what are you looking forward to this year? Whether or not you’re participating in ROW80, or are even a writer, what are some of your goals for this year? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

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