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 Cheryl's 2012 Goals

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ccmalandrinos

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PostSubject: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:31 pm

I'm in a quandry as to how to set goals this year. My focus will be on finishing two projects from 2011--Hold Your Horses and Amelia's Mission, but I would also like to see if I can complete a novel and get that e-published. I would also like to self-publish one of my kid's books. My major obstacle is finding a job outside the house. If all works out well, then I might have more time than I think I will.

Right now, my immediate concerns are to finalize plans for a January VBT that starts on the 16th, then focus on the two February ones I'm coordinating. Then I have two for March. I've decreased the number of tours each month in anticipation of returning to work. Fingers crossed this all works out.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:26 am

Busy year already!!

It's hard to set goals sometimes when all the pieces are in place.

I hope your job search works out. I wish I didn't have the day job, but obviously it's important to have money. LOL

Good luck with your goals. I know you'll make it work.
-Vanessa
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ccmalandrinos

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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:08 am

That's definitely a challenge. Why can't we all be born rich instead of beautiful? Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:36 am

Hahahaha...seriously!! :-)
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:43 pm

Coming up with goals when the future is up in the air is hard. The best you can do is be flexible and as things figure themselves out (like when and where you start a new job), you can always fill in the blanks. But I think it's great that you've got some writing work to look forward to. Good luck this year!
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:20 pm

Thanks Chrissy. Well, I've gotten a lot done so far, but not much writing. That's what's scheduled for tomorrow. Here's what got done:

* Critiqued chapters for both groups
* Finished editing project for publisher
* Started two new blogs and filled them with posts (cumbersome task that I am thankful to have done)
* Sent out letter to subscribers that Pages & Pens has suspended operation for the time being
* Finalized mid-Jan tour that starts tomorrow
* Finalized one Feb tour and working on second one
* Started new features at two of my older blogs to increase traffic--stats and subscribers look promising
* Working on monetizing one of my blogs (slow process)
* Set up Facebook pages for new blogs and the one I'm monetizing
* Set up Twitter account for blog I'm monetizing
* Ordered book to learn how to use Twitter more effectively (when will I read it?) Happy
* Read Jan books for reviews
* Read Feb books for reviews (Done with first one and reading second. Three more to go.)

What is on tap for this week:

* Finish Hold Your Horses. I have to get it ready for my critique group and send it off to the client so he can take a look at how it all turns out.
* Critique one chapter for a group
* Keep updating blogs
* Try to start reading Twitter book
* Keep reading for Feb reviews
* Read Amelia's Mission and make notes so I can move forward when done with HYH.

The girls and hubby are off tomorrow, so we'll see how this week goes.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:57 pm

Wow. You sure did get a ton done last week - though I've got my fingers crossed you'll fit in some writing this week. Focusing on work while the hubby and kids are home can be difficult, but I know you can manage something. Just remember to do your best!
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:45 am

Thanks for the encouragement, Chrissy. I just typed "The End" on Hold Your Horses. See my happy dance.

It's headed for a bunch of revisions, but now that I have it from beginning to end on paper, I can work it easier.

On the home front, more pushing and prodding from the hubby to find work. The pressure is building, so I need to do something. Crying or Very sad Here's what's on tap this week:

* Finalize Feb tours--DONE
* Work on March tours--in progress
* Critique one chapter for a group--DONE
* Keep updating blogs--DONE for the week
* Try to start reading Twitter book--got through 1st chapter
* Keep reading for Feb reviews--ahead of the game
* Read Amelia's Mission and make notes so I can move forward when done with HYH.
* Find a real job so I can keep moving along with my dream job (writing)


Last edited by ccmalandrinos on Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:04 pm

Yeah for finishing, "Hold Your Horses!" That's great. You must feel like you've got a giant weight off your shoulders.

And I'm sure you'll find the right part-time job. It's not easy, especially when you've got to work around school schedules, but something will come along in no time. Have fun with writing this week!
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:58 pm

It does feel wonderful. I hate not meeting a deadline, so that was bugging me. It's with the client now, so I'm waiting to hear back from him. I already know I am going to change it entirely to Jenny's POV. She came up the strongest character and the one who had the transformation, so I am cutting one chapter, and then taking the chapters in Jimmy's POV and changing them. It will probably need a few edits after that, but I would feel comfortable looking for a publisher by that time.

I think the job would come easier if my heart was in it. I'm being stubborn about it, and I just need to realize he can't carry the load on his own anymore.

Here's what's up for this week:

* Work on March tours--in progress (1 is coming along nicely, the otehr 2 will be harder)
* Critique two chapters for each critique group--DONE
* Keep updating blogs
* Try to start reading Twitter book--got through 1st chapter (probably next week, once I get done my Feb books for review)
* Keep reading for Feb reviews--ahead of the game
* Read Amelia's Mission and make notes so I can move forward when done with HYH.
* Find a real job so I can keep moving along with my dream job (writing)
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:21 am

Hard to believe another week has passed. I'm busier than usual lately, but still mostly productive. Trying to edit HYH right now so I can get it in shape and closer to polished. Might higher an editor to look at it and make suggestions. Tours started yesterday, so I'm working on that. March tours need to be pulled together too.

* Work on March tours--(in progress 1 is coming along nicely, the other two are hard)
* Critique two chapters for each critique group
* Keep updating blogs
* Try to start reading Twitter book--slowly reading this and implementing suggestions
* Keep reading for Feb reviews--reading my last one now
* Read Amelia's Mission and make notes so I can move forward when done with HYH. I keep toying with pushing this aside and concentrating on the picture books. Not sure what to do.
* Find a real job so I can keep moving along with my dream job (writing)


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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:27 pm

Wow. Looks like you've got yourself another busy week. I do hope you fit in some writing time of your own so you can one day reach your dream job! How many tours do you have left? Honestly, you've worked so hard on Amelia's Mission I'd say crank that sucker out, finish it, then move onto your next projects. There's a huge growing market for picture books, especially with the new color tablets and from what I've been hearing from self-published authors, there's good money to be made (since traditional publishing charges so much for digital picture books). Just another idea to keep in mind. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:46 pm

I have three tours for March and one that carries over into April. The larger problem is that requests for me to work on new ones haven't stopped, and if I totally dump them and don't find some replacement income, hubby will have a coronary. I wish we were on the same wave length when it comes to cash, but we're not. I have to admit, though, he's never steered us wrong. It's because of his wise choices we are doing as well through this tough economy as we have been.

Right now research is a stumbling block for Amelia's Mission. The school I wanted to use hasn't been in touch for a while, and even if I make up a school I still need to know what a female seminary was like back in the 1870's. I'm talking day-to-day what the girls would be doing. I think the next project--no matter what genre--will be a contemporary. The research sould be less.

If I could illustrate my own books I would have a heads up. I would love to take some classes, but I don't have a natural ability in that area and really don't have the time or money to invest in it right now. A lot of what I am seeing come through for review in picture books are from authors/illustrators. One agent even asked me if I could illustrate my own books. Ugh. Something else to think about. I also have like 6 or 7 picture books just sitting there waiting to get polished off, so I wonder if I should tackle those first.

Thanks for the encouragement and advice.



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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:05 pm

Quote :
Right now research is a stumbling block for Amelia's Mission.

Make it up. Seriously. All you need is some core details to ground your readers and run with it.

I don't know what the details/hours to your day work out, but it definitely seems like you put a ton of time and energy into tours. Obviously money (and cash) is pretty darn important, and with no part-time job to supplement that, I can see how you still need tour work. Is there a way you can shorten the time it takes? Spend less time on each tour? Hands down, the only way to make writing a career is to write (which is sometimes so incredibly hard to do - I have no idea why). I can see how you wouldn't be able to take a few months off to just produce new words, but even squeezing in a few words every day and every week will make a difference. The more you write, the more practice you put in, the better you get. And the more stuff you have for sale the better off your business will be. I was fortunate that I could quit my job a year earlier than planned to just write, but even if I still had to work full-time, I'd get my words in. Sure, they wouldn't be as much, but I'd be writing on lunch breaks, on the weekend, or waking up at 4:00 am. Granted I didn't have kids at the time, but I can promise you once I get this new mom thing going I'll go back to squeezing in that time to write because that's the only way writing can work.

Hope this helps - I know you can find a way to make this work. Sure, family and money is important, but the writing has to be up at the top of the list too otherwise it'll never get done.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:12 pm

I've been trying the make it up thing and it's working to an extent. I just know there is so much I'll need to add. Do I sound like a cranky, whiny writer making up excuses? LOL! I am, because I've gotten myself into that overwhelming schedule again and literally the thought of trying to make 5 minutes to write anything makes me want to hurl. If I had support here, I think it would help, but he's pretty much convinced I'm wasting my time unless I can find a way to be Barbara Parks, Jeff Kinney or Stephen King popular.

As for tours, I've been doing them for almost 4 1/2 years. They pretty much are what they are--time consuming. I've instituted whatever shortcuts I could, but it's still a long process and lots of emails back and forth. In March I just happened to have two books that aren't what are regular bloggers look for, so I have to expand my reach and try to find more new people than usual. And honestly, there are so many VBT companies out there that bloggers are simply inundated with requests. The high trafficked bloggers are booked out months in advance, and it's rare we have more than 6 weeks to plan a tour, since authors don't plan accordingly. Actually, leaving the book tour business won't make me sad. I love doing it, but I truly think if I found a job making what I was pulling in part-time before I left Corporate America, I would be working a lot less, and have more time to write. The hubby, however, feels I need to find something that is going to make bigger money, so he doesn't want me to find a regular day-to-day job. I see his point. I have a ton of skills. They must be worth something.

Thanks for the ear.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:22 pm

Didn't get out here last week, but at least I got some writing done. I edited the first three chapters of Hold Your Horses and hope to get 3 or more done this week too. The girls are on vacation, so we'll see how that goes. One of my March tours moved to April, so that's a plus.

Here's what's on tap:

* Work on March tours--need to focus on these this week
* Critique two chapters for crit group
* Keep updating blogs
* Try to start reading Twitter book--slowly reading this and implementing suggestions
* Keep reading for Feb reviews--DONE (working on March ones now)
* Continue editing HYH
* Contact Wheaton College one last time for Amelia's Mission research. If that doesn't pan out, think of alternative.
* Find a real job so I can keep moving along with my dream job (writing)--not even trying lately

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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:14 am

Hang in there. I'm sure everything will work out. Glad to see Hold Your Horses is slowly getting finished!
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:30 am

Gee, has it really been two weeks since I've been here? My bad. I haven't felt the most productive lately, but I am getting things done. I applied for a job on Friday, so hopefully I'll get a call for an interview. It would be nice, since it's about 2 minutes from the house and the hours are close to ideal. I would only need to find a sitter for an 1 1/2 each weekday.

Here's what's on tap:

* March tours--one moved to April, but these started yesterday and things are going well
* Work on April tour--almost done
* Critique two chapters for crit group--DONE
* Keep updating blogs
* Read Twitter book--haven't gotten to this in a while, but I hope to get back to it
* Continue editing HYH--two books came in this week that will help with research
* Contact Wheaton College one last time for Amelia's Mission research. If that doesn't pan out, think of alternative.


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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:56 am

Another week down. Sigh. I'm scrambling lately, but at least I am getting things done too. Here's what's on tap for now:

* Work on April tour--almost done
* Critique chapter for crit group--DONE
* Keep updating blogs--ongoing
* Read Twitter book--on hold while I catch up on reviews
* Continue editing HYH--revised chapters 4 - 7 and submitted to critique group
* Contact Wheaton College one last time for Amelia's Mission research. If that doesn't pan out, my alternative would be to research the local private academy in more depth to see if I can create a fictional school using them for inspiration.




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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:45 pm

Yes, it's Thursday, but better late than never. My work was derailed this week when my in-laws got into a car accident. Thankfully they are fine, but the car is totaled and I'm helping them deal with the paperwork and other fun stuff.

Here's what's going on this week:

* Work on April tours--almost done
* Start May tour
* Critique chapter for crit group
* Keep updating blogs--ongoing
* Continue editing HYH--submitted new chapters to 2nd critique group
* Contact Wheaton College one last time for Amelia's Mission research. If that doesn't pan out, my alternative would be to research the local private academy in more depth to see if I can create a fictional school using them for inspiration.--on hold until I finish edits to HYH.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:17 am

Lots going on and still more to do. I moving along with what I need to do, but I haven't been home much since I've been giving workshops at school and involved in church events. Here's what this week looks like:

* Start May tour--more than halfway done
* Critique chapters for crit groups--DONE
* Keep updating blogs--ongoing
* Continue editing HYH
* Consider what picture book to edit and submit next
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:38 pm

Last week was super busy with Holy week and then cooking all weekend. I didn't get any writing done--other than blogging--but I'm hoping to attack the revisions to HYH tonight.

Here's what else is on tap:

* Start May tour--4 more stops
* Critique one chapter for critique group--DONE
* Keep updating blogs--ongoing
* Continue editing HYH--DONE
* Consider what picture book to edit and submit next--really would like to come up with next faith book, but I have six others waiting for edits and completion. Sigh.
* Go to library to check on research for Wheaton Female Seminary--DONE
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:22 pm

Gee, I guess it's been longer than I thought. Where did the month of April go? Lots going on here. Some of it even includes writing and researching. Never enough for my taste, but it's the way it is. This is what this week looks like.

* Start May tour--DONE.
* Critique two chapters for critique group
* Keep updating blogs--ongoing
* Continue editing HYH--I want to have this done, so it's ready to submit to my critique groups next week.
* Consider what picture book to edit and submit next--Haven't even considered this because I got tied up with research last week.
* Read book on Wheaton Female Seminary--found a great resource through the library. Am reading it now, as I only have it through May 20th.
* Start June tour
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Wed May 23, 2012 3:05 pm

Is it truly a month since I've been out here? It's been a wonderful, productive time. I didn't get done all I wanted to, but things are looking up. June tours are coordinated and I am taking July off to go to the OBX for two weeks, so my schedule should be better this summer. I just completed research to continue with Amelia's Mission and the edits to Hold Your Horses are nearly done. See Chris, you're rubbing off on me. Happy In between that, I've been at the girls' schools more often as the year is coming to a close next month. The Lil Princess started softball and the girls have been taking an art class. The Lil Diva made it onto the cheerleading squad, so we have meetings coming up for that.

Here's what I have going this week.

* Critique one chapter for crit group
* Keep updating blogs--ongoing
* Came up with next pb idea to submit to GAP cheers
* Wrote notes for Wheaton research, which created possible scenes for Amelia's Mission cheers cheers
* Most edits to HYH are done. I am working on the final two chapters now. Will submit next month to crit group and then one final round of edits to check for typos and inconsistencies before sending to client. cheers cheers cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Cheryl's 2012 Goals   Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:40 pm

So, I made a decision. Not sure if it's the best one, but it's what I think needs to happen. I am leaving the book promotion business--at least for now. Tours are time consuming, and I find I just can't work on anything else well if I am working on book tours. My hubby wants me to turn my direction another way. That means I probably won't get a lot of writing done for a while, but I will keep plugging away when I can, while I pursue something else to pay the bills. It's either that or get a work-a-day job. That's not what I would like to do.

It has been a productive week and I am gearing up to get more accomplished in the last two weeks before the girls are off for the summer.
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