Between the Goal Posts

Happy New Year!

We kicked that old year out and locked the door behind it. The next morning, it was nowhere to be found, so I guess it took the hint.

Here's a toast that 2017 will be a great year for all of us. Raise your glass, mug, paper cup, can, or bottle. Cheers!

How did you do on your goals last year?

Did you remember you had goals? :)

I did fair. I doubled my reading goal, but I did not create a newsletter. I came up short with my writing goal. I'm still editing, but I'm on the final pass of Book #3. The entire trilogy should be (saying a prayer, knocking on wood, etc.) to my editor around the end of February. She's been warned, LOL.

This year, my reading goal is the number of books I read in 2016. I doubt I will be doubling it again this year.

I'm so late to the newsletter game that it may be passe before I get started. But I will be getting the wheels in motion this spring. I have no idea what I'm doing here, so if you're a newsletter pro or know someone who is, I'd much appreciate your advice, suggestions, help, or your go-to person's name. Many thanks in advance.

My writing and publishing goals...complicated.

At minimum, Book #1 of the trilogy will see the light of day this year. Possibly Book #2, as well, but the timing of Book #2 depends on when the first book actually gets out there.

I also want to draft a new book. One book sounds like a piece of cake after writing this trilogy. Although I know that's not true at all. I have options here.

Option One is to expand the trilogy into a series, although each additional book would be a standalone. Several possible stories are there just waiting to be told. I know which of these stories should be told first, but I actually know more about the story that should come after it. So this will require a little thinking.

Option Two is a standalone that is already plotted.

Option Three is to revisit the plotted story to see if it could work as a series story - if I decide to go that way. If so, could it possibly fit with the story that needs to come next.

Too many choices!

So I have as much thinking and analyzing to do as I do writing. Almost. It's going to be difficult - I'm not the analytical type. Usually I operate by what feels right. It's time, perhaps, for more thinking than feeling before making this decision.

Have ideas or suggestions as to the best path?

Did you make goals this year?

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Wishing you the best rocking January ever!

I'll be back here on Monday, February 6.


That is a lot of choices.
I'm so late to the newsletter game that I'm not even going to try. If I'd had one when my first or second book came out, it would've made a difference.
Happy 2017!
Karen Walker said…
Yeah, I'm with Alex. Not going to go down that road, either. But good luck to you - with all your choices.
Jemi Fraser said…
Chocolate! Always :)

You're doing great. I love/envy how you can plot and plan so much in advance. I'm attempting to learn those skills, but it's not intuitive.
2016 was a sideways year for our family - we're hoping for much more sanity this year!
L. Diane Wolfe said…
I started with one and ended up with five books in a series.

Vanilla. Always vanilla.
H.R. Sinclair said…
Options, I love that you built in options. The vanilla/chocolate question is more complication that one thinks LOL It depends on the delivery mechanism :)
VR Barkowski said…
Choose the project that sounds the most fun. Chocolate—That much I’m sure about. :)
Regardless of whether you met all your goals for 2016, you had a very productive year. Congratulations and Happy New Year!

VR Barkowski
Chocolate. Always chocolate.

So you mean we were supposed to make goals for our year? No wonder we didn't get anything done. We should try that this year. Congrats on all that you achieved, and may you find the best option for you on your complicated story ideas. Having so many ideas in the first place... it's a good problem to have!
A very happy and productive year(s) to you. This muddler doesn't do goals and needs a nap after reading yours.
Chocolate. Definitely. Except when it is vanilla. Or both.
Happy New Year and all the best with your goals. I'm sure you will decide the best course of action for your writing future.

2017 IWSG January Co-Host
Mark said…
Yikes, thinking about last year's goals sounds dangerous to me:) I'm afraid of what I might find;)
goals? What goals? They went out the window when life took an unexpected turn in 2016. I'm almost afraid to set new goals!! lol.
Wishing you a successful and blessed New Year.
Carol Kilgore said…
Alex - Have a great year!

Karen - Thanks for the good luck wishes.

Jemi - Hope 2017 is a much better year!

Diane - One to five, huh? Maybe I should stick with the series idea....

Southpaw - LOL! I like to complicate things, too :)

Carol Kilgore said…
VR - Thanks. It didn't feel productive. More like my feet were mired in tar.

Beer - I'm totally grateful for the ideas. But decisions are HARD! Cheers :)

EC - I have to make goals if I want to accomplish anything. Otherwise, I go off la-te-dah-ing down the road, the year's gone, and I'm like 'oh no!'.

Sheena-kay - I sure hope so. Right now, it's difficult to know what's the best choice. I can think of pros and cons for both.

Mark - If I didn't have goals, I'd find a big heap of nothing. They keep me focused. I love how all of us are different :)

Lynda - All good wishes to you, too, for a great 2017!
Mason Canyon said…
A lot of choices there, but I'm sure you find the right path when the time is right. Remember, with chocolate all is possible (as long as there's a cup of coffee or a glass of wine to go with it). :) Happy New Year and best of luck for a wonderful year to come.
Jan Christensen said…
You did really well, and I'm sure whatever path you take in 2017 will work out fine. Happy New Year--eat lots of candy--I'll take some chocolate.
I take like one day at a time, I have always been a drifter not making plans just going with the flow of life, how I ended up married with 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren is beyond me
Bish Denham said…

If I have a writing goal, it's just one. To finish revising my current WIP... If I can get beta readers, get it edited, and published this year, that would be a plus.

Stay warm, Carol. Looks like it's going to get cold, particularly up here in the Hill Country.
Julie Flanders said…
I've been saying I'm going to do a newsletter forever but like you I fear they will no longer be relevant by the time I finally get one going. Since I've started my new site I'm going to try one with that though. Here's to both of us getting one up and running.

Happy New Year, Carol!
Happy New Year!

Good luck with the newsletter venture. If you follow through on it, I'll subscribe, but I don't have any interest in doing one of my own. I wrote a newsletter for way too many years for the amateur radio operators in Georgia, and it was a TON of work.

Congratulations on getting so close to sending your trilogy to your editor. That is sooooo cool! I'm only about 2/3 of the way through book one of mine, and that's just the first draft. Like you, I plan to complete all three before considering publication, so it'll be a while. I'm looking forward to reading yours, though. :)

As for your choices, I think you should take a month or so to consider your options after sending your trilogy to your editor. You put a lot into that trilogy, so give yourself a little break. You've earned it. THEN... back to work! (Your fans demand it!)
Murees Dupè said…
Happy New Year, Carol! Wishing you a brilliant 2017. Congrats on finishing your trilogy. You are definitely made of awesome. Nick Stephenson has tips about building your mailing list (Newsletter) Here is a link I use mailchimp because it has a free option. I am still building mine, so I'm not an expert by any means. But wishing you a awesome January. You go girl!
Carol Kilgore said…
Mason - I totally agree about coffee and wine making chocolate more potent!

Jan - From your lips to God's ear :)

Jo-Anne - I need structure and a plan or nothing gets done and I get antsy. I love how all of us are different!

Bish - I heard it's supposed to be 20 over there. Only 25 here. Brrrr. Stay warm.

Julie - Wishing you good luck with your newsletter and your new endeavor, too!

Susan - Ack! On the other hand, I don't expect mine to be formal or very structured at all. I'm worried about having subscribers, so thanks! I also have no idea how to get what I see in my head onto the screen.

Murees - Thank you so much for the great tips and the link. I'm going to bookmark his site. Much appreciated :)
When it comes to goals, I don't have a problem meeting my reading goals because I read very fast.
Writing? That's another story. I'm a snail in that department. But I'll get there...
Vanilla...I'm not really a chocolate girl.
Happy New Year, Carol!
Carol Kilgore said…
Michelle - As long as we're moving forward, I think we're good :)
Carol, Congratulations on getting so close to sending your trilogy off to the editor! Wishing you all good things
In the New Year!

Carol Kilgore said…
Julie - Thanks. I'm trying not to get excited yet. There's still a long road ahead. Wishing you all good things this year, too.
Unknown said…
Congrats on being almost done with writing Book #3 of your trilogy! That is so AWESOME! I've realized I must pull back from social media, like you, otherwise I'll never get anything finished. Good luck on the next book you tackle and have a great week!
Christine Rains said…
Great work with your goals last year! I did pretty good too. I'm not a NL pro, but it did take some time to learn how to use the NL maker and now it's much easier for me. Now I wish I knew how to attract subscribers! Good luck this year. :)

Chocolate. Mmmmm....
Carol Kilgore said…
Lexa - It's a tough balancing act, for sure. I still always miss whatever it is I'm not doing at the time, LOL. Goals are a must for me. I try to make them not totally out of reach but not easy, either. Sometimes I win :)

Christine - Thanks for the newsletter insights. I'm going to email you with a couple of questions. They're not hard questions, I promise :)
Loni Townsend said…
I think your goals sound great, and it's always good to have options! I utterly failed my goals last year, so we'll see how I do this year. I hope you get your trilogy off to your editor in time with your plans. :)
Kelly Steel said…
Great writing goals. Wishing you an awesome start to 2017!
Carol Kilgore said…
Loni - Thanks! So far I'm on track after 10 days. If I can do this 36 more times in a row, I'm golden LOL :)

Kelly - Without goals, I'm toast.
DMS said…
I did okay with my goals last year. Definitely didn't meet all of them- but I made progress. I haven't made any goals for 2017 yet. I am working on finishing up my ms for my editor. Once that is done I will feel I made a big step towards my goals and then I can start thinking about everything else.

Good luck with the newsletter. We put one out once a month with updates on our giveaways and events. If you have any questions you can send me an email. We use Mail Chimp and find it easy and free. :)

Happy New Year!
Carol Kilgore said…
Jess - Good for you. You have a plan even if you haven't written anything down yet. Thanks for the newsletter information. You may be hearing from me once I get to that project.
Jennifer Shirk said…
Never too late for a newsletter!!!

I LOVE making goals every year--keeps me focused. I did OK. Didn't accomplish 100% but I'm happy with my progress.

Happy New Year!
Carol Kilgore said…
Jennifer - Good to know! Also that you're a goalmaker, too.
Crystal Collier said…
I have been doing the newsletter thing for several years, but I'm building it organically. Maybe that's not the wisest way to do things, but I do get a very good response and have some very loyal readers because of it. That's what it's about to me. The reality is, the newsletter is all about what you can offer your readers each time. Think about your writing, your preferences, and how you can best connect with them/add value to their lives, and you'll formulate a winner.
Carol Kilgore said…
Crystal - Thanks so much for sharing your newsletter thoughts with me and everyone here. You've given me a really good path to follow. Thank you ♥