Tag Archives: goals

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.

On Writing about Home

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

It’s 2020, folks. Don’t you just love how that rolls off the tongue? We here at Write Owls hope that you are beginning your year with the beautiful sound of click-clacking on computer keys (or a typewriter if that’s your preference), and a list of goals, both set in reality and in daydreams (because we need those too, especially now.)

I, like most people, have thought long and hard about what I wanted to do and change Continue reading

Make Your Deadlines

Megan Norris Jones

My writing background is in journalism, and every good journalist learns how to write under deadline. You have a story due. You report it. You write it. You turn it in. You repeat. Because your editor is counting on you. And because it really is going to be published with your name on it, so it had better be good.

But even though I know how to write on deadline, I have difficulty moving my fiction forward at the same efficient pace of my nonfiction because (1) there is no editor waiting on it, and (2) I have no assurance it will ever be published anyway.

So how can I simulate the efficiency-producing deadlines of journalism in my fiction writing? Through a combination of written deadlines and external accountability. Continue reading

A New Year Needs a New Routine

Megan Norris Jones

The key to being a writer is writing. The key to writing is establishing a routine. And the key to routine is consistency. But do you know what my life isn’t? Consistent. Sure, I’ll have a routine that works for a season, but schedules change, and then my routine falters, and my writing suffers.

For the second year, WriteOwls is hosting Write by Midnight in the month of February with the goal of helping you—and us—establish a daily writing routine by the end of the month.

Write by Midnight was a huge success for me personally last year. At the time, I had five hours every Tuesday to write, and  I used Write by Midnight to establish a short daily morning routine to keep my momentum going throughout the week.

But, do you know what? I don’t have Tuesdays any more. And I don’t have mornings either. Life has changed since February 2017, and I need a new push to establish a new routine. Continue reading

Acknowledge Yourself a Writer; Practice Self-Control

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

Around the first of the New Year, I thought a lot about the goals I had for 2018, both personally and professionally.  They were of the standard variety, you know: be more organized, take my yoga practice up a notch, go to bed at a “human” hour, FINISH WRITING THAT BOOK! All these are well and good, and if I’m honest I’ll likely be successful at doing them for the first few months of the year before my enthusiasm will wane and I’ll half-a– the rest of the year. Willpower can only take you so far! (The Frog and Toad story “Cookies”  comes to mind when I hear the word willpower). Continue reading