Where I spray-paint my thoughts…

Writing Goals Revisited


About a year and a quarter ago, I wrote a post outlining where I was at with various writing projects. This is the kind of blog entry that’s really more for my own benefit than anyone else’s, although other writers may find it interesting or at least cautionary. And of course in theory my legions of eager fans will be avid to know what I’m working on — that’s how writer-blogging is supposed to work — but I have my doubts about that!

Anway, a lot has happened on various writing fronts since then and I thought for my own benefit I would look back at the goals I set for myself in April 07 and see what’s happened with those projects:

Philippi — When I blogged in April 07, I was just working on this and hoping Review and Herald would be interested in my three sample chapters of a new Biblical novel. Things went well!

April 07 Goal: To have three sample chapters ready to show the publisher by mid-May.

July 08 Status: Book has been accepted, is in production, and slated for 2010 release.

Lindisfarne Nothing more has been done with my time-travel novel about a twenty-first century MUN graduate student and a seventh-century British monk. Actually, I did write another chapter last spring, but I don’t feel I have the research done, or the mental space, to work on this right now, even though I’m anxious to do it. An awful lot of work is going to have to go into this novel and I’m hoping to do some of that this fall.

Apri 07 Goal: To get research notes and an outline ready so that I can draft a sizable chunk of this novel in November, during NaNoWriMo 07.

July 08 Status: Goal not reached.

July 08 Goal: Maybe to work on it for NaNoWriMo 08?

The Stones of Ashreel — My fifteen-year-old unpublished fantasy novel, recently rewritten and shortened considerably. (I mean that I wrote the first version 15 years ago, not when I WAS 15).

April 07 Goal: To revise over the summer and have a manuscript ready to send to my agent by fall.

July 08 Status: I didn’t revise the whole manuscript, but got sample chapters and a synopsis ready to send out. I sent it to my then-agent, but nothing happened with that and as I don’t have an agent anymore, I have now started sending it to publishers on my own.

July 08 Goal: Find a publisher!

Sunrise Hope This is the inspirational romance novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo 06. When I blogged about my goals in April 07, I had just sent it out to my first-choice publisher.

April 07 Goal: To get a letter from the publisher saying, “This is wonderful! Send us the rest!!” Barring that, to send it back out to another publisher so fast my characters’ heads will be spinning.

July 08 Status: I did get a letter back from the publisher, but not the one I’d hoped for — they rejected it. I was sad. I did send it out, not to another publisher but to a site that’s supposed to be a place where inspirational publishers read and evaluate book proposals. I had it up there for six month and didn’t get a nibble except from publish-on-demand outfits, so I question the effectiveness of that. I now have it being considered by a publisher where the editor likes it but they may not accept it because it’s not the sort of thing they usually publish…we’ll see.

July 08 Goal: Find a publisher!

By the Rivers of Brooklyn — historical novel.

April 07 Goal: Find a publisher.

July 08 Status: Done! BRB will be released by Breakwater Books in 2009. This is the one I’ve been “unwriting” to get it shorter and more publishable.

Prone to Wandermy enormously complex and ambitious contemporary novel written in 2004 which I don’t yet feel ready to move forward with. I describe it as “simmering on the back burner.”

April 07 Goal: Let it simmer.

July 08 Status: Still simmering, and will continue to do so for at least the next year.

And, three projects that weren’t really on the radar when I posted in April 2007:

What You Want I had no intentions of writing this book in April 2007, or ever. All I can say is if you find you have a 500-pound guy and his alcoholic roommate living in your head, you had better get them out as fast as you can. Which is what I did when I couldn’t keep them quiet any longer. Now I have one more manuscript to revise and try to sell, plus a just-for-fun sequel that, if the book ever gets published, I’ll post here on the website as a “DVD extra.”

July 2008 Goal: Have this sent out to a publisher within the next 6 months.

Daughters of Grace — This is a sort of a cheat because it’s not a book I’ve actually written — I mean I did write it, but not as a book. It’s a collection of articles about women of the Bible that have been published in Women of Spirit magazine over the last couple of years, which are now being released in book form. I think it’s going to be sort of a gift-book style thing, so that will be new for me. That’s coming out next year, in 2009.

July 08 Goal: Enjoy seeing this book in print!!

Christmas Book: This one is an assignment from my regular inspirational publishers, Review and Herald. They want to bring out a series of Christmas books each containing (among other things) a novella-length story about one of the characters in the Christmas story. I’m supposed to have the first of these written by this December in time for a December 09 release, and I’m going to diverge from my usual habit of writing about Bible women by writing about Joseph, who I think is such an intriguing character in the Biblical narrative. So yeah. I really don’t want to have to be working on this for NaNo in November because I’d like it done by then, so I’m hoping to put in some work on this later in the summer.

July 08 Goal: Have a complete MS draft by the end of October.

So…that’s the run-down on all current and upcoming projects. As I said, mainly for my own benefit, just to see where I’m at and hold myself accountable. But maybe it will be an interesting cautionary tale for other writers, especially aspiring ones. It does help to remember that while you can set goals for your projects, almost nothing ever turns out just as you plan. Sometimes better, sometimes worse, but never quite what you plan!!


6 thoughts on “Writing Goals Revisited

  1. Hmmm…writing goal…I’d be lucky to blog again before the year is out!

  2. Yes, I was just thinking my favourite madman wasn’t rambling enough lately!

  3. I think these are admirable goals, and wonderful results! I’m very impressed with your work ethic and stick-to-it-tiveness!

  4. That’s really quite interesting. I never realised that writers work on multiple projects at once.

  5. Not all do … if you follow the link to that older blog post of mine there’s a lengthy discussion about how I’m “one of those” writers who always has multiple projects on the go. Several of my writer friends are like that, but there are also those who are totally single-minded and focus on only one project at a time. For all I know that may be better … but it’s not the way my mind works.

  6. Oh my goodness, Trudy! When I see all your projects listed like that it is at once inspiring and terrifying for me. Maybe I should work on my own list of goals…however for right now my main goal is to have a full night’s sleep!! I’m starting small (and so are the twins…) but we are getting there.

    As for writing a novel, I’ve decided I have a huge mental block about it. Either that or I’m not really cut out to be a novelist… I wonder if perhaps my particular niche is non-preachy yet powerful children’s books that have very few words. You’ve made me stop and think (again!) which is what I always find when I find a spare 10 minutes to read your blog. I feel very privileged to know someone who is a ‘real’ writer!!! Thanks 🙂

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