Monday, January 23, 2017

New Year, New Goals, and the ScottyFactor

Hello All and...
Happy New Year

Right before the New Year, my agent Nicole Resciniti, sent out a message to her clients asking them to think about their goals for the New Year and get ready for a "goal chat."

This prompted me to really think about what I wanted to do and also what was realistic. Knowing myself, I'm a slow writer.

Because of that, I knew I should keep my goals modest. In the end, this is the list I came up with:

1) Finish the middle-grade historical novel I've been working on.
2) Finish at least three more picture book manuscripts.
3) Start a new middle grade or YA novel.
4) Get a publishing deal for one of my projects.
5) Go to a writer's conference/retreat.

I've been working on the middle-grade novel in earnest since last February. Originally, I thought I could bang it out by the Fall, but boy was that daydreamy deadline run over like this poor banana.


You see, I have an optimistic nature so I tend to think I can finish projects faster than I actually can. So this year, I'm tapping down my expectations and taking the ScottyFactor (from Star Trek) approach... which is to say be much more conservative in my deadlines.

As for my other goals, I normally write more than three picture books every year, but again, I don't want to over promise and under perform and so I choose three to make sure I didn't feel overly pressured this year.

Starting a new novel isn't hard to do either. I didn't fall into the trap of promising to finish a second novel this year. Nope. Just starting one is enough.

The last two goals will be a bit out of my hands, but they are hopeful thoughts and personal treats. They are sort of the carrots to keep me going throughout the year.


Anyway, now that I've put these goals out onto the Internet... no backies!

I will make every attempt to attain all five goals this year.

So, what are your writing-related goals for this year?


  1. I always set "minimal/must meet" goals, and am happy to exceed them. They are *realistic* and not even overly demanding, which is key to not only succeeding but exceeding.Best wishes on yours!

  2. Thanks, Mirka! I'm looking forward to exceeding my goal this year, too. Best Wishes, Joseph ;)

  3. Wow, doesn't sounds like you're a slow writer! Good luck with your goals this year, Joseph.

    1. Thanks, Ruth! I guess in my own mind I'm slower than I want to be because I can't get to all the ideas I've got floating around in my head ;) Best Wishes, Joseph