I’m an idea person. It might take me a moment to get started, but ask me for ideas for a blog post, a picture book, or a series and soon I’ll have a column of ideas on the page. They won’t all be great, but they will be many.
I have a similar problem when it comes time to set goals or resolutions for the coming year. I’m going to finish a novel, a graphic novel, and a memoir. I’ll submit my work to two agents a week and . . . on and on, I go.
I’m not denying the importance of goals, but they have to be goals that work for you. We are each wired differently. We each have different circumstances.
Me? I’m a full time writer. I write work-for-hire for the educational market. This means that I work under contract for up to three months and then . . . nothing. That nothing might be for a day, a week, or a solid month, but the work will come again and when it does come there is usually a lot of it. My goals go by the wayside.
So I’ve decided that this year I’m going to attempt smaller goals. This month, I have four.
- I am taking Melanie Faith’s class on writing graphic novels. You can find information on that WOW class here. It starts on the 14th.
- I’m taking part in Storystorm, generating 30 picture book ideas in 31 days. So far I have 6 ideas in my notebook and probably another four or five that I’ve e-mailed to myself.
- I’m working on an educational series pitch for Kane Press. This is in the early stages. I’m currently reading their books and looking at what other publishers have done.
- I’m writing Act 3 of my middle grade novel, tracking my word count on NaNoWriMo. You can set up a project any time which means that you can work for a week or three months. You also set your word count goal and the program helps keep track of your progress.
I have to tell you, stopping at four goals was tough. Why? Because I could also submit to two agents and send in my resume to two more educational publishers. I could finish cleaning off an organizing the bookshelves in my office. I need to work on my mystery. Those picture book ideas will need drafting, and… Once the ideas start to flow, they flow.
I may be a goal oriented person, but if the list is too long, I know I won’t be able to get it done before another assignment comes along. Smaller goals are more manageable for me and the way that I work.
What works best for you?
Sue Bradford Edwards' is the author of over 30 books for young readers. To find out more about her writing, visit her site and blog, One Writer's Journey.
The next session of her new course, Pitching, Querying and Submitting Your Work will begin on February 6, 2022). Coping with rejection is one of the topics she will cover in this course.
Sue is also the instructor for Research: Prepping to Write Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins February 6, 2022) and Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins February 6, 2022).