Since I was a kid, I’ve always been a big list-maker. One of the most satisfying experiences, in my opinion, is making a list of all the things I hope to accomplish in a day/week/month/year and ticking them off one at a time till they’re all done. I love that sense of completion I get from looking at a list upon which every task has a corresponding checkmark. I also learned early on to break up large jobs into small tasks so that I could simultaneously give myself achievable goals and positive reinforcement that would see me through to the end. This system has stood me well as a writer as well.
I have very ambitious long term goals, but the only way I’m going to see them to fruition is by setting a series of short term milepost goals that will lead me in the direction I want to go.
With this in mind, here are my goals for 2014 (yes, I realize this is a long list, but they’re all attainable given the proper planning):
Find representation (In process) for the book series with the goal of publishing Book 1 within a year
Meanwhile, write manuscript for Book 2 between January and May.
Write summaries for each character’s storyline, with their key scenes detailed
Outline the chapters in order, interweaving those storylines
Organize the book into 3 acts (30-35 thousand words per part) in order to give the story structure
Create the Scrivener project for the book
Set a schedule for each week with a deadline for completing each of the parts (one per month?)
Maintain a record of words completed each week
When first draft of each section is complete, take a couple of days off and then do at least 3 rounds of revision
Update outline as needed until the entire manuscript is complete and ready to begin editorial process
Write at least 2 short stories in the summer of 2014 (related to the novel? unrelated?) and shop them for publication in the fall
Determine what manuscript I want to work on during The Stanley Hotel Writer’s Retreat
Social Media Goals
Set a weekly/monthly schedule for regular blogging/posting
Learn how to use analytics to determine content goals
Find an admin assistant for my FB and Twitter to help manage postings if needed
Schedule exercise into my weekly calendar 3 x per week and take it as seriously as I do my writing goals
Expand my container garden to grow more than just tomatoes this year
Reorganize my laundry room and consider purchasing new equipment
Learn to crochet
Dedicate one room for hobbies and organize supplies
Spring cleaning during the week of Spring Break to sort clutter, then store, toss, or donate as appropriate
Read 50 books using Goodreads to keep track of my goal
Notice that these are goals, not resolutions. Resolutions seem to always be broken. I am going to do these things, not just say I’m going to. Getting out my calendar now to make my plans. 2014 is going to be a good year.
When Delia was five years old, her teacher asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she replied, "I want to be a writer and tell stories." That desire never changed, though it's manifested in many different ways throughout the years.
Delia lives in a big old house in a small town near the Missouri River with her Scottish terrier, Layla, and she spends her days surrounded by books and good friends.