I originally posted this list of goals on my old blog, elizabethannewrites. It seems appropriate that the post initiating my new blog should be the same listing of my writing goals for the coming year. (I have tweaked a couple of the dates, as they began to seem a little unrealistic.)

I was inspired to do this sort of goal-setting by a post by my mentor, Emma Walton Hamilton, one year ago in which she outlined her goals for the coming year, and challenged us to do the same – and to hold each other accountable.

Then, I followed a link posted on Facebook (thanks, Diane!) which lead to Sarah Callender’s excellent post on the website Write it Sideways, differentiating between goals and dreams. In it, Sarah states that goals need to be “specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic/relevant, and time-specific.” With those criteria in mind, I revisited and revised my goals.

In 2012, I intend…

1. To contact at least three groups that deal with children in the arts by the end of February, seeking listeners/readers that would be willing to give feedback for my arts-related children’s book manuscripts.

2. In my role as co-administrator of the Facebook Group of the Children’s Book Hub, to post at least one item of interest and value each day, as well as participating actively in the Children’s Book Hub itself, and in other groups such as SCBWI, CANSCAIP, and the local Writers’ Guild, as opportunities present themselves.

3. To write one picture book manuscript draft per month in Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 in 2012 picture book manuscript draft challenge, using the ideas filed during PiBoIdMo 2011.

4. To write at least three chapter book drafts by June, 2012, based on the same ideas as the picture book manuscripts in 12 x 12, to see which format tells the stories better.

5. To contribute weekly to Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Fridays, focusing on reviewing books that focus on the arts, or that are by Canadian authors.

6. To post on my blog three times a week, with Monday Musings, Wednesday Worthies, and Perfect Picture Book Fridays. To focus one post per month on children’s literacy and on “raising bookworms” in Emma’s phrase. To participate in the A to Z blogpost challenge in April.

7. To request a blog critique from Laura B. Writer in early March.

8. To create a list of 21 potential agents to query by mid to late March.

9. In March to submit to the top seven of those agents, with my C picture book (currently sent for manuscript evaluation) and with indication of other potential picture books in the series.

10. To complete the second draft of my T middle grade novel by June.

11. To attend the Stony Brook Southampton Children’s Literature Conference in Southampton, Long Island, New York in July, with my focus being on middle grade novels, with faculty person Kate McMullan.

12. To be open to other opportunities and possibilities, ready to seize those which will ultimately be of best use, but to remember that my primary objective is to write and become published.

What are your goals for the coming year? How can we support each other and keep each other accountable?

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© Beth Stilborn, 2012.

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