Friday, January 2, 2009


Well, it's that time again . . . the time when we reflect on what we've accomplished over the past 365 days and lay down some of our plans for the future. I'm all about accountability, so I'll share mine here, and take a page out of Thomma Lyn's book. Another good post on setting goals for the year can be found here (thanks Debbie!).

Also, if you're interested, I wrote an essay this year titled Building a Goal Pyramid. Which you may or may not find useful. No guarantees, no refunds. =P

Rather than list all the tiny steps I took this year in the general direction of my goals, I'll just list the five most valuable things I discovered and/or did, then move on to goals for 2009.

In 2008:

1. I wrote 1.9 novels, 3 novellas, 2 shorts and a mishmash of flash
for a total of a whopping 250K words. That's half of what I wrote in 2007,
but I think my quality (and the amount of sleep I got) increased

2. I met an amazing number of people who are just as obsessed with this
*cough*hobby*cough* as I am. I've been inspired, consoled, and had a whole
lotta fun. I feel so much less alone than I did at the start of all of

3. I ventured into the publishing world, queried, and entered contests
- some with positive results. I also earned (yes EARNED) my first few
rejections and learned that with practice (and lots of chocolate), getting back
on the horse after those devastating form letters *does* get easier.

4. I have amassed a huge amount of knowledge and resources on the craft
of writing, and on the publishing industry. There are still a great many
mysteries yet to be uncovered, but at least now I know what I'm aiming
for. Much better than diving in blind!

5. I achieved a level of balance I'm comfortable with between my
personal life, and my writing life. This was much harder than it
sounds. Srsly.

Now! . . . On to 2009. Armed with all the tools, weapons and knowledge I so greedily gathered this past year, I plan to:

1. Become more active in the writing organizations I belong to: attend
local meetings, network, enter contests, and *hopefully* go to my first writer's

2. Break 100 blog posts, including: > 20 book reviews;
> 10 essays; and > 10 flash/short reads.

3. Re-design my website and blog(s) and centralize them in one

4. Submit/query my first novel to at least 10 other spots. (Spots
meaning contests, agents, editors, etc.)

5. Submit my second novel to at least 10 spots.

6. Write 2 more novels. (I have about 5 ideas on the backburner,
and as soon as I finish revisions on novel #2, I will pick one. More info,
and inevitable whining, will follow along soon.)

7. Perpetuate the balance I've found between work, school, real life,
and writing.

8. Find the perfect critique partner. I know you're out
there somewhere . . . I'm waiting for you! (Ad placement to follow.)

Well, there ya go. It's not a concrete goal, but I hope to be more present in the blogosphere too. I wish everyone a fantabulous year . . . on your marks, get set, GO!



Thomma Lyn said...

What a wonderful post -- so inspiring! It's always fun and instructive to take stock at the beginning of a New Year of what we've accomplished in the pat year and what we hope to do in the new one.

You've done fabulously in 2008 -- congratulations on the contests and all the writing you got done! And best of luck with your goals for 2009. I know you're up to the challenge!

Gonna go check out your essay Building a Goal Pyramid. And you're looking for a critique partner? I'm always open to a new friend to work with! If you'd like me to look over anything you've written, I'd be happy to, and I should have my new novel ready to be looked over by Spring. If you like, email me anytime at

thomma.grindstaff {{at}} gmail {{dot}} com

Another resolution I forgot to list -- join RWA! I don't live in a good place to attend in-person meetings, but I found out about the online chapter, and I'd be all over that!

(((((hugs))))) :)

Debbie Mumford said...

Glad you found the article helpful!

You've had a great year, and I know you're going to have an even better one in 2009!


Unhinged said...

You go, girl. If this kind of drive and energy doesn't eventually shoot your words into the publication cosmos (it's going to happen, how can it not), surely there's enough good energy left over to ensure you win the lottery.

Now pass me whatever it is you're drinking and/or eating...

Gwen said...

Thanks ladies! That is exactly the sort of encouragement that makes the internet sooo awesome!

Thomma Lyn - I'll be sending you an email shortly! ;)

Debbie - I think I owe you an extra thank you for all your mentorship, encouragement and inspriation. I'm so glad the Romance Divas fairies paired us up!

Andi - *passes Red Bull* hehehe...
Oh, and if I win the lottery, I'll just self-publish. Heh.

Brenda ND said...

That's an impressive amount of writing. Wow, do you have big goals. I wish you well.

Tempest Knight said...

Sounds like fun goals! Wish you the best in achieving them! As for me, I so stink at keeping up with new year's resolutions, that I stopped doing them altogether. Now I'm kind of float, rolling with the punches as the year goes by.

Gwen said...

Thank you Brenda! I hope you have a great year too. :)

Tempest - thanks for stopping by. Yeah, in all other areas of my life, I try not to make resolutions. I fail enough as it is, lol.

Hope you have a great year though, even without resolutions!


Eaton Bennett said...

Last year was a big year for you. This year should be even more rewarding and fulfilling...I have my heart set on a hand signed copy of your first book in hard copy. <3

Gwen said...

Awww... thank you my dear! I have my heart set on that too - and WHEN it happens, look for your name on the inside. *hugs* ~Gwenny

Alice Audrey said...

All your hard work is showing great results. Keep it up.

Gwen said...

Thank you Alice, for stopping by and for the vote of confidence. I appreciate it muchly, and best of luck to you this year too! =D

Gwen said...

Thank you Alice, for stopping by and for the vote of confidence. I appreciate it muchly, and best of luck to you this year too! =D