It's a little early to be talking about setting goals, but I am about to make some changes and my goals are going to shift for the last couple of months of 2007 and into next year.
I've spent the majority of this year promoting the works of others. I've interviewed several authors and posted many book reviews at my blog, The Book Connection http://www.thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/. Those I've worked with have been wonderful, welcome to opening up about their books and their creative process, and happy with the questions I've asked. And the best part is, I've loved every minute of it.
But somewhere along my journey, I lost the time I used to have for my own writing. I still manage to churn out an article each month for Writer2Writer http://writer2writer.com/, but the manuscript I finished last summer and my two other works in progress sit untouched on the corner of my filing cabinet.
I guess the wake up call for me came when I attended the Muse Online Writers Conference http://www.freewebs.com/themuseonlinewritersconference/ this month and found out that the market I wanted to send a short story to was closed for submissions at least until January of 2008. My goal had been to submit it in February of this year, but I was too busy doing other things and volunteering at church and my daughter's school. So, I didn't work on the story in earnest.
I've hesitated to make any changes to my schedule because I didn't want to be seen as opportunistic or unsupportive of my fellow writers. But wanting to avoid having to work outside of my house in two years is not opportunistic or unsupportive; it's a reality I face if I don't begin submitting more work.
I've begun to realign my priorities and change how I handle promoting the works of others, so that I can steal back some time I had lost. In addition, I will have to cut back on some of my volunteering efforts. Who knows, this could be a temporary thing until I tuck enough money away to avoid working out of the house when the little one enters school.
I don't know how others will feel about my decision, but I know what I am doing is the best for me, my family, and my career. I'll have to stick by my guns and make it work or my writing will become a hobby that I dabble in after my full-time job is over...and I've worked too hard the past few years to let that happen.