Sunday, December 14, 2008

Is it THAT Time Again... (insert whining if you must...)

Oh, boy, here we go! It's New Year's Resolution Time...

Out with the old, in with the new, but first we must reflect back on our year's progress with our goals. I wasn't even sure if I remembered all of mine, so I had to look back here to remind myself of 2008's goals.

Let's see I said I would...
  1. Make revisions to a particular picture book.
  2. Polish pages 1 - 30 in my WIP (MG low fantasy novel)
  3. FINISH my WIP (the one and the same MG low fantasy novel)
  4. Save, save, save (for the SCBWI Bologna Children's Fair)

So, how did I fare...

I did make those revisions to that particular picture book, showed it to two editors and then pulled it underground, wanting to focus all my attention on my MG novel. This decision came after one editor in particular said, "When I saw your name, I thought this can't be the same Sheri Perl-Oshins (knowing I write novels) and that's when I stopped and asked myself, do I really want to be pulled in two directions, or focus on one? My answer was, focus on one. No matter what led to my decision, the goal was still reached. Check.

Yes, I did polish pages 1 - 30, but this seems like a silly goal to have had since I hadn't even finished writing the darn thing. Looking back, I know why I had that as a goal - an SCBWI conference. So, check to #2.

Finish my WIP. Well, there's still time and with NaNo I did pump out close to 40,000 new words all in one month - more than I've ever done. I've since cut a lot of the dribble and my word count is back down to 34,599, but still, it was a feat that I am proud of and although I have not reached this goal, I know I will. So, let's say half a check.

And what about saving up for Bologna? I can sum that up in one word; Recession. I had to give up that goal - but no hard feeling about it - reality is reality, even if it's not the reality you'd hoped for. So, no check there.

Even though 2008 seems to have come and gone in the blink of an eye, and looking back, I do feel a measure of success, it is time to look ahead to 2009. This year's goals will be easy to define. (Hey, I made a rhyme... must be a poet and I don't even know it!)

  1. Finish my novel!
  2. Polish my novel!
  3. Maybe the later half of the year, if it's ready, begin looking for an agent.

And that's it! Three very good goals. How about you? Did you meet your 2008 goals? What goals will you set for 2009?


Jill Wheeler said...

Ooooh, those are my goals, too. Polish my ms until it gleams and then agent hunting time!

Casey Something said...

My only 2008 writing goal was to finish at least one novel. I'm not sure if I really accomplished this. I reached "the end" of two novels but both of them have huge holes, so I'm not sure if I can classify them as "finished," really. Oh well.

I'm still debating my goals for 2009 and plan to make my own goal/resolution post soon, but I think my main goal is going to be to write something and stick with it until it's really, truly finished and polished.

Good luck on your goals Sheri! I can't wait until the day you say you're done with this MS!

Unknown said...

Hi Jill,

Yes, you must finish your novel!!! I loved your reference to whining and think you might enjoy my book, Thou Shalt Not Whine....The Eleventh Commandment. Remember what ever you do, there will be "No Whine in 2009, however Wine is just fine".
January Jones

Clementine said...

Ya know, I've never been one to actually put my goals in writing. Maybe that's because I'm afraid if I don't reach it then that means I failed? I stick things in the back of my mind and hope for the best - does that count?

PJ Hoover said...

Yay for goal setting! I must sit down, evaluate last year, and think about my future!

Unknown said...

I like those goals--and I like that you went back and looked at your last year's goals. I think I might do that, too!

Keri Mikulski said...

Yes.. I did meet my 2008 goals - to travel more and find an agent. Luckily, I did get to travel more this year. :) And I snagged a wonderful agent. Still thinking about 2009. Hmm..

Great decision to concentrate on one. :)

Sheri Perl-Oshins said...

Jill, those are good goals to have for 2009!

Casey, may I put my two cents in for a 2009 goal of yours???? No? Oh well... it's my blog so I propose you take one of the two novels you finished this year and try your hand at revisions. No novel is perfect and hole-free in the first attempt. It takes many revisions. Instead of starting, yet another new one, why not try to fill the holes in 2009?!

Thanks for stopping by January. And good luck with your novel.

It counts if you say it does, Amy! But why don't you try this year to write down just your writing goals. I've heard many a successful person say they believed they succeeded for many reasons but one of them was because they had a plan in writing. Something about having it in writing, solidifies it for you and makes you take responsibility. Why not try giving yourself one writing goal for the year that you post. Just one. And make it something obtainable. Besides, even if you don't fully reach the goal, it doesn't mean you've failed. You fail only if you don't try.

PJ, I'm sure you had a gadzillion goals and I'm sure you nearly reached (or reached) every single one. You're like the energizer bunny! You just never seem to stop, or complain, or... whine...

Peek-a-boo... Beth is that you? Really you? It's so nice to see your face (and your pretty blonde hair) peeking out from behind that old tree! Yes, do look back. I was actually happy to see I had made most of my goals. I was so afraid I would have this long, crazy laundry list of impossibilities. And what was really neat was I was able to see that one of my goals was off base a bit. To me that shows growth and progress in my understanding of what needs to get done. Give it a shot!

Keri, well a belated congrats! I didn't realize you snagged your agent in 2008. That's awesome. So, this year when you look back, you will have a lot to be proud of and thankful for.

Gottawrite Girl said...

Sheri, you are admirably organized. Wow. That's awesome. Your goals are clear, and you've made amazing progress... Thanks for sharing all this ~ it's certainly a much-wanted kick in the pants!!!

: )

Sheri Perl-Oshins said...

Me? Organized? I have moments of organization and thoughts of grandeur when I actually believe I am organized, but that all comes crumbling down when I have to look for something...

Chris Eldin said...

As organized and as creative as you are, you'll get there!! I'm still in awe of your NaNo results--you go, girl!!

Sheri Perl-Oshins said...

Thanks Chris!

Taurean Watkins said...

I only had two goals this year, and I was only able to meet one.

The goal I didn't meet was to get my MG novel of four years in submission-ready shape. I thought it was the best I could make it, and yet I've gotten feedback that it's too "sappy" and "unrealistic" among other things. I put it aside during NaNoWriMo, and now I'm starting to go back to it.

The goal I did meet was keeping up with my reading. Over the summer, I did have a period of four or five months where I didn't read any books whatsoever. I was simply too frustrated with writing to enjoy a book.

That's been starting to go away and I'm reading again.

For 2009, I have a few goals I'd like to meet-

1. Get my MG novel of four years (Soon to be five) submission ready.

2. Read at least 2 to 3 books a month.

3. Update my new blog more regularly.

4. Write something new every month.

5. Just play with words and experiment more.

6. Return to my Nano novel (After novel above is finally done!!)

Wish me luck, I need it.


JR's Thumbprints said...

My goals are fairly simple. I have a daily goal: Do my eight and hit the gate; a monthly goal: seven to ten blog posts a month; and a yearly goal: three polished short stories submitted.

I'm hoping to keep the same goals, plus enroll in some Adobe computer classes.

Good luck with yours!

Danette Haworth said...

Congratulations on refining your goals!

I think mine were eat right, exercise a little, and try to get more sleep.

Did I succeed? Haha, there's always 2009.

Merry Christmas, Sheri!

Anonymous said...

I achieved one of my goals and that was to write and finish my story. my goal for next year is to edit it and hopefully get an agent.Hope you have a great Christmas!

Leeza Hernandez Illustrator said...

OM Gosh, I can't even think about 2009 - hahahha - when I haven't even got my decorations up for Christmas!

I enjoyed reading these and I see your decision about Bologna- I am sad :( but totally understand. I'm not even sure if I can still go, but maybe that IS my goal for 2009 ....

Sheri Perl-Oshins said...

Sorry, I've been absent for a few days... My family is all coming over tonight to celebrate Hnaukkah and December birthdays! I've been cleaning and cooking all day. Well, the cleaning has been more like all week! But who's counting?

CJ - one solid goal is better than to be directionless so I say, good for you! And your 2009 goals are clear and well-defined. I'll wish you luck, but I think you're already off to a great start!

JR - Your goals sound like you'll be busy! I like your expression - Do my eight and hit the gate - I'll have to tell my husband that one!

Danette - cute hat! Those were good goals for 2008. A little angel tells me you'll be just fine in 2009. (Ha, a little rhyme for you. It's a rhyming angel.)

Motherx - way to go! You go girl. 2009 just might be your year to shine! (OK, what's with the rhyming all of a sudden?)

OH, NO! WAIT UP LEEZA! I haven't written Bologna totally off the radar for 2009. I still have a year to save. I just couldn't make saving a goal in 2008. I am still thinking of it for 2010. Don't count me out just yet!

Polly and Meek said...

Oh, you can do it! You can do it!

Sheri Perl-Oshins said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence Polly and Meek and welcome to my blog!

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