I’ve decided to switch gears mostly away from reading challenges again in 2020 so I can really focus on my writing goals. I used the Bookish Resolution Challenge for writing goals in 2019, but since they’re just year-long goals, they didn’t really motivate me—especially when things started going wrong in my household and we hit those last few months of craziness. And the waiting game with submissions isn’t particularly motivating either. I’d love to be able to say my book sold in 2019 but that’s not the reality. Here’s hoping that 2020 is the year that happens!
I’m going to try hard to make solid monthly writing goals in 2020 and focus on those. (And you guys, along with my writing friend Megan, can help hold me accountable!)
Here are some goals for the year, but like I said, I’m also going to break them up monthly to make them more doable.
My Writing Goals
- Update Convenerimus based on feedback from sensitivity reader and send it back to my agent. I made a change to the MG manuscript that I’m currently on submission with, and I decided it would be a good idea to have a sensitivity reader take a look at the book for that change and for some other aspects. I should be getting that feedback back very soon, so I need to make updates based on the feedback and send the book back to my agent so we can get it out to a new set of publishers.
- Finish first edit of my Selfish Giant retelling. This is the manuscript I should have finished in 2019. It WILL get done in 2020.
- Attend one writing conference and at least one online class. I’m actually already registered for the SCBWI conference in New York in February, so that one’s a given. For Christmas, I asked for a $75 gift card to The Writing Barn, which would cover one online class. (I actually ended up getting cash because the gift card could only be emailed—but I need to make sure I spend that money on a class in 2020.) Honestly, I would love to attend even more workshops and classes, but I have to be realistic about how much money I’m spending on my writing.
- Read writing craft books and resources. This was a goal last year, but this year I’m going to be more specific about a plan for each month so I actually do it. It’s really easy to feel like I have “all year” to complete a goal—and then never get to it.
- Edit A Memory of Magic. This is the working title of the YA draft I wrote during NaNo a year or two ago. I set it aside and never really picked it up again. Need to fix that.
My Reading/Reviewing Goals
(Besides reaching 100 books for my Goodreads goal, which will be no problem):
- Keep up with (requested) review books. I’m giving myself some grace on the books that show up as surprises (though I do love surprises!), but for books that I request, I’m making it a goal to review them no more than two weeks past publication.
- Work on clearing out my backlist review books. I actually have a pretty good NetGalley rating (I’m currently at 88%), but I have some older books that have been hanging out on both NetGalley and Edelweiss. I also have a decent number of backlist physical review books that publishers have sent me that I’d like to get to.
- I know I won’t be able to get them all completely cleared away, but my goal is to get to at least two per month.
- Here’s the spreadsheet I created specifically for my backlist ARCs and review copies. (This was adapted from one of the tabs on Val @ Reader Voracious’s 2020 spreadsheet). Hopefully seeing this list here monthly will help keep me on track!
My Only 2020 Challenge
This year, I’m keeping it simple and I’m only signing up for the 2020 Book Blog Discussion Challenge. It’s the one challenge I can’t ignore since I cohost it with Shannon (plus, I love it!).
That’s it for my 2020 goals! Like I said, I’ll be setting monthly writing goals as well to hold myself accountable—but this gives me an overall direction for the year. Wish me luck!
Good luck with all of your goals! I think breaking your writing goals down into monthly ones throughout the year will be helpful. That’s my goal. I’m probably going to start that next month when Cybils judging is over. I want to start off slow and build up from there; as long as I’m working on it!
Yeah, this month is all about getting those Cybils books read!
Good luck! I’m posting my 2020 goals on Thursday, but one of them is to write a novella. I don’t know when I’ll find time to do that, but I want to try.
You can do it!!! 🙂
Thanks so much for the chart you shared about the ARCs. wow, I thought I was bad, but only a quarter of yours, lol. I had it on paper, just did myself a nice chart, thanks
Glad my chart was helpful (even if it is overloaded with my past-due review books!). I know I should be ashamed of that list—in my defense the last quarter of the year was definitely crazy for me and I didn’t get as much reading in as I normally do. Since I got 96 books for review in 2019, I can’t afford to read less!!!
Good luck with your writing and reading goals, Nicole. I’ve almost stopped requesting ARCs completely but I still have 3-4 outstanding that I need to take care of.
As you can see I have … ahem … more than 3-4. :-0
I hear you on focusing on writing goals instead of reading goals! I have more plans to focus on writing this year, too. I like your idea of adding books about writing to your 2020 goals. I should prioritize my writing books, too.
I definitely want to read more craft books this year—I have to make sure that I’m not using them to procrastinate actual writing though. 🙂
I need to set better writing goals as well. I have yet to do any writing this year. :-(. And I really want to try to enter a story into the SmartyPants Romance series. I want to read the books on writing, but feel like that takes away time from actually doing the writing? I don’t know. But I know I need help with writing to get better. Good luck on your goals!
Yes, I actually stopped focusing so much on the writing books last year because I found that I was sort of using it as procrastinating actual writing. Not great.
Good luck with all your writing goals!!
Good luck with your goals! I hope 2020 brings you a great year of writing 🙂
Thank you! I’m off to a good start!!
Good luck with your goals. I try not to request too many books from NetGalley at once so I can keep up with them all.
Ha! Yes, I TRY to do that too, but obviously I failed … things got especially backlogged at the end of last year when I just wasn’t having as much time to read.
These are some great goals! Best of luck with them and all your writing in 2020 🙂
These are some good goals, both for writing and blogging! I hope you get back some good feedback from your sensitivity reader and that revisions go well.
I actually got some great feedback from the sensitivity reader yesterday, so I’m going to start working on incorporating comments today (or maybe tomorrow since I have an event at my daughter’s school today). I’m excited!!
Good luck with your writing/editing and your reading goals! I should set some for myself, see if they get me out of this reading slump…
Thank you so much! Yes, you should definitely set some goals—hopefully it will help you!!
I love the idea of setting monthly writing goals, because I can already tell I’m not doing so great with my annual goals. I’m going to use that for myself! I also need to fit in a consistent time to write in my schedule….but with everything that needs to happen I am having a hard time trying to find a time to do that! Good luck with the writing this year!
The thing that’s helped me a lot is having a writing accountability partner. I’m actually going to write a post about that soon!!
Good for you putting your writing front and center. I will you all sorts of success with that. I look at some of my backlist ARCs, and I know I pushed a lot of them off, because early reviews were bad, and I didn’t want to waste my time on them. That’s sounds bad, right? I have been known to listen to some of them on audio, if available via my library. My NG ratio is 93%, so I read a lot of the books I request, but yeah, I feel like some will never be read by me
Yes, that definitely happens to me too. I’ll be all excited about a book and then the reviews will start to come in and they’re … not great. Audiobooks are great for me when it comes to backlist ARCs that I somehow didn’t get to. That’s often my solution.
Good luck with all of these goals, especially your writing ones. I’m doing pretty well (knock on wood) with my review books, so my main goal this year is to try to read more of the books I’ve actually purchased but haven’t read. My unread shelves are a bit out of control at the moment, lol.
I’ve just given up on my purchased books (for now). Those will probably be a goal after I get these review books cleaned out. 🙂
I like the sound of working through the backlist to review books and clearing as many of them out as possible. And keeping steady with upcoming reviews too – that always takes a good amount of balance. And yay for writing goals! A lot of those sound exciting and I can’t wait to hear all about it 😀
I’m hoping to keep up with it all!
Wow, these are some well thought out goals! I really wish you luck, I think you’ll surprise yourself with how much you will accomplish by the end of the year 🙂 I am also SUPER amazed – 100 books?! A true reader at heart – my own goal is 50 books, and that was an improvement from last year, haha. Although, I am coming from a long hiatus so I need to walk before I can run!
Also, I’ve just come across your blog, and look forward to reading your reviews and upcoming posts! Here’s to a new year and a new decade – starting off strong! 😀
100 books is actually a low goal for me—I usually read more, but this year I want to try hard to focus on my writing (it’s hard when there are SO many good books to read). But everyone reads at their own pace, so I think you should be happy with what works for you!
Good luck with your goals, Nicole. I like the idea of setting smaller monthly goals. I think that helps stay with the plan. I really want to clear out those old review books myself and 2 per month sounds doable. Good luck with the writing!
Yes, if I’m just faced with a year-long list, I tend to put things off. Definitely better to go with weekly and monthly goals.
Looking at this level of organization, I begin to understand how you parent, homeschool, read, blog, write, and everything else!
I have never gotten into requesting ARCs because I know it would just stress me out.
I am really excited for you and your writing, and can’t wait until the day I can buy one of your books!
It’s funny that you say this because I do NOT consider myself organized at all. The spreadsheets have definitely helped, though! And having a writing accountability partner is wonderful!!
I hear you about concentrating on your most important goals this year Nicole. I’m not signing up for challenges either because it would take me off my focus. Still there are some neat ones that I may participate in spirit with a fancy post.
It sounds like you have quite a handful of manuscripts you could polish up! I hope you get to the ones you want through your m9 they goals. ♥️
Yes, I really need to focus on my writing goals. I don’t want to just write one book and be done!
All the luck with your goals! You can do it~
Whoa, impressive. I wish you lots and lots of luck with all of these. I’m glad you’re keeping up the discussion challenge … I love it too!
Thanks, Lory! I’m hoping I keep up with these goals!
Wishing you all the luck with your writing, reading, reviewing and blogging goals this year. You can do it *hugs*!
I think it s awesome you got a sensitivity reader feedback for Convenerimus! Crossing ALL fingers!
I wanted to go to SCBWI too! But I can’t I’ll have to wait for the Boston one in the fall 🙂
Good luck with all you writing goals! Can’t wait to read your books!
I think the sensitivity gave me some confidence about a few things I otherwise would have been nervous about. Luckily, the feedback was mostly great, and I only needed to make some tweaks to the book.
Such sadness, I wrote a big old comment and then lost it, UGH. I wish you ALL the luck with Convenerimus and am sending all the good vibes your way!! And I am impressed that you have 88% even with so many backlist titles. Like HOW!? And good luck with all your other manuscripts- you GOT THIS!! ♥♥
So frustrating when comments get lost!! Basically my NetGalley score is so high despite all the unread books because I read SO MANY NetGalley books. It’s a sickness. Truly.
Best of luck on all your writing goals! And I hope you enjoy the classes you take, both online and in person!
I’m also making myself a goal to deal with my backlist. For me my problem isn’t so much quantity as it is age. I have several NetGalley books that are older than any of my unread physical books. I don’t know if I’ll manage to read and review them all, but I do want to make a start at the very least. I also find that my current TBR is mostly books that I’ve had for a while without reading. This year I really want to read and/or unhaul my current TBR, so that in the future my TBR will be filled with book’s that I’m more currently interested in. I’m definitely going to have to check out Val’s spreadsheets to help me keep track of things!
I hope 2020 is a wonderful year and that you manage to achieve all the goals you listed and more!
I definitely have some older backlist books too. I felt like I was doing really well keeping up with my review books last year, but then things got crazy in my life during the second half of the year and I totally fell behind. I’m hoping to get that taken care of and stay ahead! (Hoping is the key word there, though.)
Best of luck with all your writing goals, Nicole! I’m sure you’ll be able to complete all of them, in addition to your reading/reviewing goals too! <3
Thanks for the encouragement!