I said on Friday I would commit to some goals. This is what I’m doing now.
I already follow the 4 hour writing block commitment I had planned on in the new year. Excellent! I get a sticker for that … maybe even a smelly one. I hope it smells like pizza.
Now, I am setting some more, manageable goals:
1) Build a list of prioritized agents who I will submit to. Keep the list growing, changing, and fully updated each week. Prioritize them based on:
– do we fit each other?
– are they wanting what I am – a relationship complete with a future plan which includes marketing of products based on my writing work and ongoing writing jobs which also include a full blow large-scale rockstar tour? (Way down the road, of course.)
– are they up-front honest, or do they sugar coat? I don’t want any of that soft garbage, I want someone who says it like it is and gets the job done. If the manuscript is brilliant but it still needs a major plot change, then tell me for goodness sake.
– do they know their stuff and will they be willing to get to know my stuff?
2) Submit to the query stack on the Sub It Club at least once a month, but preferably twice a month.
3) Submit 3 queries a month. Maybe it’s not enough, maybe it’s too much. I won’t know until I get going. In 2 months I’ll see if I did enough, if it was too much, or if I’m out of people to submit to.
4) Believe in what I write, and polish it ’til it shines. I believe I am an unusually strong writer. I’m not being cocky or arrogant; an agent I queried once told me that I was very strong, but I just didn’t fit her list. I suppose, looking back, I just liked her personality and blog, but we really didn’t have the same interest in book styles. Even though I know my work is solid, I know that I need to improve the endings, and add 2-3 more jokes per manuscript than are currently in them. I’m not going to send anything out until I can read it aloud and feel smooth and natural with it, so when that is finished, I can send it. But, I still need to send 3 a month, so I’d better get shining.
5) Set aside one hour each week to focus on the business side of things: perusing the SCBWI website, reading market guides, building my list of agents and editors, and so on. I’ll do this, for now, by tacking on an extra 30 minutes to the Monday/Wednesday writing blocks.
6) By the year’s end, I must have an offer of some sort. Maybe this one is pushing it, because I have ZERO control over it, but I still believe it will happen. Because, I have to. If I didn’t believe it would happen, I’d be wasting my time. It’d be like dating someone who was all wrong for me, and then knowing we would break up … what would be the point of it?
Those are my big six. Without a solid goal, you never know if you’ve reached it, meaning you’ll never be very happy because you’ll be wandering blindly. So, what are yours?