Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Goal Setting

on August 29, 2013

I set goals twice a year–once in January and once in August. There is something about August and “back to school” that always makes me organize office supplies and set goals.  These are my goal setting categories:

Writing: Since my two books have published, as well as four romance novellas, my writing goals have changed a bit. I used to write a story and then try to find a publisher. Now, I have publishers who would like more stories from me. This has cased my writing goals to become more focused. Goal setting questions I ask myself include: Am I working on a series? What book comes next in that series? Is there a holiday deadline coming up? Does that holiday fit with one of my series books? Do one of my publishers have a special call out to current authors? Is this something I have a story for?

Goal setting consists of making a list of one or two stories I will work on next.  Then, I break this list down to include how many chapters a week, or words a day I need to write.

Right now, I am writing two sweet contemporary romance novellas which are a part of my VINTAGE VALENTINE series for BooksToGoNow. One is a Halloween story and one is a Christmas story. I had hoped to do a Fourth of July story in that series, but with Dad’s passing in late May, it wasn’t possible for me to hit that deadline. These two holiday stories will finish the VINTAGE VALENTINE series. 

Vintage Valentine

Submissions: Even though I am writing for epubs, I also continue to submit to traditional publishers.  I have a chapter book series as well as a memoir about my experience running the poetry workshop with teens in detention which I have submitted to a handful of publishers and/or agents.

Marketing: Both my YA and MG books have been out for over a year, and although there are new romance novellas released on a regular basis, I don’t market those in the same way.  Right now, my marketing consists of writing blog posts, participating in blog hops, reading and commenting on blogs, updating Facebook pages, and doing an occasional quick sweep through Goodreads. I also still teach workshops and school and library visits to kids and teens.

Education: I’m always learning in my writing. Every story I write brings something to the table which asks me to learn–whether it’s how to develop a bigger plot or how to write a novel filled with suspense. For me, this learning includes taking classes, attending conferences and my professional memberships to SCBWI and/or RWA. Upcoming conferences include Georgia’s Moonlight and Magnolia RWA Conference and AWP in Seattle in late February. I also just joined RWA and am taking a Savvy Author’s class on Writing the Cozy Mystery–good way to learn how to add suspense to my plots!

Writer in the Community: This category is all about how I show up in my community as a writer. For me, in August, this is when I’m working on the Lake Stevens High School Creative Writing Scholarship Application. I’ve given the scholarship for seven years, so there isn’t too much to do on the application process beyond tweak the year and send it to the career counselor at the high school.

Creative Inspiration: This is the category where I ask what fuels my creative process? For me, it’s usually something else creative.  I like to take the occasional mixed media class with Seattle artist Liesel Lund. Liesel’s classes are held at her fun and art-filled house where she supplies great instruction, all the supplies, and a day filled with fun. I’m looking forward to her November class, Tatters: Paper and Fabric Collage.

So, what are your goals? Do you set goals at any particular time in the year?

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