Monday, June 14, 2010


As an aspiring author with no contracts or books on the market (YET) I have to be willing to set my own goals and deadlines.  Last month I entered Jackee's May Scramble Challenge.  We had to set writing goals and blog visit goals.  I was the winner and today this awesome package sitting on my front porch when I got home from the gym.   Jackee inspired me to put my new blog visits and word count goal on my sidebar, but then I took it one step further and began posting my weekly goals (with my progress in parenthesis)
(Jackee is going sugar free for the month of June...I'm not!  Thanks, Jackee!  I've been desperate to try coconut M & M's.  They taste like...summer!)

Do you keep track of your word count goals? Blogging goals? What about writing queries?  For me, writing queries is a huge struggle...I labor over the letter for days and then who to send it to for weeks.  What about you?  Are queries challenging for you or are they a walk in the park?

P.S. I'm only 814 people away from having a 1,000 followers! Can you believe it? I'm totally stoked and have been thinking of what to do to celebrate when I'm 800 followers away from 1,000. Well, we've come up with a plan...My daughter (now a high school freshman) and I decided to have a Really Random Prize of EPIC proportion! It's going to be sooooo (I could add more o's) much fun for you, me and a committee of judges....


  1. Yay, congratulations on the win! And posting your goals is a great way to remain accountable and reach them. Good luck.

    Ooh, writing queries: they're terribly difficult. But I almost always write them (an early version) even before I begin the first draft. It's easier to condense the novel when you haven't written it yet. :)

  2. I must admit, I haven't written mine down, but I just reached a biggie. Maybe I should list them too...hmmmmm, that sure is tough.

  3. Congratulations! So awesome! It's the emotional trauma of queries that gets me. :) But I'm sure I can push past that. I think. Maybe.

  4. I usually write several blog posts well ahead of time and put them in Scheduler. It just seems to free up more of my time if I do several at once and then don't have to think about them for awhile. And queries? Oh boy, they're tough. I'll send out a batch, and depending on the responses, will sometimes tweek it as time goes by. Good luck!!

  5. Lots of goodies. Enjoy. Congrats!

  6. That prize pack looks awesome, especially the M&Ms. I don't have word count goals or that sort of thing. I do try to blog every day, but it doesn't always happen. I do the best I can given all of the other priorities in my life. Of course, it's never enough. Anyway, enjoy your goodies. What a nice surprise to come home to.

  7. Sandy--That's a great idea! I'd never thought about writing them before I do the manuscript.

    Brian--I'm totally curious about your biggie goal...hmmm.

    Janet--You nailed it for me, "emotional trama!"

    Joanne--I've noticed that some people's posts go up at midnight, so they must be using scheduler. You are right...I should write several posts at a time and have them saved and ready to go. I guess I've been leary of doing that because when I first started blogging I lost several posts in the editing phase...I'm sure it was lack of experience that caused the disappearances...

    Susanne--Thanks for dropping in. I hope you come back again. :)

    Buffy--OMGoodness they were so good. They tasted like the beach in the summer sun! I agree, I can and should do more...

  8. Congratulations on winning the contest and getting such great prizes...Posting your goals on your blog is a great idea because it somehow makes you more accountable to youself when you know others are aware of your intentions=it makes you live your truth!...Wishing you a week filled with joy, Sharon!

  9. Congrats on that awesome package!! Coconut M&Ms??? I've never heard of them and now I'm craving them!!

    I have randomly changing goals. Lately, it was 1,000 words a day, and then the last month has been Weronika's Page A Day challenge, which I've posted my goals and accomplishments on my sidebar. It definitely keeps me accountable, but also increases my guilt if I miss a day or two.

    Queries are a beast unto themselves. When I did my round last fall/winter, I took two months to do it as my "job" in the place of writing. I kept my writing group up to date, but otherwise, it was a mostly private thing.

  10. hi miss sharon! contests are sooo neat. im real happy you won and got those cool prizes specially the m and ms. i dont do writing goals. i just write when my head says hey lenny its time to go write and for me thats the best time. i dont think i could like having to make a goal of so many words in a day cause some days i got a lot of words and other days i dont and if i had to write maybe it wouldnt be my best words. some days i just want to go swimming or play basketball or maybe i got a baseball game and dont feel much like writing stuff. ...hugs from lenny

  11. Packages in the mail? What fun! And, congrats on the progress... one line at a time, right? Yes!

  12. I have not started to query yet... I am sure it won't be easy--in fact I am sure it will be miserable and full of pins and needles, basically torture/ the worst nightmare for most writers.

  13. Jacqueline--You are so sweet! I hope your week is full of joy too. (You made me smile.)(Thanks!)

    Heidi--Thanks for sharing about your approach to query letters. I find that when I'm composing them I turn into a business person rather than a creative person.

    Lenny--I can't do 1,000 words a day. Sometimes I do a lot and other times I do few few. Today all I did was my blog post, but I spent time with my daughter and she'll be going away to college in four years (so I want to have lots of fun memories with her).

    Tess-One Line At A Time---That sounds like a good book! Thanks, Friend.

  14. I usually have general goals...more monthly. I think I'd get more done though if I had weekly goals!
    Congrats on the win!!!
    Queries are challenging but doable!

  15. Congrats on your wins! They look like fun. And great goals on your sidebar. What a wonderful way to make a commitment to your writing and blogging!

  16. Jeff--You read so much about querying the right person, how to query, then you read an interview and that person says something that throws you for a loop. I think keeping files on editors and agents will be helpful in the long run.

    Kelly--Thanks...Was that an invitation for me to send you a query to critique???

  17. It's cool about the winning!
    Writing a book is easier than writing a query letter! In a query you have about 300 words to summarize a book that you may have spent years writing & rewriting!
    So, to answer your question, for me, queries are not like a walk in the park but a hike up Mt. Everest in the middle of winter--without oxygen!

  18. Yum...coconut M&M's! I looked for them here but couldn't find them. Aren't Jackee's prize packages amazing? Looks like you got some great stuff!

    In normal writing, I usually set a goal for what I want to accomplish that day, which will vary depending on what I'm doing. I don't really set query goals, though I do try to have a game plan for querying. Ever since Jackee's challenge, I try to comment on the blog of each commenter on my blog that same day, or the next day if I don't have time. I like to get to all the blogs on my sidebar and maybe a few I don't regularly visit if I have time, too.

  19. Coconut m & m's? Looks like I've been missing out! Congrats on your win! I set long-term and short-term goals. I'm very goal oriented. And I write lists. It's the only way I can organize myself.

  20. I dont think queries will ever be a walk in the park for me...but, necessary evils right?

    And I do have a carefully planned schedule: It does wonders for me! =D

  21. Congratulations with your prize!!! Well done you!! Enjoy!

    And good luck with your querying and writing goals.

    Me - my goal is too not get so down about my writing! LOL!

    Take care

  22. I am glad your goal setting has paid off! Hopefully it won't be too hard to keep it up, especially given the benefits.

  23. Lydia--Thanks for stopping in. :) I think the posting helps. I may not get everything done, but I'm getting more done.

    Notes from Nadir--I'm guessing you are barefoot too. (wink) I'm right there with's a struggle.

    Susan--I try and do the same thing with my blog. Plus I've given myself a goal of visiting one new blog a day (which adds up to 30 a month). Since I was involved in the Top Title Blogfest I visited 30 new blogs over the weekend.

    Karen--I'm prety sure I saw the M & Ms at Walgreens. (I rarely let myself buy candy, so all the candy in the basket from Jackee was a real treat.)

    Clara--I think being organized will help. :)

    Kitty--You should not get down about your writing! I keep saying to myself that I need to send out more queries so I can get more rejections so that I can eventually get published.

    Bluestocking--I think if you make setting goals part of your life then it will just become a natural part of your day, week, month...

  24. Sooooo glad you liked your prizes. And I hope your daughter did too. :o)

    You've accomplished a lot and have a lot to offer both the publishing and blogging community.

    Like you, since the May Scramble I've been better about keeping track of how many blogs I comment on as well as my word count. Surprisingly it's not becoming a point of guilt when I have to put a small number, like I thought it would. Hmm... I think I feel a new post coming on. :o)

    Thanks for your kind thoughts!

  25. Jackee--Thanks so much for the basket! It was adorable! Katherine and I shared one of the bags of M & Ms. We'll share the books too...

    Surprisingly, I'm the same way...I'm not feeling too bad if I don't reach every goal. (I do somethings that aren't on the list, so that might be why...)

  26. Congrats on completing the May Scramble.

    I'm interested to try these M&M's.

    I don't have any specific goals. Just: more writing, write a little everyday, need to query soon. That type of thing. Let me add that I HATE querying. So stressful.

  27. Hey!

    Yes, I do set goals and most of the time I do keep them...I haven't kept a daily log...but it sounds interesting, something I just might pick up doing.

    Oh, coconut M&M! OMG...I've got to get me some of those!

    Congrat's on the nice win sweetie!


  28. Hi Sharon, you just got an award at my blog =)

  29. Theresa--Thanks...I think I saw that you did it too. :)

    The coconu m & ms were really good. I ate about 10 of them and gave the rest to my daughter. (I'm not as good as Jackee, I can't forgo sugar for an entire month.)

    My goal today is to come up with a query letter for an environmental related picture book.

    Houston--Joanne mentioned that she keeps a journal of her goals, which I think is a great idea. I'm going to start doing that too. It will be more permanent than on my sidebar. (I've done it, on a spreadsheet, with my workouts for years.)

    Clara--For me? Aww, Thank you! What a lovely new friend you are. :)

  30. I knew I was jealous for good reasoning!!! Congrats again!

  31. I never set word count goals, because I'm afraid to look a gift horse in the mouth. the words generally flow when I'm writing, and I normally get at least enough to make me smile.
    Love goals, btw, and great post!

  32. Jen--I'm sorry you didn't win. I'll have my fingers crossed for you on the next contest I see you've entered.

    PJ--Great point! I'm giving myself chapter goals on my mg novel. My word count includes whatever I've done for that it a chapter, a poem, a post, or a query letter. It's just a way for me to measure that I am doing something productive...

    Thanks for dropping in everyone!