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 Cheryl's 2011 Goals

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ccmalandrinos

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PostSubject: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:07 am

These are the goals I put together at the beginning of January:

1. Finish the first draft of Amelia's Mission by the end of March

2. Work on at least 2 of the picture book ideas I came up with during Picture Book Idea Month

3. Finalize submission and query letter for first chapter reader and submit to the publisher who expressed interest in it by the end of January

4. Would love to write an inspirational romance novella to submit to White Rose Publishing.

Since then, a ghostwriting project I thought was dead in the water looks like it will happen, so my goals are changing a bit. I'm almost done with #3. I've received feedback on my submission from my two critique groups and want to work on those edits next week and send this off. Then I will focus on getting ready for this ghostwriting project. That means Amelia's Mission will be on hold. While this is a bummer, I'm okay with it. I probably won't work on my picture book ideas until May, when there is Picture Book Writing Week. We'll see how that goes.

Cheryl
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:38 am

Here's what I am trying to accomplish despite all the snow and the kids being home so much.

* Blogging - Mon - Fri--DONE
* Write review of The Innocent by Vincent Zandri
* Write review of The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner
* Work on March VBTs--in progress
* Work on May VBTs--in progress (2 are done)
* Write Chapter 14 of Amelia's Mission--this might be on hold, as it looks like the ghostwriting project will happen
* Networking - one hour a day (happening, but kills writing time too)
* Revise A Visit with Santa based on feedback and submit to 4RV for consideration
* Get client new ghostwriting contract
* Critique one PB for critique group--DONE
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:33 am

So, here's a thought: many of your weekly goals involve VBT's and book reviews, but you didn't have a place for them in your quarter/year goal list. Why not? What are your goals with Pump Up Your Book?

I think it's important to highlight all the hard work you do. I mean, it'd feel really depressing to work as hard as you do, and yet only accomplish small pieces from your overall goal list.

Just a thought.

- Chrissy

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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:04 pm

Very true, Chrissy. I think because I keep trying to find a way to lessen that aspect of my life and increase my writing time. I love coordinating VBTs, but I truly want more time for my own writing. I'm such a spoiled brat sometimes. Laughing

If I had to put together a goal list for Pump Up Your Book, it would include having a regular 5 clients a month instead of some months with 1 or 2 and others with 6 or 8. A more steady income that would allow me to manage my time better. I would also like to find a way to streamline how we find bloggers because it is so time consuming. It's why clients pay us in the first place. And one goal that is totally outside of my control would be for the company to generate enough income to hire a person dedicated solely to promotion. This would free up time for tour coordinators and allow us to dedicate that time to finding more bloggers.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:28 pm

It looks like the big stom is going to miss us this week, so maybe I'll get something accomplished. Here's what's on tap:

* Blogging - Mon - Fri--DONE
* Write review of The Innocent by Vincent Zandri--due 2/23
* Write review of The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner--due 2/25
* Work on March VBTs--DONE
* Work on April VBT--Done finding hosts, sent to-do items to client, need to finalize schedule and send it off
* Work on May VBTs--in progress (3 are done)
* Networking - one hour a day
* Revise A Visit with Santa based on feedback and submit to 4RV for consideration--hope to finish this week
* Get client new ghostwriting contract--DONE
* Two critiques
* Figure out how to get people to participate in a forum Happy


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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:44 am

Ahh...the juggle of the paying job compared to the writing job. It's every writer's dilemma. We either figure it out...or we stop writing. Or write less and only make slow progress. You'll figure out a good balance, I'm sure of it. You're keeping busy though, that's for sure, and somehow staying on top of all your commitments.

Good luck this week and good news about the storm!
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:00 am

And I'm determined not to stop writing, so there you have it. Actually, much of my spare time (and I use that term loosely) has been spent networking and hosting other authors at my blogs. That's what I used to do before I worked for Pump Up, but my blogs became more about promoting Pump Up clients than talking about books I enjoy, so despite that my writing time is going to that, I'm okay with it. After February, I will be focusing more on me and my work for a bit.

I was kind of hoping for no school tomorrow, as it's my day to volunteer at the library, but what's 2 hours compared to a whole week?

Thanks for the support and encouragement.

Cheryl
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:18 am

Today is mostly a writing day. I want to move ahead on my ghostwriting project and I want to dive into Amelia's Mission some more. Here's what else is on tap:

* Blogging - Mon - Fri
* Write review of The Innocent by Vincent Zandri--due 2/23
* Write review of The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner--due 2/25
* Work on April VBT--need to finalize schedule and send it off
* Work on May VBTs--in progress (3 are done)
* Revise A Visit with Santa based on feedback and submit to 4RV for consideration--Retitled this to A Christmas Kindness and sent it off today (2/19)!
* Two critiques--DONE
* Continue ghostwriting project--revised Chap 1 and wrote Chap 2, then submitted to critique group
* Figure out how to get people to participate in a forum I love you


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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:07 am

You've always got a ton going on in your week. I think it's amazing when you're able to put a little check mark next to one of those items. Good for you and sticking with writing. I know that was a decision I eventually needed to come to - sometimes it's easy to put off the writing and work on other things (ok, generally it's very easy). The only way we're going to be successful in our careers and in this industry is to write.

I just finished reading a book called "Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths Destroying Your Prosperity" and one thing he continually talked about was living your Soul Purpose. It's easy to take the job that pays more even though you'll be unhappy. It's a term that's stuck with me because it's how I feel about my writing. Gosh. I can easily wake up at 4:30 if that means putting in 1 1/2 hours of writing. But waking up for work? (Which I had to do on Saturday). It was terrible. Painful. I was a wreck for the rest of the weekend - and that was also being used to waking up that early!

Anyway, what I'm really trying to say is great for you! Be sure to put in that writing today and good luck this week.

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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:06 am

I've been feeling lazy because I should have written more, but I got ahead on tours instead. This week I managed to revise the first chapter of that ghostwriting project and write a second. I submitted those to my critique group on Tuesday, so we'll see what they think.

I don't think I've ever heard of that book. Sounds great. My hubby has been bugging me to find a job outside the house again. Money will never be something we agree upon. He wants a lot more than we have, and I'm just not that into it. Yes, I would like nicer things, but I'm not ambitious enough to go after them. I don't want to have to hire a care giver to spend the afternoons with the girls or a cleaning lady once or twice a month to keep the house clean. I'm not sure what I am going to do. Luckily, he really doesn't push it, and I would not be opposed to working part-time while the girls are in school; just haven't found anything that fit the bill.

Now that I've gotten some writing done, I feel pretty good.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:29 am

Goals update:

These are the goals I put together at the beginning of January:

1. Finish the first draft of Amelia's Mission by the end of March

2. Work on at least 2 of the picture book ideas I came up with during Picture Book Idea Month

3. Finalize submission and query letter for first chapter reader and submit to the publisher who expressed interest in it by the end of January--DONE!

4. Would love to write an inspirational romance novella to submit to White Rose Publishing.

I think #1 is on hold until I finish a ghostwriting project that came up. We'll see what happens.

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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:21 pm

Now that I have checked off one of my big goals, I'm ready to get moving onto a new project. I'm hoping I'll hear from that author this week about this ghostwriting project. It looks like it is back on, but I want to be sure before I invest too much time in it. Here's what is going on for this week:

* Blogging - Mon - Fri
* Write review of The Innocent by Vincent Zandri--DONE
* Write review of The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner--DONE
* Write review for Resurrection Garden--DONE
* Write review for The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson--DONE
* Create trailer for Angel Lost--working on
* Create and submit March press release--DONE
* Work on April VBT--need to finalize schedule and send it off
* Work on May VBTs--in progress (3 are done)
* One critique--DONE
* Figure out how to get people to participate in this forum Surprised



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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:10 pm

You know, Cheryl, I'd recommend the "Killing Scared Cows" book - both for you and your husband (I asked my husband to read it as well and he did). It's the idea of living your Soul Purpose and it's so important. It's the choice between a job that you hate, but you get the nice fancy house and car, or a job that pays less but you love. How can you quantify happiness? I mean, really? For me, that idea hit home with what I'm trying to do for my writing career. I had the smarts to be anything I wanted, including a doctor, but my passion is in telling stories. It might help your husband understand where you're coming from more, but I'm glad you both have managed to work things out and be open about your money ideals.

Any news on the ghostwriting project? Maybe while you're waiting you could give Amelia some writing time.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:06 pm

I don't know that I could convince him to read it, but it sounds great. I think part of the issue is that he slightly resents my saying home when he goes out to work. We also realize that coordinating VBTs means I work full-time hours, but get part-time pay. Part of his reasoning is that if I was working outside of the house, I would have more time to dedicate to my writing. He's not wrong in that, I just can't figure out how to make it happen and still be the mom I want to be.

As for the ghostwriting project, he said it is a go, but I haven't seen the signed contract or the advance, so I don't want to work too hard on it. I'm three chapters in.

I ended up borrowing some books from the library about our local private school. I'm hoping it will give me some insight into what Amelia would have experienced at school. I'm not sure, as I don't think it was ever a female seminary, but after repeated attempts to get information from Wheaton and to schedule an appointment to go there, I'm wondering if I would be better off sending Amelia to a fictional school. That would at least mean I could have some freedom on how I portrayed everything. I'm disappointed that their initial excitement over me using Wheaton has waned. I might try one more time with a new contact to see if I am more successful.

As for this week, it's three days in as I type this and I haven't had the time to tie my shoes. Smile I'm feeling obstacles in my way, especially now that I have a possible 10 book tours for May. Great for the wallet, bad for writing time. Tomorrow will be my first full day at home with the girls at school, so I hope to plow through and get things done.

* Blogging - Mon - Fri
* Create trailer for Angel Lost--DONE
* Review Angel Lost--DONE
* Work on April VBT--Rcvd new tour last week. Need to work on that one and finalize the first one
* Work on May VBTs--need to review where I stand on Wed. I'm in good shape, but I have some other clients signed up that I need to work on getting their tours going
* Two critiques
* Write Chapter 14 of Amelia's Mission--not likely, but I would like to get it started
* Figure out how to get people to participate in this forum--it looks like it's going to be Chrissy and me a lot here. Hopefully that will change. I haven't had time to promote it lately, but I'm working on it.


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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:09 pm

Another week down and I want to get a head start on next week. Here's what's on tap:

* Blogging - Mon - Sun--Done
* Work on April VBT--Done with one tour, almost done with the second one
* Work on May VBTs--in good shape, but someone else asked to tour that month, so not sure if I can swing it
* Work on June VBTs
* Two critiques--one done
* See if Writer2Writer wants an article for March
* Write Chapter 14 of Amelia's Mission--not likely, but hopeful
* Finish Chapter 3 of Hold Your Horses to send to critique group next week
* Finish editing job--Have had this for a while, but can't seem to finish it. Hope if I put it on this list, I will finally be done
* Figure out how to get people to participate in this forum--still working on this one


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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:49 am

I'm curious why May's such a popular month. It's definitely hard to do your own writing when you're fully loaded with VBT's. Definitely a catch-22. Make money or write? Even when you're self-employed it seems the writing time is difficult to come by and/or squeeze in. I hope you manage it though! It's definitely difficult being able to stay home and raise a family, yet the monetary demands almost require both parents to be working. At least, that's what our culture pushes us towards. That's one reason I've waited on having kids...trying to get as much of our financial ducks in a row while we both have jobs so when the kids come I can stay at home. I'm sure everything will work out for you.

In regards to the ghostwriting project, I absolutely agree. I wouldn't touch it until I had the contract and some partial of the advance. After all, you're running a business.

Good luck with getting new contacts at Wheaton. If it doesn't work out, I say write the book. You can always have a fictional place that has a similar feel as Wheaton or your local school.

Have fun this week and good luck with everything! sunny
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:48 pm

Usually it's July that's very popular. Right now, I only have one client for that month, which would work out well since we will be going to NC again for the first two weeks of July and I would prefer not to work too much from there. The Internet connection stinks.

I'm going to read through a bit of the two books I borrowed from the library and then go for it. If Wheaton comes through, then I can always make specific changes afterwards.

Thanks for the support.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:48 pm

Another week down. Got a lot done, but not all that I wanted to. Right now I am battling a stomach bug. Yuck! Should be in bed. Here's what's on tap for this coming week:

* Blogging - Mon - Sat--DONE
* Work on April VBT--just need to type up and submit press release
* Work on May VBTs--more tours pouring in
* Work on June VBTs
* One critique--DONE
* See if Writer2Writer wants an article for March
* Write Chapter 14 of Amelia's Mission--DONE
* Hold Your Horses--Going to hold on this project until author sends along contract and information requested
* Finish editing job--DONE
* Figure out how to get people to participate in this forum Wink


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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:48 am

More for May? Oh my! Hopefully you've already got a jump on those tours otherwise you'll be swamped. For that matter, I can't even believe we're halfway through March. I have no idea where the time is flying.

I think you made the right decision with "Hold Your Horses" as (if I remember correctly) this wasn't the first time this author has been slow with the contract. Your time is too valuable especially if it falls through again. I hope you even have an upfront retainer fee as well - always good to be safe.

How did your Amelia's mission go yesterday? Did you have a chance to write?

I hope you feel better and are back on your feet in no time.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:58 pm

I didn't have a chance to write, as I slept late and felt like garbage, but I am going to work on it tonight after the girls are in bed. Many of my May tours are done, but I have three more that are on the way, which is why I'm not getting a lot of writing done. I'm kind of hoping that means I'll get a break in July.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:20 pm

Another week down. How is that possible? I got two important things done last week--the next chapter of Amelia's Mission and that editing project for my publisher. I'm feeling good about that. I wish I could get this forum going, but I'm promoting it and I plan to get back into the blog at least two times a week, so we'll see what happens. I'm really enjoying it, despite the fact that there's only a few people participating.

Here's what my week looks like:

* Monday--Writing workshop on characters at Mile Tree School--DONE and went pretty well
* Blogging - Mon - Fri--DONE
* Work on April VBT--DONE
* Work on May VBTs--Most of these are done, but I have 3 that are barely started.
* Work on June VBTs
* One critique--DONE
* See if Writer2Writer wants an article for March--I'm thinking of stopping this. I haven't provided her with an article since November, and the newsletter isn't coming out as frequently as it used to.
* Research for Amelia's Mission--I have some books I want to skim for information on private schools in the 1800's and Massachusetts history to make the setting accurate. I also found some good stuff online.
* Hold Your Horses--Client contacted me and said he would get me what I need. We'll see what happens.


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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:22 pm

Trust me. I've got no idea how the time is flying by. No idea. I'm so glad to hear about your Amelia's Mission chapter! Good for you. The only way to write and move forward is to actually write. No other way around it so I'm glad you squeezed that time in.

Building a place for writers to come and chat isn't easy...good luck with that! And good luck with all that on your list this week.

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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:59 pm

Thanks. I'm hoping to have a bit of time to write each week. It might not be much, but I really want to finish this story.

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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:13 am

Another week down. It was a busy one, but now I'm feeling lazy. I haven't gotten enough sleep, so I don't feel like doing much. Bad me. I will have to go to bed early tonight. I have a week before April tours start, so I am going to use that to make sure I have everything I need from my clients, hopefully write a little, and get moving on the new May tours. It looks like my spring and summer will be busy.

* Blogging at my leisure this week--Sigh!
* Work on May VBTs--coming along
* Work on June VBTs
* Two critiques--DONE
* Research for Amelia's Mission--I have some books I want to skim for information on private schools in the 1800's and Massachusetts history to make the setting accurate. I also found some good stuff online.
* Spring issue of Pages & Pens
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2011 Goals   Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:50 pm

Another week has gone by and things are getting busier. Here's what's on tap for the week:

* Blogging Monday through Friday--DONE
* Writing workshop at school on Tuesday--postponed
* Work on May VBTs--almost done
* Work on June VBTs
* Two critiques--DONE
* Amelia's Mission goes on the back burner so I can work on that ghostwriting project. Money came in today!
* Spring issue of Pages & Pens

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