Tuesday, December 15

Posted by Laurel Garver on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 9 comments
(My apologies to the Beatles. I've listened to far too much Weird Al in my lifetime, and seem to hear parody potential everywhere.)

As the calendar year wraps up, my mind leaps to the coming year. What will 2010 bring? Many of my new-found friends will take a giant step forward, armed with agency representation. Some will lose heart, set aside the manuscript they've sweated and bled for...and will discover new characters they love even more.

My writerly goals for 2010 include:
- publish another short story
- complete trimming and revising and gathering critiques on WIP 1
- rewrite the query and synopsis for WIP 1
- test market WIP 1 to another dozen agents
- draft the first third of WIP 2
- apply to the Rutgers One-on-One Plus conference
- attend an SCBWI event (conference or workshop)
- encourage the socks off some of my crit partners till they start regularly submitting work for critique.

What about you? Does making goals motivate or overwhelm you? What are your goals for 2010? Will you dream big or take the conservative route like me?


  1. My goals for 2010 include:

    120 rejections from fiction markets
    6 short stories
    20 flash fictions
    1 novel draft
    And... encourage the socks off some of my crit partners till they start regularly submitting work for critique.

    I think I'm dreaming big.

  2. Hi Laurel, Thanks for visiting my blog. It's a pleasure to come read yours.
    As for resolutions, I think the big one for me should be to finish one or both of the two nearly-completed YA novels I worked on this last year--then query the one I feel is most marketable.
    I also read your last post and was brought up short by Yeats's. Since my email comes from The Stolen Child, sleuthwood (at) yahoo (dot) com, I wonder how many times I may have left off that final s when explaining why I use sleuthwood. Thanks for setting me straight on singular names ending in s.

  3. Good morning, Laurel! I think I will probably bounce back and forth between dreaming big and then losing courage and getting more conservative for a while. I'm all in favor of having goals, though. ;)

  4. I'm almost afraid to name my goals, since, well, the last couple years I haven't exactly nailed it, if you know what I mean. But in the interest of playing together well in the sandbox I will give it another shot.

    1)If I haven't heard back from any the agents who currently have Clockwise, I'll send out queries to another batch.

    2) Finish WIP which is a 2nd Clockwise book.

    3) Possibly start a third.

    4) I like to attend the Surrey International Writers Conference each October. (A plug: I've heard this is one of the best writers conferences out there.)

    5) And maybe (because Simon might read this) I'll try writing a short story.

    How's that?

  5. I did read it, Elle. And yes, you should totally try a short story! :)

    (Sorry for the blog comment hijack, Laurel.)

  6. Simon: You do dream big! I'll be cheering you on as you tackle those goals one by one. And the comment hijack was fine--encouraging everyone to try the short format is your shtick.

  7. Tricia: Thanks for the comment and follow. Multiple irons in the fire is a good plan and seems like it would keep writer's block at bay. One story gets stuck, switch to the other.

    I added an addendum in the comments regarding singular subjects ending in S. Our friends at Microsoft didn't get the memo--Word will flag words like Yeats's as a misspelling. The MLA handbook and others explicity says always use the apostrophe and S with singular subjects (to clearly differentiate them from plural subjects). So keep in mind that computer spell checks are not foolproof, and that shifts in style take a while to trickle down to the software folks.

  8. Shannon: I have the big dreams, but I like to keep them to myself because the pessimist in me thinks sharing them will jinx them. (Or that pride goeth before the fall, to be more spiritual about it.)

    I think of goals as measurable tasks I have control over--notice I said I'd apply for Rutgers, but not that I'd go to Rutgers. I can't control whether my application would get me accepted.

  9. Elle: I know what you mean about fearing putting your goals on paper (or cyberspace). What if I don't follow through?

    I'd meant the exercise as an accountability tool--I'm more likely to follow through if I know folks are cheering me on in specific ways.

    I know of a perfect break-in market for you. There's a cool website/e-zine called Maternal Spark (http://maternalspark.com/wp/) that publishes flash fiction (short stories under 500 words). The editor is eager for new pieces and responds quickly to submissions.