Posts Tagged ‘Calendar’

Happy New Year: Setting Goals that You Will Actually Achieve!


Many people write goals or resolutions during the new year, and one of the most important thing I have discovered in the past decade, is how important setting clear achievable goals are for my career. So I decided to write about my process. I create my author goals by using the SMART goals system conceived by a business psychologist, George Doran.  SMART stands for

S – Specific. Set goals with specific outcomes. 

– Measurable. Set that you can track or measure. 

A – Achievable. Set realistic goals that you’re prepared to pursue. 

R – Relevant. Set goals that matter to you, that will have a positive effect in your life.

T – Time-bound. Give yourself a deadline or as I do, use an event as a deadline. I most often use a convention and work backwards.

BIGGEST MISTAKE: Don’t set goals which are out of your power to achieve. 

Don’t say: Write 5,000 word short story for [Awe-inspiring lit mag] and be published by [Awe-inspiring lit mag] by June 2016.

Why? Because [Awe Inspiring lit mag]’s Editors are not within your power. They may not need or want what you are selling.

So Step 1: Set Smart Goal

SMART GOAL:  Write, edit, and submit 5,000 word short story to [Awe-inspiring lit mag] by May 1, 2016.

Step 2: Figure out calendar. This will help you measure progress and break it down into manageable steps. For the goal above: this is how I’d do it.

Day 1: Brainstorm Short Story Ideas

Day 2: Decide upon idea

Day 3-15: First Draft Deadline (I don’t worry about my word count in my first draft, but if you do, then break it up into smaller segments.)

Day 20: Read Aloud, Make changes. Fill plot holes.

Day 21-60: Wait (Note: Work on another idea while you wait.)

Day 60-70: 1st Rewrite/Polish

Day 71ish: Send through Critique Group, Beta Readers ETC.

Day 100: Consider Critique and make changes

Day 101-120: Final Rewrite

Day 121-131: Rest manuscript. Research markets, and decide first market you are going to send it to. Write query letter. Whatever you need to do to prepare yourself)

Day 132-140: Final Grammar Edit

Day 141: Submit short story

Special Note: You may be a faster author than I am. You need to set the calendar for what you can do, not what anyone else can do. As you can see it takes me about 141 days to get a short story in marketable condition, but it takes me about a year for a novel. Why? Because the steps I need to take are nearly the same. Some people write short stories because they are fast, but they are not fast for me. So when I write a novel, this is how I create my timeline:

Day 1: Write out Big Idea, Themes, Basic Characters Bios, a few scenes and outline.

Day 2: Put each scene on a 3 x 5 cards

Day 3 – 45ish: First Draft Each day I write out the scenes from 2 or 3 cards. I go crazy fast in the beginning, because I need some words on the page to cement me to the project.

Day 46: Rest

Day 47-107ish: Second Draft I reread manuscript and go scene by scene. Rewriting. Researching. Adding details. Sometimes the characters tell me to change things here.

Day 108 – 137: Wait. Stories are like wine or cheese. They need to age. Work on another idea or consider publication options.

Day 138 – 199: 3rd Draft. Find plot holes and fill them.

Day 199 – 210: 4th Draft. First Grammar Edit and Polish

Day 211-270ish: Give manuscript to First Readers. Wait again! Work on another idea right now or begin considering publication options.

Day 271 -275: Consider Critiques. Look for common themes within suggestions.

Day 276 – 306: 5th Draft. Find more plot holes and fill them.

Day 307 – 321: 6th Draft. Second Grammar Edit and Polish

And I have a marketable novel! Woot. But I’m not done yet…

Day 325: Either send it out to markets
Begin the road self publishing and I write a calendar for everything I need to do to for that.

So that’s how I do it, how do you set goals? Any goals you’d like to share?


Calendar for Upcoming Embracing the Flames Blog Tour!

I am happy to be part of the Embracing the Flames Virtual Book Tour. On July 16th, I’ll be conducting an interview with author Candace Knoebel. Below is the rest of the information about the book and the upcoming tour!

Embracing the Flames CoverEmbracing the Flames Book #2 of the Born in Flames Series
By Candace Knoebel

The Stone of Immortality has always been kept under the watch of the Draconta. That is, until the betrayal of a Fate. Now everything is about to change.

Aurora Megalos accepted her destiny without blinking-even if it meant succumbing to her dragon side. Deemed the Progeny, she left the ordinary life she knew and has done everything in her power to learn the ways of her new realm and what it means to be part dragon. But when her mentor, Astral, suddenly disappears, she is forced to take the reins.

With war on the brink, she sets out on an epic journey to not only find her mentor, but to stop her Arch Enemy, Zordon, from obtaining the Stone of Immortality. But what she discovers about him along the way is far worse than she could’ve ever imagined. She will be tested and pushed to the limit. Lives will be lost, love will be questioned, and a battle will begin.

Tour Schedule

July 14th- Girls *Heart* Books Tours-Schedule

                Writing: Escape From Reality– Review of both books , Excerpt/Spotlight, Guest Post


July 15th- Cassandra Lost in Books-Review of both books


July 16th- Consuming Worlds– Review of Embracing the Flames, Dream Cast

                ZB’s Blog of Awesomeness– Author Interview


July 17th- C.Giovanni Writes– Review of both books, Character Interview


July 18th- Reading in Twilight– Top Tens

               Rate my Romance– Review of both books , Dream Cast


July 19th- Alex’s Reads– Review of both books


July 20th- The Next Chapter– Book Soundtrack


July 22nd- The Next Chapter– Excerpt

                 Books and Bindings- Author Interview


July 23rd- Teracia’s Book Hoarding Problem–  Excerpt/Spotlight

                Lost in a Sea of Words– Review of both books, Excerpt/Spotlight


July 24th- and then there was Sarah– Author Interview, Excerpt/Spotlight


July 25th- Paperrdolls-Review of Embracing the Flames

               Books and Bindings– Review of Born in Flames


July 26th- Black Words-White Pages– Review of both books , Top Tens, Excerpt/Spotlight, Book Soundtrack, Playlist, Dream Cast, Character Bio


July 27th- Reading Bliss– Excerpt/Spotlight, Book Soundtrack, Playlist, Character Bio

July 29th- The Next Chapter– Author Interview


July 30th- Books and Bindings– Excerpt/Spotlight


July 31st- Book Freak– Excerpt/Spotlight, Playlist


August 1st- The Next Chapter– Review of both books


August 2nd- Paranormal Book Club -Review of Embracing the Flames, Excerpt/Spotlight


August 3rd- Indy Book Fairy- Review of Embracing the Flames, Author Interview, Top Tens, Excerpt/Spotlight

                   Books and Bindings– Character Bio


August 4th- Book Dream Land- Excerpt/Spotlight, Dream Cast


August 5th- Tsk Tsk What to Read–  Review of Embracing the Flames, Character Bio


August 6th- Books and Bindings– Review of Embracing the Flames


August 7th- Lebooksquirrel– Review of both books , Excerpt/Spotlight


August 11th- Bawaka’s Book Fair– Excerpt/Spotlight


August 12th- Kate’s Korner of Mischief– Review of both books

                     Books and Bindings– Character Interview


August 13th- Cu’s Ebook Giveaways– Review of both books, Excerpt/Spotlight, Character Bio


August 14th- That Bite’s Book Talk Reviews– Excerpt/Spotlight, Character Bio


August 15th- Tam’s Two Cents– Review of Embracing the Flames, Dream Cast, Character Bio

Author Links-





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