Monday, December 29, 2014

Evaluating 2014 Goals

With the end of 2014 quickly approaching, this is the time of year I know many people like to look back at their goals for the year and see how they’ve done. The only problem is, I wrote mine in January on a scrap piece of paper, and only looked at them once between then and now. Thankfully I didn’t lose the paper! And while I know this was not a very effective use of my goals, as I glanced at them I realized there was another inherent problem. And maybe you can spot the issue.
  1. Help Others
  2. Write
  3. Edit
  4. Get an agent
  5. HAVE FUN!
Aside from the extra excited HAVE FUN!, most of those are admirable goals and also ones I managed to accomplish. I spent a lot of this year helping others by critiquing queries and manuscripts, and I also mentored many new hires as work. I didn’t write as much as I would have liked as I had a lot of life getting in the way this year, but I have written some new words. I’ve also edited A LOT. I went through several revisions with my YA Sci Fi/Thriller, and I’m now finally in the query trenches with it. And on the fun bit, I’ve had a lot of that this year; I got engaged, we went to Dragon Con, I watched many of my friends sign with agents and release new books and there was much celebration in between a lot of crazy.
So where is the problem? It’s with goal number 4. “Get an Agent”. It’s a great goal, but there’s an issue. That’s a goal that is a bit out of my control. Sure I can do things to support that goal, like writing a great book, editing the heck out of it, and actively staying in the query trenches, but at the end of the day, getting an agent involves some outside interest that I can’t control.

That’s something to consider when looking at your goals and what you’ve accomplished this year. Be mindful of the kind of goals you had. Recognize what you had control over and what you didn’t. And don’t beat yourself up for the things outside of your control. I know I’m not going to.
The end of the year is a time to celebrate accomplishments, and I’m sure we all did some seriously awesome stuff this year. So throw yourself a mini dance party or whatever kind of celebration you prefer and enjoy it. And next year when you set your goals, think about those which will be in your control and which won’t.

What goals did you accomplish this year? And what goals do you hope to accomplish next year?

Happy Holidays and see you in 2015!


Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Congratulations on achieving the four goals you did. I agree, getting an agent is out of your control - to a point. (The persistence in trying to get one probably helps, though. Best wishes for getting an agent this year.)

This past year I rewrote two books and have been submitting them, and I wrote the first draft of a cosy mystery. My goals for this year are to finish the mystery rewrite in time for an April contest and to finish a collection of poems I've started.

Jamie Krakover said...

Thanks! Sounds like you've had a good year as well and have some awesome goals lined of for next year! Best of luck in 2015!

Mirka Breen said...

I think "have fun" is as admirable a goal as the others. Now go do it...
Happy New Year, Jamie!

Vijaya said...

You've done well, Jamie! Wishing you that #4 in 2015.

I think this was the first year I didn't make goals ... I was too sick earlier in the year and it was sometime in April that I started feeling human again. I think my biggest goal was to WRITE and I did that most of the time. And luck shone upon my work ... because I have a couple of new books coming out next year. I am pondering what I need to work on in the New Year.

Jamie Krakover said...

Thanks! I plan to have as much fun as possible. Happy New Year to you as well and I hope you get to have some fun too!

Jamie Krakover said...

Thanks! Sounds like you had a pretty great year as well! Good luck with your upcoming book launch!