2021: The Year We Finish Our Books

The WriteOwls have made a pact. 2021 is the year we will finish our books! After a chaotic 2020, we are ready for some positivity in all aspects of our lives, including our journeys to becoming published authors. So, below, we outline what we each hope to accomplish in the new year.

Laura’s Goals for 2021:

  • Finish revising my book
  • Write every day for at least an hour
  • Read at least one middle grade historical fiction novel a month
  • Query agents

I finished the first draft of my manuscript in April – one of the few good things to come out of a pandemic-inspired self-quarantine. While writing it, the story was still revealing itself to me and I left fill-in-the-blank, go-back-to-this-later holes throughout. In re-reading it over the summer, I realized there are more holes than I thought. But, armed with a better sense of who my characters are and a more focused storyline, I’ve been revising in my spare time. In mid-December, I learned I had been selected for a mentorship sponsored by my region’s chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. The program runs from January through September, and the mentor I’m going to be working with is a writer I admire and respect. It was an honor to be selected, so one of my goals for 2021 is to make the most of the time I get to work with her. I’m making it a top priority to complete the revisions before the mentorship ends, so I plan to write for at least an hour every day before I do anything else. I also intend to read at least one middle grade historical fiction novel each month so I can learn from others in the same genre. Finally, before the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, 2021, I intend to have started querying agents to represent me and my work. Get ready, 2021. Big things are about to happen.

Megan’s Goals for 2021:

  • Finish revision of current work-in-progress.
  • Submit revised manuscript to agents.
  • Get an agent.
  • Outline my next manuscript.

The pandemic really got in my head in 2020. There was a long stretch when I just scrolled through news stories about the coronavirus while listening to news podcasts about the coronavirus. Even when I came out of the doom spiral, I had a hard time focusing on fiction. I did read some books this year—but not many. Honestly, I should have already finished half of these 2021 goals in 2020. But, I did what I could, and there’s no point in kicking myself for a pretty common reaction to a global disaster. So now it’s 2021, numerous healthcare workers in my family have already been vaccinated, and I have a glimmer of hope for normal family interactions in the coming months. (I’ll keep my wild desire for plays, live concerts, and football games in check for a bit longer.) In the mean time, I’ve adapted to the world as it is and am committed to making it just a little bit better through writing. It’s not a cure for the pandemic, but it is my offering of hope for a better future.

Stacey’s goal for 2021:

2020 was stressful, chaotic and so was my writing. I didn’t make any real progress on reworking my novel—and it desperately needed re-working. In fact, I barely wrote anything for a long time. Things were just too crazy, and I couldn’t get my head in the right place. But in the last two months, things have started to move again. I wrote nearly every day in November and December, and though two days out of three I wound up deleting as much as I wrote, the third day was usually a good one. So my goal for this year is to simply finish my book! That’s it.

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