Last Tuesday was April Fool’s Day!
Lucky for you, this is today…and I’m not fooling when I tell you we have a special GOAL-BUSTER guest…my dear friend, Sheri McCrimmon.
I met Sheri at a local SCBWI meeting in Colorado Springs two years ago. It was a Sunday…I think we sat next to each other…we chatted and exchanged manuscripts for critique…and that night I emailed her with a request to drive me to Denver very early the next morning…and she immediately said, ‘YES!” You don’t find many people who would do that.
Sheri is an amazing woman, true friend, talented writer, spot-on critique partner, active participant in the kid lit community…and a sweetheart for agreeing to share her goals for 2014 and her plans for reaching them.
So, without further ado, except for a big thank you, here is Sheri!
Vivian, thank you so much for the invitation to share my writing goals. This has been such a helpful exercise for me! I hope that it will be helpful to others as well.
Sheri’s Writing Goals for 2014:
1) Have 10 polished books in submission circulation by year’s end. (As of March 15, I have nine ready).
A. Write and send query/cover letters using what I’ve learned with the help of Mira Reisberg’s awesome picture book class (and free webinars) at the Children’s Book Academy, 12 x 12 resources and lots of googling. (As of March 15, I have one picture book out to two different agents, another to one agent and yet another to two agents). This process is more terrifying and slower than I had hoped, but I am moving forward.
B. Continue to revise, revise, revise. . . with the help of my awesome critique posse, 12 x 12, Rate Your Story and any other great opportunities that may arise.
2) Write at least one new PB draft each month. This has become a habit thanks to 12 x 12.
3) Revise two PB drafts each month.
A. (See 1B).
B. Hone my craft by learning – reading, taking classes, going to workshops and conferences, etc.
4) Spend at least one day every other week (or more) in filing/organization. (My workspace tends to look like the scene of a criminal tragedy). So far, this is an epic fail. (As of March 15, I have spent maybe three days total organizing). As I write this, I think I need to “schedule” time for this.
5) Practice an attitude of gratitude. I am so very grateful that I get to do what I love! However, I can be easily discouraged by the dreaded rejections and not reaching my self-imposed goals at the “prescribed” time.
A. I combat this by keeping a gratitude journal. I try to write at least one thing I am grateful for each day. (I am over 1,000 at this point). When I am feeling discouraged I go back and read my entries. This helps me keep a hopeful attitude. (Vivian is listed numerous times ).
B. Remember my audience. Children matter more than words can express. My ultimate goal is to nurture healthy spiritual, emotional, mental and physical development.
6) Give back to the writing community.
A. Do my best for my critique partners.
B. Offer helpful links and information through social media.
C. Offer encouragement as time allows through varied venues
Thank you so much, Sheri! I know you’ve inspired me to be more organized…just the way you listed your goals and plans shows me a better way to do mine…which are usually on little scraps of paper all around the house. I love the idea of taking one day every other week for organizing files and writing papers…disorganization actually creates more stress…and we all have enough of that already, right?
I’ll throw this question out to everyone…what’s your number one way of keeping tabs on your story ideas…notebook, computer file, shoe box…?
Note to parents: although these goal-buster posts are written by writers with mastering the craft of writing and getting a book published in mind…the way they approach setting and reaching goals can apply to anyone…even kids. Parents can give their children a head-start by encouraging them to set goals (remember the goal charts that can help very little kids reach for certain milestones like potty training and getting dressed by themselves? Well, the skill of setting goals and planning the steps needed to reach them is even more important as kids get older.