Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Goals (and 2013 wrap-up)

Last year I posted a few goals for 2013 as part of YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday (original post here).

My goals were quite general:

  • I've read so much YA fiction in the past two years, I'd like to mix it up more often. I'd like to read more non-fiction and adult market novels. My most recent library haul included a memoir, popular non-fiction history book, a writing craft book, and a fiction book that was popular with the book clubs a few years back.
  • I am finalizing revisions to send my current writing projects to agents who requested material from a contest late in 2012. I'd like to start revising the draft I wrote during Nanowrimo in November and see where that leads.
  • Other than that, I plan to keep blogging, and connecting with other writers and readers online, on twitter, and through RWA and SCBWI. I am tentatively planning on attending RWA Nationals in Atlanta in July!

So where did that lead?
  • In 2013, I read 67 books, 40% of which were adult market (non-YA) books that included historical, non-fiction and romance. Success! 
  • The other part of that goal was to revise my Nano 2012 project. I did start to revise, though I realized the story had a number of plot issues. I set it aside for the remainder of the year and worked on two different new projects instead. 

  • I let my SCBWI membership lapse because locally, they didn't offer much for me. I spent my efforts on RWA and attended the national conference in Atlanta. I met writers I only knew from online, published authors, and I got to know my chapter a little better, with 20 of us attending. Plus the Chicago North chapter. I've made a dent in the pile of free books (and gave some away). I took great workshop notes which I've revisited several times.Success! 
  • I also attended Midwest Writers Workshop (the very next week--insanity) where I met my agent Sarah, along with another client of hers, the fantastic Summer Heacock (@fizzygirl).
    Summer, Sarah, Stephanie. 
  • I started a YA and New Adult critique group within my RWA chapter. Four of us meet once a month and discuss critiques in more depth. Face to face. I also did a google chat with writer Valerie Cole (she held my hand for my first video chat) which was so much fun. So even if you don't have an in-person group to work with, use technology to your advantage! 

For 2014, here's to getting a little more specific:

  1. Finish revisions on Contemporary YA #1. Submit to agent > sub to publishers
  2. Complete subsequent drafts of 2013 NaNoWriMo Contemporary YA #2
  3. Possibly revise a Historical YA novel
  4. Develop a new novel idea and/or participate in NaNoWriMo 2014
  5. Expand freelance writing to pop culture websites (something I did previously but the site folded)
  1. Develop/maintain new blog content: TV reviews, blog challenges. Potentially focus some posts on writing advice or the query process
  2. Write a guest post 
  3. Feature guest post
  4. Host a book launch or cover reveal
  5. Contribute to a group blog (if anyone has leads, please let me know!)
  6. Read through slush/coach/assist with a pitch contest on a writing blog
Professional (writing):
  1. Attend a workshop (planning for: Chicago North Spring Fling, April 2014)
  2. Develop a workshop/skills/experience for a future presentation
  3. Take on a leadership role within RWA (currently Historian, assisting w/ auction gift basket, judge for annual contest)
  4. Read 2-4 new writing craft books
  5. Sign up for 2-4 RWA monthly courses through YARWA/Pro/main site of RWA
  6. Golden Heart finalist?? (Hey, it could happen!)
  1. Goodreads challenge set at 50 books
  2. Read at least 2 classics
What are you most proud of from 2013? What's in store for you in 2014?


  1. Your goals are awesomely specific! I probably should have gone that route instead of being so general. I really like the way you've laid them out. As much as I kind of stink at follow through, I might just have to force myself to make some goals after all. ;-) I hope 2014 is a great year all around for you!

  2. Wow!! You accomplished so much and you have lots of great goals for the coming year. Congrats!!

  3. Congrats on 2013, and best of luck with 2014!

  4. Whew! Awesome year in review, and what a great one to come! Here's to 2014, and may it bring us all much cheese. =)

  5. Congratulations on meeting so many goals, and good luck with this year's goals! I'm hoping to have my first Russian historical indie published this year and to finish my WIP, the third Russian/North American historical. Then there are a lot of things in the queue to be attended to.

  6. Wow! Congrats on meeting your goals for 2013! You kicked it out of the ball park! And those are some great ones for 2014!

  7. Wow 2013 was a grwat year for you. I love your resolutions and goals for this year. I get a bit stressed if I make too many though, but I have my words for the year mindful and connect. I'm also trying to read 50 books too.

    Hope you have a great year.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.