I just have to tell you that I love our theme for the month of December. Here in the maelstrom of Christmas, we Petit Fours consciously decided to take this time to evaluate how many of our 2009 goals were accomplished. I needed that. I needed to think about what I have finished rather than what I still need to do because the list of Christmas presents to buy is daunting, and the task of figuring out how to pay for them is more daunting still.
So, here goes. I wanted to finish the third draft of the novel that will be my Master’s Thesis. Check. I wanted to have business cards before Moonlight and Magnolias. Done. I wanted to enter the Maggies and finish that novel before the conference. Also done. I vowed to enter more contests. Mostly done—I entered three.
Thinking about what I have done now makes me think of what still needs to be done. What did I learn in 2009? I learned that I need to have at least half of my Maggie entry finished before I submit the partial, so one of my goals for 2010 is to have at least one hundred pages written before May. I learned that I need to change the point of view of my Master’s Thesis yet again. I’m over one hundred pages into that story, and I really don’t have much choice in finishing it. My goal is to finish it and to submit it to every place I can think of. Of course, the most important writing goal of 2010 is to keep on writing even though I’m co-chair of the conference. To tell you the truth, I want to curl up in the fetal position at the thought of spinning so many plates, but I’m still standing. And I have at least three of those plates spinning.
It’s going to be your turn in a minute, and I hope you’re chomping at the bit to tell me both what you’ve done and what you hope to do. Before you start making lofty goals for 2010, though, I would like to tell you something I learned from Missy Tippens when she spoke at one of the monthly meetings. She warned us all to set goals that we can accomplish—and this is a lesson I learned the hard way. Missy said you have to make goals that you can control. You can’t control whether or not you find an agent. You can’t control when your first sale will come. You can control how many pages each day you write or how many contests you enter. What I would have given to have heard Missy’s speech several years ago when I vowed to be published by thirty. I have to tell you that thirty has come and gone, and I’m still not published, but I have written four novels.
Here’s another tidbit of incentive. For 2010, the Georgia Romance Writers’ PRO members are going to sponsor a new contest. You already know about the great “Finish the Book” contest. We’re going to start the First Annual Rejection Collection Contest. We’ll all kick some money into the kitty, and the person with the most rejection letters at the end of the year will win what’s in the pot. You can’t control when you’re going to find someone who loves your work, but you can control how many noses you put it under.
So, now it’s your turn. What did you accomplish this year? What do you hope to accomplish in 2010? This is your moment, and if you type it here then it just might come true.