Midsummer Goal Assessment

In a post in late January, I set out a number of writing-related goals for this calendar year. Now that we're over halfway through the year, I realized I should revisit that list of goals and assess where I am. Unfortunately, I can't say that I'm happy with my progress, and I realize that I've shifted my focus too much toward marketing existing works (which have never performed well) instead of releasing new works. In this post, I offer an overview of each goal I listed in January, as well as a goal I should have listed but did not.

Photo credit: Alvimann from morguefile.com

First on the list was to "Release Assets, Budgets, and Credit: A Financial ABC in print," and that is a goal toward which I've made zero progress. The main obstacle here is that I've decided to release it through the Crenel Books imprint, which isn't ready to release anything. This is a critical dependency that I should have anticipated, because this particular goal is much less important than resolving that dependency.

Next on the list was "Get a new cover for Lesson One: Revolution!" Guess what? No substantial progress there either, although I've started evaluating some cover artists. On the other hand, I did finally get rid of the yellow-pencil cover on the print edition and the print and e-book editions now match, using grayscale pencils as the backdrop. Another key obstacle? I intend to re-release this novel through Crenel Books. See above; and see the pattern here, in that getting the imprint operational is critical to completing multiple goals.

Third on the list: "Release, or get as close to releasing as possible, the sequel to Lesson One: Revolution!" This is one where I've made the most progress. I completed the first draft, made revisions for the second draft, and have shared the manuscript with beta readers. Some of those readers have given me very useful feedback that I've already acted on to improve the book. While it's not ready to release — and while I intend to release it through Crenel Books — I can at least see solid progress toward this goal.

Fourth on the list was "Stop using punctuation in my book titles" — and I clarified that I was "mostly kidding." Which is good, considering that the title for the sequel to Lesson One: Revolution! has the same punctuation, as will the third and final book in that series. Oh well….

Next on the list of goals: "Finish the 4th draft of a fantasy novel that I've had 'in progress' for too many years decades, and maybe release it." Progress: Zero. It's a very low priority, so if I've still made no progress by the end of this year it won't be a big deal. I probably shouldn't have set it as a goal for 2014, but eventually I do want to publish it. I'm now considering posting the final draft, chapter by chapter, to Wattpad for free, rather than going through the trouble of releasing it like normal. It's an OK story but not the greatest.

Last on the list, "Finish the 1st draft of another fantasy novel that I started for my first NaNoWriMo project (2006)." I've made some progress on this, but not as much as I'd like. My current intent is to have the first draft done before the end of summer, and tentative plans for my upcoming birthday include spending most of the day working on that. If that goes well, I could have it done this month.

In retrospect I should have made "Launch the Crenel Books imprint" a top goal for this year. I've made some progress toward it, but there's much more to be done. However, there are still many weeks left in the year, so I'm not discouraged. I just need to sharpen and maintain my focus, and continue working on avoiding unnecessary distractions.

About the Author
Stuart J. Whitmore is an author of fiction and nonfiction, as well as a photographer, technology developer, and more. If you enjoy reading his blog posts, you might also enjoy reading his books. Take a look at the books by Stuart J. Whitmore today, and download your copy of one that looks interesting to you!