Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Where did the year go?

Wow, 2009 is almost over! As I've mentioned in other posts, I belong to a goals group, and every January each of us sets writing-related goals for the year. Since I haven't actually looked at my goals since January, I thought it might be a good idea to dig them out and check on my progress.

Here's the list (in green) and my progress (in red):

1st Quarter:
Revise The Trouble with Twilight from beginning to end.

Did it! With my CP's help, I finished revising this story, now called The Pursuit of Patience, in the first three months of 2009.

2nd Quarter:
Research and query agents. Begin outlining next story.

Check! I used querytracker.net to help me organize my search and make a list of agents to query. But before I began querying in earnest, I met a wonderful agent at a local conference and pitched to her. She requested the full and a few days later (on my birthday!) offered representation. I'm thrilled to be working with her.

3rd & 4th Quarters:
Draft either the sequel to TTWT OR complete The Kissable Companion.

Done! My agent recommended that I write the sequel to The Pursuit of Patience, and I was excited to be able to tell Georgette's story, a.k.a. How to Reform a Rake. I finished the draft shortly before Thanksgiving.

--Enter and judge at least 4 RWA contests.
--Attend at least 4 WRW (Washington Romance Writers) meetings/workshops.
--Read at least 4 books on craft.
--Attend the WRW Spring Retreat and the RWA National Conference.

Hmm. I did most of this. I entered exactly 4 contests, if you count the 2010 Golden Heart, and I also judged 4. I only attended 2 chapter meetings, so I'll have to do a better job next year. I read 3 books on craft: Donald Maas' Writing the Breakout Novel and The Breakout Novel Workbook, and How I Write by Janet Evanovich. I also re-read Stephen King's On Writing and re-watched my DVD of The Hero's Two Journeys by Michael Hauge and Christopher Vogler. And I was fortunate to be able to attend both the WRW Retreat and Nationals, since Nationals was in DC this year.

Phew! I have to say that when I set those goals they seemed really ambitious, but splitting them into weekly chunks helped make them more manageable. Er, don't be fooled. There were plenty of setbacks and heartbreaks mixed in with the successes, but I'm choosing not to dwell on them! Onward.

So . . . what's next? For now, I'm just enjoying a couple of snow days. But I'm looking forward to diving into revisions for How to Reform a Rake. It earned a couple of awards in December!

First, RaR won the Golden Rose for highest total score in the Rose City Romance Writers Golden Rose Contest. (The prize is a real rose dipped in gold!) It placed second in the historical category.

Then, just last weekend I learned that RaR won first place in historical category of the Southern Heat Contest. This was especially sweet because my CP, Keli Gwyn, took first place in the inspirational category also. Yay, Keli!

I am so thankful to the judges from both contests. They were extremely encouraging but also gave me great suggestions for improving the story.

Pretty soon I'll be setting my writing goals for 2010. But for the next ten days I'm going to clean up my desk and get myself organized. And definitely read a few romance novels. :)


Keli Gwyn said...

Wow, Anne! You did a wonderful job of accomplishing your goals this year. I knew you'd done a great deal, but it's impressive to see the compilation. I'm honored to have been along for the ride, to happy dance with you at the good news and offer support and encouragement when things didn't go quite as you'd hoped.

Congrats on all your successes!

Here's to many more in 2010.

Anne Barton said...

Thanks, Keli. I have lots on my 2010 To Do List already. When it seems overwhelming, I'll have to come back to this.

You've accomplished a ton this year too. I know 2010 will bring even more good news for you. :)

Sarah Simas said...

Hi Anne!!

I really enjoyed reading your post. There was a wealth of information to pick up (and newbies like me need all the help we can get!)

I wish you much success in 2010! :)

Anne Barton said...

Thanks, Sarah. I'm glad if anything was helpful. My goals group keeps me on track. I don't know if you're already in one, but here's the link in case you, or anyone, is interested in joining:


They're run by my friend, Amy Atwell, and she's built amazing communities for writers.

Anyway, I hope you have a Happy New Year, too. :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your contest rah rahs. And your goal achievements are pretty darn inspirational too!!

Praying 2010 is an even more successful year for you.

Anne Barton said...

Tina, you know I'm a fan of yours and of Seekerville. Being a guest was one of the highlights of my year.

Um, I feel like a slacker compared to you. You write manuscripts, short stories, AND manage to blog, what, 3 or 4 times a week? Oh, and work too! Sheesh.

Thanks for the good wishes, and may 2010 be the year you get off the island. Preferrably in a yacht. :)

Anne Barton said...

WOO-HOO! Tina is SO off the island: http://seekerville.blogspot.com/2010/01/its-first-sale-party.html