Quarter Four Goals - 2018
California - at least in the Bay Area and East Bay - doesn't really have seasons. It's split between two distinct periods: one with rain and one without. However, even the rain that we do receive isn't that much. If it weren't for the freak rainy weather that the region received two years ago, the entire state would almost certainly still be considered as being in a drought. In many ways, it still is, but thanks to that rain we've successfully kicked that can down the road once more.
In any case, we're approaching the beginning of the rainy season, which also means the year will soon come to a close. How did all of you fare so far with your goals?
I've really enjoyed making myself liable for the quarterly goals I've been managing and, in most cases, meeting. It always helps to have goals of any kind. Advertising your goals to the world certainly puts a bigger fire under them, as does having the goals be concrete and achievable as opposed to nebulous and abstract. I'll definitely keep this up in the years to come, so I hope that all of you continue to keep me on my toes!
So without further ado, here are the final batch of goals for 2018!
Begin organizing research materials/data for Book #2.
Done! That is, it's begun. The most interesting part about the work for Book #2 is that it's a sequel which means it already has substantial content for it to play with (existing universe, characters, major events from the previous novel). Despite that, I've done WAY more planning on the world-building front because this takes place in the same universe.
Submit my story to at least fifteen agents.
FAIL. I did submit to agents, but I barely touched the "five" mark, let alone fifteen. There's a good reason, which is fed from #4 just below. In summary, I spent a LOT of time making changes and reviewing what already exists - not just from my beta readers, but from a personal (and VERY lengthy) revise/resubmit from an agent. These factors limited the time I wanted to invest in agent research. In addition, I am really starting to consider avoiding cold submissions whenever possible, which would mean getting my butt to any writing conference where agent meetups are possible.
Review and apply beta reader feedback.
Done! I managed to receive detailed feedback (in-line manuscript commentary/suggestions + a summary document) from eleven beta readers! And yes, I carefully reviewed all of them and compared notes across the board for trending commentary - it was those trends which got the most attention. I am very grateful for their help.
Write reviews for at least fifteen books.
FAIL. I did write reviews, but not fifteen of them. I know that book reviews are very important, so I will try to pick up the slack on this front. In the meantime, here are Goodreads links to the reviews I wrote this quarter.
Write a 3-page synopsis for my book.
Done... sorta. Per the requirements of the agents I have submitted to, as well as for some contests, I've expanded my 1pg synopsis to the point where it might as well be a 3pg synopsis. I suppose that's cheating, but I'll take it. Plus, I've yet to find an agent that requested anything longer than a 1pg synopsis (so far).
And now, it's time to round out the year with my last batch of goals.
Complete Core Research for Book #2.
Continuing what I started, I want to get all the key information and plot-relevant details (hypothetical technologies, extrapolated world history) locked in so I can write the first couple of chapters with total confidence. Given that this book takes place in the near future (but very different from our own world), keeping the tech, physics, and math accurate is my top concern and goal. If I can knock out all the major elements on this front, I'll be in a strong position in the long run.
Find and register for other writing conferences.
I want to keep the fire going on the networking front, given the success that Worldcon76 was for me. I have some details for a major offshoot of Worldcon that occurs in 2019 - Westercon72 - but I want to see if there's anything happening much sooner than that. Like before the end of this year sooner. If any of my readers know of upcoming conferences off the top of their heads, please do share that info in comments below!
Beta Read at least two manuscripts.
My unofficial "Doing My Part Initiative" (I just coined this a few moments ago), I will put myself out there via Twitter to find other unpublished works and see if their creators are looking for beta readers. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to find such jobs, so it then is a matter of having the time to do the job.
Write reviews for at least fifteen books.
I'm sticking to this number, damnit!
Read another seven books.
At the beginning of this year I created a list of books that I wanted to read through 2018. Despite reading a bunch of them, I've veered drastically off-course thanks to other book recommendations and book gifts from others which weren't on my list. It may be safe to say that book challenges are, at best, suggestions, and not meant to be stuck to - not when there are SO many books out there to read! And you never know which ones you'll stumble into... Nevertheless, I aim to knock out at least another seven books before year's end - likely a conservative goal, but you never know what could happen.
Time to end this year with a bang!
What are your professional or personal goals for the next three months?