Monday, January 02, 2017

Getting ready!

I spent yesterday afternoon in the office, mostly to start adapting to being back at work before Tuesday lands with all four feet.  It was lovely to be back, and a client sent in a manuscript that kept me reading long past when I should have gone home.

Today, I'll be heading back in and making my To Do list first for what needs attention in the next week and then what needs attention in the next two weeks.  I have a feeling we're not all going to be full tilt boogie till next week. This was a LONG luxurious holiday break.

This is the first year in quite some time that January has not been devoted to preparing client 1099s. To say I am looking forward to going back to just agent work this week is a vast understatement.

Speaking of luxurious, here is Gossamer, my beloved furry friend from afar, whom you might recognize as the face of Chum Bucket.

I would love to be able to restart Chum Bucket. It's on my list of goals.

Is there anything you're hoping to start, or resume in 2017?


Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

I'd like an agent. I really would.

Was having a chat with a peer the other day. Halfway through the conversation, I stopped myself from picking her brain for advice on my career.

See, I don't do resolutions. I create a 12-month plan. Right now i have more writing than i can cram in 12 months.

An agent's specific advice would come in real handy about now.

Colin Smith said...

Since getting a mortgage, I've talked to my wife about writing as my "second job." The reason for this is because I need to start treating it as that. The extra income from some published stories and even, Lord willing, getting an agent and a publishing deal, would be very helpful. And if working at my writing as a "second job" spurs me on to finishing more short stories, and even finishing the novel, then all the better.

I'm with you, Heidi--I would love for 2017 to be the year I get an agent. :)

Kae Ridwyn said...

Happy New Year, Your Sharkliness, and Reiders - sorry I'm late to the party, but I'm currently wearing a bad case of sunburn. Sigh. Dumb, I know.

My goals for 2017: not die from new day-job starting next week. Write well enough that dream agent-to-be is convinced I am her dream client :) and laugh quite a lot.

Beth said...

I want to start a newsletter. Of course this involves learning how to write one, how to distribute it, and how to find the people who might be interested in reading it.

I believe it was here I heard about Dana Kay's book about brand. I'm finding it helpful.

CynthiaMc said...

I've figured out this is a writing year for me. (I tend to have Writing years. Music years, Theatre years). I figured that out by looking at entries in my writing work journal and realizing I've been posting on my blog every day while I've been off (with no advance plan to do so). Hurrah!

I've dedicated January as my month to get stuff finished (even if it sucks) and fix whatever I end up with in February. So JanoWriMo and Fix It February it is - and somebody else on Twitter is jumping on board as well. After I see what I have by the end of this month and Fix It February, I'll figure out the next step (I hope).

stacy said...

I've started a sketching project that I hope will help me learn to draw and paint more accurately from my imagination. I also plan to finish the novel I'm working on and a few short stories. And then there's the full-time job thing.

Michael Seese said...

I'm going to finish a timely MS, given the state of America beginning in, oh, two weeks or so. The basics are there. I'm just getting in place the language that would inspire Janet to (if I recall how she described it) pick up a pen every page to write down a great phrase.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Ditto, what Duchess and Colin and Kae said. Get an agent. But first, get those dagnabbit revisions done.

Cynthia: oooo, like Fix it February except I need to resume from December. Fix it January doesn't have quite the same ring.

french sojourn said...

I have fallen into the worst self-imposed sand trap / quicksand imaginable. I've got three m/s, One complete, one four/fifths done, and one 20 % done but charted out.

And I find myself spending what little time I have jumping from one hamster wheel to the next. (Not even spinning my wheels.)

I hope to retract my cranium from my.....damn near wrect'um...and dedicate myself to finishing one. My problem is...*cough* main problem is I'm seduced by all three.

Mindless in Saint Jean.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

And that's a gorgeous Gossie pic. Great way to wake up to a Monday morning.

Anonymous said...

Actually querying is the big one for me! Every time I think I'm gearing a project up to query, I get huge reasons that it's Not Ready. I want this year to be the year I have enough confidence in a project to finally send this emails.

I'm not so bold as some other Reiders to hope that it actually lands me an agent this year, though. Just finally getting started is good for 2017 for me. ^^ But naturally, I'll be (quietly, from my status as mostly-lurker) cheering you on!

That is, if I can stop trying to boop my screen right where Gossamer's little nose is long enough to write.

Lennon Faris said...

Gossamer is so lovely!

Cynthia - JanoWriMo and Fix It February. I love that.

Although I plan to finish my current WIP in the next week or two and hopefully will be joining Lisa in her Fix It January :)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I am hoping to finish a book I can query, land an agent, and a book deal. Strangely, it is sams goal as past decade.

Over the holiday, I set up a new writing environment in my house- who needs a living room- hoping for better concentration and discipline. I have a fire place and aromatherapy infuser in my new "office" along with a Keurig for coffee and tea.

I find it takes me a few hours to really get writing. My 1st draft of my WIP is evidence of this - took me almost six months to get full draft and only managed it because of NaNoWriMo. But it's an abysmal effort. So much revision to tackle.

My full time job takes the lion's share of my energy but lots of my plot holes are solved during my commute. I then forget how I solved the plot hole by time I return home so I am resolved to taking note cards everywhere and using recording device on my phone to capture those ideas so they don't get lost during my 7-4 tribulation.

Anyway may 2017 be the best writing year ever for all of us.

Cheryl said...

Well, yesterday I started a Twitter account (@CSRosbak), so I've already done one new thing. And, like others, I will have a query-ready project this year.

Oh! I'm going to my first writer's retreat in May, too.

Linda Strader said...

I am also holding out for an agent this year...but if it doesn't happen, I'll go with a small publisher. I am also planning on completely the prequel to my memoir, which has been much easier to write than the first one, thank goodness!

Amy Schaefer said...

After a personally challenging 2016, I need to pick myself up, dust myself off, and regain both my senses of humour and optimism. And I plan to write like a mad demon. If I can accomplish those things, then 2017 is going to be just fine.

Brigid said...

1. Keep the baby alive. (ETA March.)

2. Write at all. Was approached about participating in a zine, which is right up my alley, but I have a book of short stories and two novels I don't want to give up yet. And time keeps passing.

3. Do the home-things that nourish me. Bake bread. Grow tomatoes.

S.D.King said...

Heidi - I'm with you. I'm ready. My MS is ready. My life circumstances are ready. Let's get an agent.

Kitty said...

I'm forever looking for short story markets of the non-literary type. Is there such a thing anymore? Or did they go the way of the dinosaurs?

Kathryn said...

Baby #2 is due February and my goal is to finish my first draft before then (I'm almost there!). After baby's arrival I hope to find a good groove between writing and being a mother to two littles.

Jason Magnason said...

So school starts again next week and work begins tomorrow and well yeah I would love to finish editing my book so that I can get back to querying again. I look back on 2016 and wow what a year of sadness for me and my family. Glad its over looking foward to a new Year and some new light and maybe just maybe a new House.

Claire AB. said...

Like so many on this wonderful blog, my goal is to find an agent this year. I'll tack on the additional goal of finding another beta reader or two, but after I get a bit more feedback on my WIP, I'll be ready to query. Oh, and I'll throw in the additional goal of participating in one of Janet's writing contests. That's been scarier than querying!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Okay boys and girls, you are in for it from me regarding the tilt of some Reider comments.
THIS NEEDS TO BE SAID and I am not going to apologize for length.
Janet, if I’m over the line delete me.

Almost every one of you here wants an agent and a book deal which breeds success with novel after novel. Others want to pick a project, finish a project, pitch the project and/or be published for the first time. I’ll bet that a year from now some of the same commenters with be stating the same wants. So here goes. (I am speaking to me as well.)

Stop wanting and start doing.
What the fuck (yup I used the word) are you waiting for?
Look buddies, if you don’t do it now you will be like me, a late sixties grandmother struggling to find my way past 50,000 words without losing interest. Lots started, few finished. There’s not much time left for me, because of traditional publishing glacial pace, but there is for you. Don’t give me any BS about non/age bias in publishing, we all know the truth. Here’s to some of you and if I get you badges wrong it’s because my fingers are hot.

Lennon – finish, damn it finish.
Luciakaku – MAKE it ready.
Hank – Cheers Frenchie, pick ONE and stick with it my friend.
Lisa – revise, revise, revise then stop and go.
Michael Seese – finish the damn thing.
Stacy – Stop sketching and START
Cynthia – blog one day and write the next
Beth – Get that newsletter off the ground, now.
Kae Redwyn – Sunburn, really, gee I can’t feel sorry for you it’s 10 here. Peel baby and write.
Colin – pay your mortgage. Make writing your first job even if it doesn’t pay as well.
Her grace – stop picking brains and use yours.
ME – get off this and onto my next column.
Janet – You are blessed to love your job. We are blessed that you know what you know and share.
To all of you. YOU are amazing writers. Don’t forget that. A year from now lets all be celebrating our actual successes not simply our dreams of them.
For everybody after Lennon' comment, Niki, just do it.
Okay, I’m done. I’ve got a word count to boost.

Theresa said...

I'm resuming work on a nf (history) book proposal. I had an epiphany about the project yesterday, as well as about my brand, so now I need to run this all by my agent to see if she considers it an epiphany or a delusion.

Sounds like everyone here is off to a good start.

Gossamer is beautiful!

Susan said...

I love hearing everyone's goals and work effort. You're all so inspiring!

Hank: " main problem is I'm seduced by all three." I hear you. Yesterday I opened up The Damn Novel (almost a decade now) and was transfixed by the world I'd created. I can't wait to get back into writing this, but I know I'm not ready yet, as I have two other manuscripts fighting for attention. But every once in a while, it's nice to be pulled back to where my heart belongs. I hope you're able to tackle yours and find the one that's speaking a little louder.

Last year surprised me in terms of productivity. One day, I decided to stick with indie publishing and the next, I was releasing a novel (to be fair, it took many months and a lot of work, but the fact that I released a book at all, considering, makes me proud). Then the last few months kicked up in terms of writing productivity because of some essays I'd published. Today's the first day I'll be back at fiction writing after a few months away.

My intention for 2017 is to create and release. I tend to hoard my words because of self-doubt and insecurity, but I'm learning to let them go and see where they land, knowing they'll reach who they need to reach. Part of that is a plan to release my next two books (one a novella--I'm not completely crazy!) at the end of the year. Which means I've got to double down. Lucky for me, the forecast is pretty dreary, which makes for easy hibernation.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

My goal this year is to make my goals month-by-month. I always get discouraged with yearly plans because if I don't meet my Jan/Feb game plan then the rest of the year is bunk - which is, of course, ridiculous. So I'm making a January goal: 35,000 words. That might be difficult with the surgery coming up this Friday, but I guess that means I'll have to bust my butt this week to get a good head start.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm jumping back into my NaNo ms, focusing on the story, the craft, re-writing, revising. It's slow-burning horror, dark and disturbing, with characters I love and love to hate, and I am approaching it all with a renewed joy in creativity and in the writing process. Here's to 2017!

RKeelan said...

In 2017 I want to--looks nervously at 2Ns--will query my first novel and write my second.

S.P. Bowers said...

I really thought I'd get an agent last year. Lots of requests, but ultimately, no one loved it enough. This year I want to push the WIP and make it a year of writing.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

RKeelan, don't look nervously at me.

My rant is to me too. It's hard but we can do this, this year. We can !!!!!
I used a years worth of exclamation points.

Timothy Lowe said...

To write 350,000 words this year.

Sherry Howard said...

I have declared January the month of Sherry. That means the children may starve and the dust bunnies may play, but my queries will be sent. I devoted three years to studying writing, two years writing and revising, and this is the year to get my work out there in long form, and double my pub credits for shorts and poetry. Like Carolynnwith2Ns, I urge you younger guys to put in those extra hours, and wrap it up, finish something, and get it out there. Holding your own work in your hand is amazing.

Congratulations to all of you, Janetincluded, for your many successes during 2016!

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

My goals for 2017 are to keep enjoying the way my tai chi and coffee friend laughs when I read her scenes from my book, and,
to ski through the rest of the winter,
to plant flowers in the spring,
to visit my crazy family on Cape Cod in the summer,
and to watch the leaves turn in the fall from my perch in the mountains,

while typing The End.

Cheryl said...

2NNs, that's exactly why I said "will", not "want to". I deliberately changed it because I felt like if I said it here it would be a promise to you all. And I'm much better at keeping promises to other people than to myself.

Kitty, they do indeed still exist, mostly online.

french sojourn said...

2nn's...sorry my vocabulary is rubbing off on you...well, not on you, but you know what I mean. Thanks for the push. You are great.

Susan...It is indulgent of me to keep running to that cottony warmth of intimacy that I feel I created. But the solution is focus. And as 2nn's said, choose the one that speaks the loudest to you. (And me with my noise issues...grin.)

Cheers all. 2017 is gonna be just fine.

french sojourn said...

...rats, like you said, choose the one.....


MB Owen said...

2016 Politics vaporized my creativity. I'm determined not to let that happen in 2017. To do that, I will manage myself better in what I watch. What I hear or read. Put a tight rein on how much time I spend on SM - which is the worst sucker-outer of time I've ever experienced.

Also, conquer the Query. Treat it as my friend instead of nemesis. Have a solid plan for querying. Treat it as serious business.

Make progress.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

I will summon the gods and confront my 105,000 word frankendraft 3.0. I won't be its bitch anymore.

Author, she does as she pleases said...

2017 will be my "Year of Yes, Carolynn!!!"

John Davis Frain said...

This is wonderful -- a legitimate moment to be redundant and repeat others' goals. I have too many writing goals. I need to whittle them down.

Trying to whisper so 2NNs doesn't hear... I will finish my WIP draft in January. In February, I will return to the ms (made famous here when I offered it as a prize for Janet's non-entry to a non-contest) and polish it to a shinier shine than ever.

Also, I will purchase a two-pack of red pens this time before editing begins. If there's still ink left, there must still be editing left. Hello, exhaustion, my good friend.

lamandarin said...

Have completed the grouped, hierarchical, and color-coded, 2017 Goal List version 1.0 Beta - which includes (relevant to this forum) rewriting one book, writing new one, and reading at least 60 books this year - plus that whole full-time job, staying in shape, and family thing. Should be fun! :)

Mark Thurber said...

I hope writing provides a lot of enjoyment for everyone in 2017!

Peggy Larkin said...

I like Bethany Elizabeth's monthly goal idea. I blogged yesterday about making resolutions that are SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, time-based). So, like: not "update my blog more." The SMART version of that: update my blog 2x/week, but "today I worked in my WIP for an hour!" counts, because I don't want blogging to usurp all writing time.

So, as 2Ns forcefully reminds us, we need a path to action or else goals are nothing but wishful thinking!

So the challenge is to have steps figured out to get from here to there. C.L. McCollum had a good blog post up about that too. Now where on earth did it go...?

Ah. Here it is! Well done bring Googleable, CL!

Colin Smith said...

2Ns: I appreciate the push, but I'm being realistic. Yes, I would love for my writing to earn enough income to pay my bills and support my family. My desire is that it be my first job--my only job. But that's not going to happen this year, even if I get an agent and a publishing deal. In my context, treating writing like a second job is serious stuff. It's elevating writing from something I do simply for pleasure, to something that will also help pay for stuff we need/want. It's keeping my wife from feeling like she has to get a job and give up homeschooling to give us that financial cushion. If selling some stories can do that, then that's what I need to be doing.

Yeah, that sounds so very crass and unartistic. But my responsibility to my family means that as much as I enjoy writing, it can't just be about me scratching an itch and giving me pleasure.

Peggy Larkin said...

I like Bethany Elizabeth's monthly goal idea. I blogged yesterday about making resolutions that are SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, time-based). So, like: not "update my blog more." The SMART version of that: update my blog 2x/week, but "today I worked in my WIP for an hour!" counts, because I don't want blogging to usurp all writing time.

So, as 2Ns forcefully reminds us, we need a path to action or else goals are nothing but wishful thinking!

So the challenge is to have steps figured out to get from here to there. C.L. McCollum had a good blog post up about that too. Now where on earth did it go...?

Ah. Here it is! Well done bring Googleable, CL!

Jerrianne Hayslett said...

Doubling down on working to get published.

Dena Pawling said...

I'm sitting here watching the Rose Parade live, our new year tradition at my house ever since I can remember. After the live parade, we watch it in re-runs all day long while we take down our Christmas tree and decorations. As your odd piece of trivia for today, the parade route runs mostly along Colorado Blvd. My firm's office is just off Colorado Blvd about five miles east of the parade route.

2016 was the year my #3 finished his Boy Scout Eagle project and graduated from high school. 2017 is the year my #4 graduates from high school. Therefore, this is a year of transition for my family. We have the unenviable position of not facing an empty nest until we decide to, because #2 will live here until we choose to place him in a group home, and I'm not ready for that any time in the near future. But we will be transitioning to a new reality and new activities.

I believe in SMART goals, as already mentioned. I won't make a goal to “get an agent” because that's not something entirely within my control. However, I have the goal of (1) finishing ms#2 and sending it out on query, which is within my control. Other goals I have are (2) posting on my blog daily, which I've already started, (3) participating in AtoZ Challenge for the third year, and I already have my theme and the start of 20 of the 26 posts, and (4) enjoying my youngest child's last year of high school.

I wish everyone here much success in meeting their goals for 2017.

Happy new year!

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Carolynn: I heart you.

I'm proud of several 2016 writerly accomplishments. I had dreams of completing a work of fiction, and I did. I began querying in November. I've gotten a request for a full. I'll continue to query until I get an offer for representation or go under contract with a smaller press. I also have three new WIP going at once.

My dreams for the sanctuary: There are two small rooms in our barn that we aren't using, plumbing and electricity already in place. I would like to convert/remodel this area into a simple but pleasant guest area and then rent it out, advertised as a writer's retreat. Create a bit of income for the sanctuary (we're feeding nearly 50 rescue horses) and offer a peaceful, inspirational place for writers who need a getaway.

Craig F said...

Welcome to 2017 everyone. With luck it will be a less than disastrous year.

On to the Goal:

Several, or more, years ago I was asked to immortalize someone as the character in a work of fiction. That was supposed to be sci-fi but I got distracted.

I drew up a timeline and basic plot arcs for six thrillers before stepping off planet. I was torn by the possibility of being pigeonholed in one direction or the other.

Last year my friend passed on. I wrote a sci-fi novella for her to take with her. I am now expanding that and will offer it up some time this year. If it works into being a brand I will offer the thrillers as a "how it got there". Maybe it will work and maybe not but I feel that I have more sci-fi in me than I have thrillers.

Best of luck gluing down your goals this year.

Claire Bobrow said...

Goal #1: finish polishing a PB manuscript that's due Jan 7th in advance of a March conference.

Goal #2: Take my 5 best PB manuscripts and make them as perfect as I can, with help from my critique partners. Query widely. Like so many commenters above, I'll be working hard to get an agent this year.

Goal #3: Soak up some of 2Ns fire! Did YOU cause Kae's sunburn? :-) I'm gonna try to burn brightly, even if it means flaming out.

Gossamer - you are lovely!

RosannaM said...

New Year's Resolutions always fizzled out for me, so I abandoned them completely years ago. This year I finally figured out that it was because I didn't resolve anything. I may have wished it, or said I was going to do something, but I never got it to that level that it qualified as a resolution.

We deal in words here, and the words we use in our regular lives matter just as much as they do in our writing ones. So I am going to examine my want-tos and my shoulds and come up with a manageable list of musts.

And it will have some verbs in it (great prod, Carolynn)
And be SMART (thanks Peggy-love the acronym)
And I might be a bumblebee like Hank but I resolve to slurp all the nectar on one project before I resume one of the others!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Colin, I love you, I respect you in every sense of the word.

You said, "But my responsibility to my family..."
and I say this to you, and all Reiders here, with young families,

BLINK and your kids will be gone and you will be back to two of you or one, whatever your circumstance.

Life passes like flipping the pages of a book. Sometimes we think its like reading, turning pages one at a time but its not. Its like pressing your thumb against the edges of the pages and they lift your bangs while fanning by.
The time will pass anyway so DON'T PUT OFF the want or the will because writing is not your first job.
No matter what I have done in my life when someone asked me what I do, my answer always was and continues to be,

Hey, like my caps. I still can't figure out to bold. I'm a caps kinda girl I guess. That proves I'm no expert. I never made the cheerleading squad either but today I shaking my pom poms for all of us. MY pom poms, ewww, that's a scary thought.

Okay, I'm outta here for good today or Janet will paper-airplane another ticket to Carkoon my way.

BJ Muntain said...

2016 has been the year from hell. And no, it's not because - as many say on Facebook - '2016 took so many stars'. No, my hell is personal. So for 2017, I'm going to do my damnedest to heal from this wreck, and get my life back on track.

Cheryl: I'm following you on Twitter, now.

Kitty: If you're looking for genre short story markets, check out Science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, some romance... And Ralan is a real sweetheart, too. He keeps his site up-to-date with tips from readers. If you have a tip for him, he'll post your name and web link.

Colin Smith said...

2Ns: 3 out of my 6 kids are adults, and my youngest will turn 13 this year. I know what you're saying. :)

Anonymous said...

2Ns, kick in the pants well stated and heard. *salutes*

I will complete the current project, and I will send out queries about it to agents who are, I'm sure, at this very moment salivating at the as-yet unprecedented chance to partake of my wit and keyboardmanship.

Lennon Faris said...

2N's - yes ma'am :) Also, your comment about the flipping pages was both sad and lovely and so true (as I'm beginning to find out). So, take your own advice and get moving on that WIP ;)

Brigid - saying a prayer for you and March *virtual hug*

Melanie - your retreat sounds amazing!!

BJ - hope 2017 is much, much better.

Bethany Joy said...

My goal for 2017 is to work on my new MS and to revise the MS I completed in September.

A goal I had last year was to find value in my writing even before it has been critiqued or received requests. I enjoy writing so much and I didn't want all of my satisfaction to hinge on what others think of the finished project. This year I want to continue to love the process and not just the end result.

Best of luck to everyone with their 2017 goals and Happy New Year!

DLM said...

FREEEYOW, I don't come in till 1:00, and here I've missed TWO pics of my beloved Gossie-Pie and FIFTY-FIVE comments. And 2Ns literally kicking ass and taking names! OSUM.

Loving Fix-It February, but if I'm honest I'll admit I have to follow Brigid's directive, "write at all."

Oddly enough, the reason I have not been in today was that I was writing. That I get to do this with the luxuriating Gossamer himself humped up next to my hip is a blessing I know I must be grateful for; and I shall offer him scritchings from Janet and the Reiders.

Also (thank you, Dave Barry) Janet and the Reiders sounds like SUCH a great name for an epically wall-of-sound style beach band, I'm mentally like casting for the campy TV show it begs me to mentally produce.

My 2017 goals are the same as all years: to try to be good enough to deserve my pets, to help my mom and my continually ailing stepfather, to love and KEEP my job, and to write, to write, to write.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

My 2017 goal is very similar to my (successful!) 2016 goal: write at least 1 short story per month. This broke down to 15 complete first drafts, 2 of which were novels (these were due to varying permutations of NaNoWriMo, mais oui), 2 of which were novellas, and the remaining 11 short stories. My 2017 addendum is to continue edits and rewrites on my new drafts, that they might be queried and/or submitted. 8 of those shorts and one of the novellas have been making the rounds.

Happy New Year, everybody!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Lennon, will do. Got 2000 in today.

CynthiaMc said...

Hey Carolynn - I'm on Day 2 of self-inflicted JanoWriMo and I'm already behind (but thankfully off all day). So I'll probably not be blogging much this month. I have 366 words done out of the 1613 for the day. Gah.

Cheryl - following you on Twitter

On age - I wish I had become rich and famous in my 20's but I didn't make the choices needed to do that. Every time it came time to pick career or family, I went with family. No regrets (except when something explodes). Plus I'm a better writer now and I hope a bit wiser human being. Grandma Moses did okay and I'm way younger than she was.

Back to my remaining 1247 words for the day (God help me).

stacy said...

Sorry, 2Ns, not stopping the sketching. :)

I need the practice. After last year, it's the only way for me to get my confidence back and dust off the cobwebs. I get that the sketching itself can be a crutch, but I don't think that will happen as long as I keep putting pencil to paper. And I've found that for me, completing something daily--even just a quick sketch--is crucial for my mindset. I have to feel a sense of accomplishment to keep going and growing, and completing something every day gives me that.

Lucy Crowe said...

Wheeeeeee! Hello 2017! I am going to finish therapy on my poor broken wrists and be so, so happily back at my job by February! I will be driving trucks and hauling patients and belly crawling into burning buildings, God willing. Words cannot convey how much I love this job and how I have missed it.
That said, I will of course be writing! Because to me - and likely, to all of us - writing is almost like breathing. We can't live without it. So I want to remember, this year and always, the joy I get from writing. How much happiness it brings me; how I turn into the absolute bitch from hell when I am deprived of it. It seems odd to need a prioritization on something that is already so essential - but there it is. Sometimes writing is like water consumption - you need it, you want it, but you play hell getting those 8 glasses in. So, here's to all of us getting it done! Lets write and write and write in 2017.

Karen McCoy said...

2017 will mark getting my online content under one umbrella (Wordpress) and getting back in the query trenches for the first time since 2013.

Also will be looking to find a more steady stream of income. Hoping this comes from writing, but am open to other possibilities also...

April said...

For those of us who are newer to the blog, can you explain what the Chum Bucket is? Guessing from your old posts, people send you queries... but how is that different than usual?

BJ Muntain said...

April: The difference is, Janet responds with a personal response to each Chum Bucket query.

She sets up a certain day and hour, and everyone who queries with the right subject line during that time period gets a personal response very soon after.

Our part of the bargain is that, when we receive said personal response, we respond civilly or not at all. Which is more than fair, if you ask me.

kathy joyce said...

I would love to hear about accomplishments through the year too. Doesn't matter if they're off topic. Goals or resolutions are a good start, but kudos are so helpful, especially for those little wins that keep us moving forward. To progress and encouragement for all in 2017!

Julie Weathers said...

Ah, my goals for the new year.

1. Avoid being hauled off to the mental hospital by my son.

Text this morning. "I think Gage the Wonder Dog is French."

"Um, OK."

"I've been telling him 'Allez! Allez!' when I let him out to pee and he goes on out to pee instead of just standing there in the doorway looking at me like he usually does. Or it might have something to do with me waving my arms madly at him."


We have a strange and wonderful relationship. Mostly strange.

2. Get the blog back on track. The website went down and I've been in recovery mode trying to rebuild it. It's still not like it should be, but it's functional. I need to get back to the weekly posting.

3. Go to Ft. Worth and then to OK City to finish research on Cowgirls and hopefully make some good progress if not finish it.

4. Go to Virginia to research the Winchester area and talk to some historians there about Rain Crow.

5. Finish The Rain Crow and get it out in the query trenches.

6. Lose weight. I have no choice. My knee is blasted and the one they did surgery on is screwed up as well.

7. Most important of all aside from health resolution, write daily.

Colin Smith said...

Hey, April! As I recall, another proviso with the Chum Bucket is that we don't advertise it outside of this blog. No Twitter announcements or any other social media alerts. Janet trusts that most of the people who read her blog know how to behave themselves, so by limiting it to her blog audience, she can be reasonably confident people will respect the rules.

Elissa M said...

I'm putting the finishing touches on my current WiP, so I guess I can say I'm planning (not hoping) to start querying in 2017. And, of course, I'll be starting another novel. I'm pretty good at doing only one thing at a time. I'm going to start thinking of that as a plus, not a minus.

Julie Weathers said...


No offense, but "pay your mortgage. Make writing your first job even if it doesn’t pay as well." is not good advice. There isn't a single agent out there who would advise their client to quit their day job even after a client has a contract. Colin not only doesn't have a contract, he doesn't have an agent or a completed manuscript. He has a new mortgage and new house require money to fix them up even if they are not in bad shape. Included with that new mortgage is an old, and sizable family.

No, he needs to continue being responsible and making time to write while he does so.

Diana Gabaldon, as I've said before, worked three jobs and had three small children when she wrote Outlander. She got up at 3 in the morning to write when the house was quiet. It can be done if you really want it badly enough.

She didn't even quit her job after Outlander sold and was doing fairly well.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Julie I am so impressed with Diana Gambalon. I would love nothing more than to make my living from writing, but when I was raising my daughter, it was super tough to find time and energy to write. I was single mom with only the one kid. I have no idea how people with multiple kids and jobs manage, but during my daughter's upbringing, my priority was our survival. It was a close thing some years. Cancer made a visit followed by poverty, loss of house, car, everything. Boy, will that set your priorities straight. Unwelcome bedfellows to say the least. Sometimes I have no idea how we survived at all. A miracle that.

I started writing seriously(as opposed to the youthful fanciful writing I did in a more innocent time) when my daughter was a junior in high school. She's now graduated from college and adulting all on her own and I am still writing and rewriting after shelving my last book which came so close but not quite there.

So this is my round about Way of saying- don't quit your day job until you hit it. Bills must be paid. It's an irritating part of adulting. Make writing a priority, yes, but do so responsibly. Persistence will win the day. Besides, writing is a joy. Even if publication doesn't follow.

Also, how does our queen have time to do the Chum Bucket with everything else she does? She is clearly not a mere mortal.

Cheryl said...

Julie, I understood that to be more figurative than literal. No, very few writers can make a living at it, but those who eventually do are the ones who acted as if they were writers first and everything else served to support the writing.

Oh, reCAPTCHA, that is beer not tea.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Oh Julie, I never meant to quit your day job, night shift, part time or babysitting the neighbors kids. I meant that no matter what you do for a living if writing is your thing, your passion, your dream or your want, then writer is what you are first. Family, faith and all that comes out as number one but Writer is what I consider me to be first. I would NEVER suggest, recommend or suggest to quit a job.
bad, bad, no don't do.
Look, my fingers were so hot this morning I'm sure I didn't express myself accurately. All I basically mean is, think it, say it, do it.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Stacy, if sketching works then sketch away. You should see mine. Ah, lets not go there. Long story, long ago.

Julie Weathers said...


Agreed, life has a way of kicking you in the gut. I stopped writing for years at a time.

Even today with all my bright shiny new plans, all I want to do is sleep, but I'm going to tip the hourglass and get some words in. It's difficult to focus when every day is dealing with chronic pain and your system being upside down so all you want to do is sleep. If you take the pain pills there's no choice in the sleeping all day. It just is.

It will all get worked out and in the meantime, we write.

You're right sometimes it's very very hard. However, even if a person can steal 30 minutes on lunch breaks and coffee breaks, before the kids get up, or after they go to bed, and get in 500 words at the end of the week they have 2,500 new words. At the end of the month they have 10,000+ words and at the end of the year they have 130,000 words. That's if they only write five days a week.

We each have our own journey. Not every path is for every person. Remember me talking about the gal who finished her 50,000 word novella in eight days? Yeah, that will never be me.

Even though we're all writers, sometimes it's good to be different.

Anonymous said...

I wrote about resolutions and goals on my blog the other day. It was 1700+ words, so I'm not about to try to repeat it over here. What I didn't say is that I feel extra motivated to get as much done in the first six months of the year as possible, since my daughter and her husband are moving back to NC in July. After four years in New Orleans (grad school for her, med school for him) and three years in Boston (residency for him), I'm eagerly anticipating whatever disruption they bring with them. Within reason.

I do strongly agree with everyone who has said a goal should be something you can achieve by your own actions. "Get an agent" is not one of those things. Make an action plan: finish ms, polish ms, research agents, query widely, rinse and repeat.

Diane, thanks for sharing Gossamer pics (with Janet and with us)! My cat doesn't always "see" things on my laptop, but she had an epic stare-down with that first pic earlier. She's convinced she won.

Janet, I'm imagining all the agents in your office reading this post and having bouts of anxious trepidation over what you might think "needs attention" in the coming weeks. ;)

DLM said...

kd, that is so funny! I'm sure your pud did win.

I should tell everyone what I told Janet, that first photo was the look on Gossamer's face when the jackhammers began at my house the day the basement waterproofing job began. The pic of Penelope that morning is more evocative ("Mom. Jackhammers in the basement. IN. the. basement."), but I know how QOTKU feels about the boy. Still, the luxuriating reference is amusing to me given the context!!

Michael Seese said...

Carolynnwith2Ns, thanks for the prod. I've been working, but perfection takes time. I literally spent two weeks polishing chapter 1.

Megan V said...

Welcome to 2017 everyone. You've listed some excellent resolutions and I loved reading about some of your traditions.

I'm hoping to stick to my standard New Years Resolution. With any luck, I'll read one more book in 2017 than I did in 2016 (I finished 2016 with my nieces and nephews and Otter: Oh No, Bath Time. That picture book was book 514, one more than 2015, and it was an absolute joy to read it and laugh with the kids. They may only see me once or twice a year, but they know I'm the book auntie. My oldest nephew and I have a reading list we share. He tells me the books he likes/ plans on reading and I'll buy/get them from the library just so we can talk about them. This year Magnus Chase is the hot ticket item the list.)

John Davis Frain said...

Oh, Michael Seese, I bet that chapter one sings now. Add a few notes, and put it in a hymnal!

On the other hand, at the rate Megan V is reading, you better get that puppy finished and published! She's gonna run outta books by 2018, so the rest of us better fill her coffers.

Julie Weathers said...


Phew. Recently a couple decided because of the election they were leaving the country with their young children. Since they had always dreamed of writing, they wanted advice on what would be the best country to go to where they could get grants to just write and not have to work.

The world has gotten so strange anymore a person never knows.

Allison Newchurch said...

I long for the day I'll pick up the phone to hear a voice say "Hi, Janet Reid here, read your novel and would like to offer you representation."

I'd be on a plane so fast my feet would only hit the ground long enough to grab a few bottles of single malt to share.

But until that day, I'll keep slaving over a hot keyboard and honing my craft.

I will try to read a book from a more objective viewpoint, analysing what works well, what doesn't. My trouble is I get so absorbed in the story that all the technique stuff just washes over me so by the end of the book if anyone asked me 'what made that book so great?' I can't answer in any depth other than to say 'it just was.'

I'd like to see chumbucket return too, of course.

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Beth, I can offer a touch of advice regarding #2: MailChimp will let you maintain a mailing list and distribute your newsletter for free up to a couple thousand subscribers.

Beth said...

Thanks, Your Grace. I don't think I'm going to be bumping that threshold for a while, so it should work out well for me. Free is my favorite pricepoint.

Kae Ridwyn said...

Thank you, Carolynn. Am peeling, and writing, as instructed.
And sorry that's it's 10 there. I don't know if I could cope with that!

Janice Grinyer said...

Yep. I am not alone :) It will be interesting to reread this post at the end of 2017!

I would like to find representation while continuing to still write other works. Hopefully with a Literary Agent, not a lawyer :D . I also have quite a bit more to learn, so we are working on that also.

roadkills-r-us said...

"Create and release"- I like that.
This should be an easier year; I only have one planned book. So C&R. The first book was nearly four years being born, the second was one (with a long abandoned book resurrected and released in both private and mass market editions). This should be doable as one, but I definitely plan to make a checklist with some target dates so that I have a better handle on things. (That was supposed to happen over the break, but we ended up with our grandson more than expected. I am not complaining!)
And I need to find someone for marketing and publicity.
I'm also going to query at least four short stories.