January 04, 2011

New year, new goals

Of course, resolution time! Let's see how I did with my 2010 resolutions*:

1. Continue to write blogs regularly (my aim is twice a week, Monday and Thursday) ✓ X ?
I took a long hiatus this summer to finish edits on MAGGIE. Besides that 2.5ish month stretch, though, I blogged regularly, often more than twice a week. 
2. Create a more professional look for the blog ✓ X ?
The overall look of my blog hasn't changed since I first moved from a Blogger ready-made layout to the one I created in November 2009. However, I have tweaked small things that I hope gives my blog an air of professionalism. In early December, I redesigned my blog and actually put the new layout up for about a hour, but I missed the old layout and put it back up. I'm not sure when I'll update my layout, but I continue to work on making visiting my blog an easy, stream-lined experience.
3. Get http://www.abbystevens.com/ working properly (I still have to tweak several settings) ✓
I did this in January, and got my abby@abbystevens.com working properly in April. Got a PO Box and ordered business cards, too.
4. Gain readers (I want to set a number for this but have no idea what is reasonable... may update this after some thought) ✓
I had 100 in mind when I wrote this but didn't put an exact number out of fear, though I was at 143 on 12/31/10, so I did reach my goal.
5. Establish connections with other writer bloggers ✓✓✓✓✓
This is the resolution that I have met over and over, and the one that made the biggest impact on my writing. I've made so many amazing bloggy friends, especially through YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesdays.
Thank you Glenna, Rachel (hers and Kiersten White's were the very first YA writing blogs I discovered once I realized what I was writing was YA, and that it was a whole huge market I hadn't been aware of), Sarah, Pam & Quita, and all my other beta, bloggy, and Twitter friends-of-awesome. Thank you, as the Golden Girls would say, for being a friend!
This time last year, I looked at the friendship between Kiersten White, Stephanie Perkins, and Natalie Whipple and wondered if I'd ever make connections like that. Now I know it just takes being yourself, time, and patience. :)

My 2011 writing resolutions:
  1. Finish the final round of edits on PRODIGAL MAGGIE.
  2. Query.
  3. Find an agent.**
  4. Get a publishing deal.**
  5. Begin work on a new project once MAGGIE's off to queryland.

My 2011 blogging resolutions:
  1. Reach 300 followers.
  2. Be more prompt in responding to comments.
  3. Write flash fiction posts.
  4. Participate in blogging 'community' activities and special events (if you're thinking of doing something, such as a contest, workshop, short story round robin, etc., let me know!)

And now readers, I beg your opinion to help me gauge the direction of this blog over the next year: What do you like on this blog? What do you dislike? What would you like to see more or less of? Do you have any suggestions for new content or features? And finally, how was your Christmas break? (I was very busy the first half and did, gloriously, very little except hang out with Bear during the second half, which made it perfect.)

*I will talk about my 36 in 365 challenge results on Thursday.
**I consider these half-resolutions because if you've done your research and done your best, the publishing process beyond the querying stage is largely out of your hands. One of my personal resolutions is to not stress about things I can't control. ;)


Emy Shin said...

Congratulations -- it seems you did amazingly well on your 2010 resolutions! I agree that friendships and connections take time and just being yourself. You'll bound to click with somebody. :)

Good luck on your resolutions!

Rachel Bateman said...

Those sound like GREAT goals for the year. I really, really think you will be able to find a home for MAGGIE, and I am super excited for that announcement!

I just have to say I am SO happy you found my blog when you did. I love making bloggy friends and you are one of the best ones to have. :)

Abby Stevens said...

Emy - Thank you! I didn't set very hard goals, honestly, but I'm glad I gave myself wiggle room because staring out I had almost zero confidence. This year I was able to give myself a little more difficult goals.

Rachel - :D THANK YOU! Here's hoping! I feel the same, and thank you for having such an awesome blog to find!

Pam Harris said...

Aww, thanks for the shout-out, hon! :) As far as your blog, I can't think of a way to make it more awesome. I would love to see some excerpts of your writing, though. :) I also really loved it when you showcased your bookshelves. Of course, you can't do that again--but maybe an update as you purchase more books?

Sarah Enni said...

Dude you ROCKED those 2010 resolutions!! And I know you'll knock 2011 out of the park.

I'm sad I didn't get a chance to see the other layout! Not that I don't love this one, but I do love new things. I <3 your blog, esp when you write posts like this and talk about where you are on your writing journey. I love that on any blog- an insight to what is inspiring or blocking or frustrating other writers.

So I say, just keep it up lady! Oh and more Japanese pens. Definitely. ;)

Abby Stevens said...

Pam - Aw, thank you! I've been thinking about posting excerpts... I am so paranoid about this, lol. I actually never finished showing all my shelves, but then I moved them all around to create a YA section, but... maybe I can think of something similar to do. :)

Sarah - Thank you! Like I said above, I didn't set my expectations all that high, but it's still nice to see I achieved some goals! And Japanese pens will unfortunately be in short supply from here on out... :( My sister-in-law is officially stateside again! She did get me 10 last ones for Christmas, though!

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