Goals: looking back and pushing forward

I recent­ly wrapped up what I think will be my last in-per­son school vis­its of the 2015–2016 school year, and pro­mo­tion activ­i­ties for the three books that are out is start­ing to die down. This seems like a good time to pause and reflect on my goals and progress, espe­cial­ly since I was too busy at the begin­ning of the year to do my usu­al review and plan­ning exercises.
Since this time last year, I’ve done:

  • Done!1 high school presentation,
  • 13 mid­dle school presentations,
  • 4 ele­men­tary school presentations,
  • 6 Skype vis­its (includ­ing one to Hawaii, one to Brazil, and one more to go!),
  • 3 radio interviews,
  • 2 preschool storytimes,
  • 2 teen library events,
  • 1 adult library event,
  • 2 Girl Scout workshops,
  • 3 book­store sign­ing events,
  • 1 book launch party,
  • 1 blog tour,
  • 1 book trailer,
  • 1 sto­ry­time activ­i­ty kit,
  • the Texas Book Fes­ti­val in Austin,
  • the Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion of School Librar­i­ans (AASL) con­fer­ence in Columbus,
  • the Pacif­ic North­west Library Asso­ci­a­tion con­fer­ence (PNLA) in Portland,
  • the Inter­na­tion­al Lit­er­a­cy Asso­ci­a­tion’s (ILA) con­fer­ence in St. Louis,
  • one research trip to St. Louis,
  • Indies First! on Small Busi­ness Sat­ur­day at Secret Gar­den Books,
  • 1 guest lec­ture at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Washington,
  • 2 appear­ances at a chil­dren’s museum,
  • 2 sum­mer camp visits,
  • 2 Twit­ter chats (includ­ing one for WWE moms!),
  • 2 record­ings for TeachingBooks.net,
  • 1 SCBWI Crys­tal Kite Award pre­sen­ta­tion at SCBWI-WWA’s Inside Sto­ry event,
  • 1 mid­dle-grade book writ­ten and submitted,
  • 3 pic­ture books revised (but not yet finished),
  • 1 YA project edit­ed and revised (still in progress),
  • pre­lim­i­nary research for 2 new book projects,
  • at least 2 major web­site over­hauls (one here and one for Online Author Vis­its),
  • vol­un­teer­ing for We Need Diverse Books,
  • vol­un­teer­ing for SCBWI West­ern Wash­ing­ton, and
  • 19 blog posts.

Not too shab­by! It’s so easy in this busi­ness to feel like I nev­er get any­thing done. I have a stack of in-progress man­u­scripts that I des­per­ate­ly want to per­fect so they can go out and try to find their pub­lish­ing homes, and every day that they don’t quite get there (or worse, don’t make any progress at all!) feels like a big fat fail­ure. List­ing out all of the things that I have done makes me feel a lit­tle bit bet­ter. I haven’t just been spin­ning my wheels, after all! I did­n’t get to fin­ish every­thing I had hoped to by now, but I did check off some big goals and also did a bunch of things I had­n’t expect­ed or planned on. And, many of the things list­ed were firsts for me and/or major high­lights, so there’s a lot of per­son­al growth hid­den in that list as well as some major accom­plish­ments to be proud of. So, all in all, not bad!
Still, there’s so much more I want to do! My goals for the rest of the year include:

  • TKfin­ish­ing up revi­sions for the first book in the Two Truths and a Lie series: It’s Alive!,
  • com­plet­ing the pho­to research for It’s Alive!,
  • attend­ing the ALA Annu­al Con­fer­ence in Orlan­do to accept the Schnei­der Fam­i­ly Award,
  • revis­ing my non­fic­tion pic­ture book until it’s ready for submission,
  • revis­ing one of my fic­tion pic­ture books until it’s ready for submission,
  • revis­ing the mid­dle-grade non­fic­tion pro­pos­al until it’s ready for submission,
  • revis­ing the YA project until it’s ready for submission,
  • final­iz­ing the out­line for Two Truths and a Lie, Book #2, and begin­ning the writing,
  • and writ­ing more blog posts.

There are sev­er­al oth­er man­u­scripts I hope to fin­ish revis­ing, as well as a hand­ful of new ideas I’m real­ly excit­ed about research­ing fur­ther and begin­ning to write, but those will all just have to wait until I com­plete the above. Revi­sion is one of those things that’s dif­fi­cult to pre­dict how long it will take, so I’m not sure if this list is even any­where close to doable. I’ll check back in Jan­u­ary to let you know how I’ve done! 🙂

4 thoughts on “Goals: looking back and pushing forward”

    • Thanks, but it looks like more than it actu­al­ly was. I did­n’t make much progress on sev­er­al of my big goals. I’m still work­ing on them, though. Bet­ter late than never. 😉


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