GOALS from 2011 to 2012


Morning all. Or evening, depending opon when you get to MW.

Before I get started — Just an aside: Raven Cursed, the fourth Jane Yellowrock novel, came out on the 3rd. If you haven’t seen the cover, here it is, though it is much prettier in perosn — the green foil of my name is gor-je-mous! 

On to the post. AJ’s and David’s first posts of the year got me thinking about goals for 2012. (Not resolutions—I will never  call them that, because I am useless at following through on things that sound firm and written in stone.) So I pulled up last year’s goals to take a peek. You know, the old, “I can’t move ahead until I have covered my trail,” syndrome. I think writers in particular are easily brought under thrall to that attitude, maybe as a part of following a plot trail from beginning to end, or something. Or maybe that’s just me, seeing the world only through the eyes of my own experience. Anyway. So, I went back and pulled up last year’s goals post. (grins) I was surprised, pleased, and dismayed at the things I planned/wanted to do for 2011, and the things I actually accomplished, so I thought that I’d share. Here is an abbreviated version of last year’s goals and my own personal results.

  1. I have  been getting healthy for the last year (a 2010 goal). Regular exercise, eating well. This year, I’m adding regular weight lifting to my health regimen. Hmmm. 12 months later: Not so much. I had some health issues that      kept me away from the weights especially after August. But I started back  on the weights last week, so I am finally on the way to this one!
  2. Get my  writing room finished. I also need a new desk chair. 12 months later: The new desk chair is great! Writing room is painted, but stalled. The cabinets  have not yet been built and the desk still faces into the wall instead of into the windows out over the deck. Sigh. I really am ready for this room to happen, but this is the hubby’s department, and the contractor disappeared. We’ve hired a new one, who actually started last Tuesday, turning the deck out back into a screen porch with his hammer-shaped magic wand. As I am writing this, there is the sound of saws and hammers and things falling with loud booms. Whoot!
  3. I’ll set special time apart for the hubby, doing the things we love… More rivers to paddle! 12 months later: Due to the aforementioned health problem I’ve done little paddling since August, but I am back in the saddle (okay, boat) and thinking about rivers.
  4. Lose the dang pounds I put on over the holidays. 12 months later: Done. Plus a few more. YEA! More weight to lose, however, and muscles to tone.
  5. Write 3 short stories in January. 12 months later:  Done. Plus the novella with Catie Murphy, which jut went live on Amazon. Plus the books and rewrites. I did good on that.
  6. Finish the rewrite of the AKA’s (Gwen’s) last book in February. 12 months later: Done. It was printed (100 copies) before the publisher pulled it because a NYC agent liked it and wanted to submit it to bigger presses. We’ll see      how that goes.
  7. Finish the role playing game / world book Rogue Mage, set in Thorn St. Croix’s world. 12 months later: Sorta done. It is too long so we are dividing it up into two parts (maybe three parts) and Kickstarting it.
  8. This takes me up to March for my writing goals. In early March I want to start another (the 5th) Jane Yellowrock novel. 12 months later: Done.     
  9. Attend all the cons I have signed up for. 12 months later: Done.

Over all, I am happy with my 2011 goals. And I am now thinking about my 2012 goals, which are smaller in nature, but maybe bigger in heart.

  1. Regular exercise, eat well, regular weight lifting. Lose ten more pounds.
  2. Get my writing room finished, with cabinets and desk facing in a better direction. Get the new screen porch finished. (Contractor is out there now!) Get several rooms (interior of house) painted.
  3. Paddle more rivers.
  4. Start back down a spiritual path. I have been un-spiritual for the last couple of years, and that leaves an emptiness inside me. I need that dark place to be filled. (I’m not talking religion, here. To me, spirituality is different from religion.) I write better when I commune with nature and pray and study and meditate. I am more centered. More flexible mentally and emotionally. Less mean. Less mouthy. 😆  J
  5. Turn down more things. Say *No* more often. Accept no shorts for 2012.
  6. Write 2 books and finish the fiction for part two of the Rogue Mage RPG. That’s it. Nothing else, writing wise. (I am about 2/3 done with the additional RM fiction, so this goal looks likely.)
  7. Finish Kickstarting the Rogue Mage role playing game / world book, set in Thorn St. Croix’s world. This is different from writing it. This is the financing part of the deal.
  8. Attend four or five cons.
  9. Chose a charity to link myself and my name to. I am looking at a couple of clean water charities, groups who provide wells for drinking water to third world villages. St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital is also a candidate.    

That’s it. The list is shorter and sweeter than last year’s goals.
Now that we are well into the year, how did you guys do on last year’s goals and how do you feel about this year?
And hey – if you haven’t bought Raven Cursed, um, did I mention that it’s out, yes?





22 comments to GOALS from 2011 to 2012

  • MaCrae

    Awesome cover!

    As far as my goals last year, I can only remember two: stop popping my knuckles, and get in shape. Popping my knuckles? Eh, sort of. I do it when I’m thinking or nervous, but for the most part, done. Getting in shape? I tried. I really did. Oh well. This year? Writing my dang book!!! And get in shape I guess. I usually forget my “goals/resolutions” by now anyway.

  • 2010 Goals:

    1) Get a Short Story published for pay. Accomplished!
    2) Get a novel ready to submit to agents. Missed. 🙁

    2011 Goal(s):

    2) Oh, and get my bills caught up and buy a house. Nothing big. hehe

  • P.S. – Congratulations and the new release! Looks great!

  • MaCrae, I forgive myself about the *get in shape* thing. Instead I’ve promised I’ll work out with weights for 15 minutes a day. That is added on to the walking or stretching I do each week by habit anyway. So far, I have lost 2 pounds and I feel better.

    Mark, you hit 50%! I think that is Great! And I’m behind you on the getting the novel ready for this year. BIC!

  • Looking for writerly advice? Kim Harrison offered some good thoughts today at her Drama Box / Blog.
    She doesn’t do this often, so, enjoy!

  • I met most of my writing goals for 2011, but did not meet my “selling books to publishers” goals, so I guess I’ll be doing that this year instead. I also continue to have trouble making time for myself amid all the work and promo stuff I try to do. Not enough music-making or photography in my life these days, which is a bit disappointing. But this year is all about Thieftaker — promoting book I, polishing book II, pitching books III and IV, writing shorts in the Thieftaker world. We’ll see how all of that goes. Hope 2012 is another big year for you, Faith. I look forward to seeing you lots!

  • I’ve been reading Magical Words for a while, and today I decided to de-lurk and comment!

    First of all, I want to say how much I enjoy all of the posts, and how helpful they are. Thank you all for doing this!

    Secondly, I’ve already bought Raven Cursed and can’t wait to get to it this weekend.

    Finally, I just wrote my own blog about resolutions and goals. This year I decided to go with a motto because words like “goals” and “resolutions” haven’t always worked in the past. My motto for the year is “Focused and Productive.” I do have some specific items that I want to focus on producing, mainly

    1. Finding a job (this is a kinda big one)
    2. Finishing the novel I started with NaNoWriMo
    3. Exercising more regularly (since once every month or so doesn’t seem to be helping much!)

    Thanks again for all the great tips and advice!


  • Congrats on RAVEN CURSED, Faith!

    I’m looking at last year’s list (link here, for everyone’s quick reference) and wow have things changed.

    1. Finish the WIP, SIGN OF THE STAR. Yep! Did so in May. And then proceeded to engage in rewrites. And more rewrites. And then eventually, it felt ready to send out.

    2. Get an agent. Nope. But I *did* pitch SOTS to an agent at SIWC, using some of the tips Faith provided over the past year, and the agent asked for a full. And I was rejected and I got the rejection at work and I was very upset … and I got over it in about three hours. The best part of this is that it was a personalized rejection, and that helped me make a few small but vital changes. It’s out on submission right now; two agents have asked for partials. *crosses fingers*

    3. Get a new pen name. Yes. Moira Young (in my context) is no more. I decided to just stick with MY name, because no one can take that from me, and I have hippie parents who gave me a unique enough middle name that I can use it if I need to. For now I’m satisfied with L.S. Taylor.

    4. Continue to work on my health and fitness. Well, this one had its ups and downs. I had a period of very high stress at work and with family stuff, so I caught every cold going and was very low-energy in general. BUT, I didn’t gain any weight, and I took up swordfighting. Not counting my sprained ankle, I feel *much* healthier and stronger.

    5. Work on focusing on one thing at a time. Yes and no. This was the hardest thing to manage, because my job often *requires* multitasking. But I am trying to be more conscious of it.

    2012 Goals:

    1. Get an agent. At the very least, I will submit SOTS to as many agents as I can.
    2. Complete the sequel to SOTS, STAR CHILD.
    3. Write and submit at least one short story outside SC.
    4. Continue working on the UF, (oh man I hope this title remains a joke but it’s oddly gaining appeal) JACK GARCIA AND THE PROBLEMS WITH PIXIE DUST.
    5. Stay strong and healthy, and finally break past that plateau. And since I can’t do much with my ankle as it is, that means paying attention to what I’m eating, and putting in more effort there.

    Okay, that’s me. 🙂 Apologies for the essay-length response.

  • Suggestion: don’t resolve to do something that you can’t control.

    You can’t control selling a book or story. So resolve to send it out, repeatedly if necessary, but don’t make your resolution be to sell it. That puts your success at your resolution into someone else’s hands. Why do that to yourself?

    My resolve for the year: Read good stuff. Write good stuff. Make good stuff.

  • David, I look forward to seeing you lots too! *Really* looking forward to MarCon. We’ll have a *long* drive to talk about that crossover project. 🙂

    And while I’m talking about spending time with friends: to seeing a lot of Kalayna too, who lives close enough to plan things out together! Seeing Misty for tea and cupcakes. Seeing John Hartness a lot more! And the Bea-minion. And all you other guys who live close enough to visit with.

    Laura, I like your attitude! And I adore the title. Seriously. It will make a great pitch title, even if it had to change at publication.

    Phiala. SPOT ON! If you guys missed that bit of wisdom, go read it!

  • Cindy

    Before I get started, I already bought and read Raven Cursed. 🙂

    1. live a healthier livestyle
    2. several dog goals, not related to writing
    4. start book #2
    5. read a book by every MW contributor. I’m almost done with this one.
    6. stealing this from Faith, redo my writing space.

  • MJB

    Congrats Faith, and happy New Year to everyone,

    I’ve never made resolutons or goals in years past, never felt the need to, but 2012 has a different feeling to it, so I figured why not?

    1. Spend more time out in nature, not just because it’s healthier but because I like it and yet seemed to neglect it for most of last year
    2. Finish at least one of the many stories I’ve got written down or one of the ones swimming around persistently inside my head
    3. Like Cindy, I also want to read at least one book from all MW bloggers, I’ve got two covered already.

    The list is short but still more then I’ve done before, now to get working on it ^.^

  • Cindy, that is music to my ears.
    Excellent goals! And fixing up a writing space is not just for looks. Seeing the screen porch out back (about 3/4 finished) is giving me a creative boost!

  • Darn, I thought it was “I can’t move ahead until I have covered my tail” which I read as “cover my ass.” Well, that’s probably good advise too.

    I don’t think I even set any goals for 2011, which was probably a mistake…This year, maybe..
    1) Finish personal revisions of “Rain City Blues” (my barista vs Mesopotamian demon novel).
    2) Pitch it to agents.
    3) Flesh my NaNo project (dystopian cyberpunk) out to a full sized novel.
    4) Get my flash fiction piece published. Autobiographical…my birthday on the 20th of December causes the prophesied end of the world. It’ll be a hell-of-a party.

    Here’s the big one…
    5) kick off a business helping writers, artists, musicians, performers and other creative individuals deal with the whole interwebzsocialnetworking thing.

  • Thanks, Faith! Yeah, the title’s growing on me. The UF piece is supposed to be the fun project, anyway.

    Phiala – I can resolve to try. 🙂 Optimisim is the only thing keeping me going sometimes. But I can’t just put it out there beyond “attainable”, because it is attainable. And if 2012 ends and I still don’t have an agent, then I just get back to work on the next thing. If I don’t reach that goal this year, I’m okay with that. Because in the process of striving for that goal of getting an agent, no matter what happens, I know I will come away having learned something. Already I’m learning so much.

  • Well, shut my mouth and call me forgetful – I thought I had posted a list of my own to the original goals post, but it’s not there. So, from memory:
    1. exercise and eat right (and hopefully lose weight) – lost 15lbs and exercised regularly. Until Sept, when a combination of stress fracture in my foot and stress eating kind of wrecked the whole thing. Bleh. BUT I proved that it can be done. NEW GOAL – exercise and eat right. Stay consistent even when stressed and consult the trainers at the gym so I don’t reinjure myself jogging.

    2. Finish co-written WIP and get it out to agents. DONE – no one took the novel, but we did get several requests for full manuscript. NEW GOAL – revise WIP to be darker, edgier and submit it to small presses.

    3. Finish personal WIP so it’s submittable by January 2012. SO CLOSE – it’s complete, but needs one more revision before it’s submittable. NEW GOAL – get that puppy out by February.

    4. Send short stories to publishers. DONE – I got a story accepted to the Here There Be Dragons anthology by Wicked East Press. Due out soon! NEW GOAL – send out completed stories that haven’t been accepted.

    5. Get my migraines and asthma under control. Hmmm – it’s touch and go. But I’m functioning, which is important, and I take my meds correctly and avoid coffee. So, as far as this is under my control, I’m doing it. We’ll call this one a win too.

    NEW GOALS for 2012

    Finish current WIP, start new epic fantasy, get co-written one out there to presses, publish academically to make myself more hirable. Be healthy, physically and emotionally.

  • Rox, what a GREAT B-dy! I’ll party with you!
    Oh! And great goals too! 🙂 Pitching to agents is vital.

    Sarah, it is so hard to get one’s body under control. I keep telling myself to keep at it, and you should do the same. Once you know the triggers to histamine reactions, you can control so much. (My trigger is glue fumes. Never a huffer, I’ll be.) And I like the darker, edgier thoughts. Go for it!

  • Congrats on Raven Cursed, Faith. Those USA Today and NY Times bestseller list numbers are superb.

  • Squeee!!!!! Thank you AJ! I just got them! And I hafta share!

    Raven Cursed:
    USA – 75. Whoot!
    NYT – 26 (down 2 but I’m not crying)
    E-books – 33, which is way up! (Between Tammi Hoag and Le Carre.)

  • Well done Faith. Sometimes it’s hard to reach the goals you set yourself (I think we all know that). It is always easier to reach the ones set by other people.

    I can’t stress enough how much regular exercise and eating plenty of fruit and veg help. The problem is you often don’t realise how much it helps until you can’t do or stop doing it. While I’m in the gym or on the road running I often ask myself when I’m supposed to start feeling better. At the time I’m hot, tired and sometimes bored. But after my 3 week Christmas break of eating all the bad (good?) stuff and not doing any exercise I noticed how much better I felt before going on the break.

    This year I’m writing books 2 and 3 of my epic fantasy and sending book 1 off to agents. Plenty of feedback from beta readers and great ideas on how to develop it better.

    I wish everyone the best of luck with their own goals.

  • Not posting about goals, but …

    Faith – the Raven Cursed numbers should go up by one on Amazon since I dl’d it today!

  • James R. Tuck

    One of my goals for 2012 is to have a cover with foil on my name! Seriously, that is sweet looking.

    Biggest goals:

    Finish all contracted Deacon Chalk books and e-novellas (on track and scheduled to wrap up in April.)
    Write crime novel.
    Work on getting an agent.

    Everything else is gravy on the chicken fried steak!