#WriterlyResolutions: Day Two

Written by Ryan R. Campbell

Ryan R. Campbell is an International Book Awards finalist, the founder of the Writescast Network, and the co-founder of Kill Your Darlings Candle Company.

Posted on December 27, 2017

Filed under Uncategorized

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What’s one goal you failed to achieve in 2017? What did you learn from this? What can you do differently next time?

It’s okay! We all come up short sometimes. The important thing in these scenarios isn’t the end result, but rather learning from the past so we can achieve a different result next time.

Another goal I had for myself this year was:

Query at least 80 agents for EMPATHY.

I managed to query only about 20 agents for EMPATHY: Imminent Dawn this year, but it wasn’t for lack of trying that I missed the mark on this one.

Looking back, there are a few reasons I didn’t meet the expectation I set for myself:

  • New perspective on manuscript
  • Change in priorities
  • Scope of goal itself

Where the first of these is concerned, it was after I hired an editor to take a peek at a selection of the manuscript that made me realize there were still a number of ways I could improve it even further. Armed with a new perspective, I withdrew from the query process entirely so I could focus on retooling the story bit by bit.

As excited as I was to get into those revisions, I quickly realized that I needed some time apart to really be able to reinvent the sections I felt required the most attention. It was then that my priorities changed, pushing me toward writing a completely new manuscript, one that eventually became the current version of Accounting for it All.

Of course, writing a new manuscript from scratch took resources away from retooling EMPATHY, let alone getting it in query-able shape once more. That’s where the scope of my original goal proved a challenge.

With a goal that stretched out over the course of the year rather than over a month or a quarter, I would’ve had to rush both retooling and querying to meet my originally established goal by the end of 2017, something that sounds not only stressful, but a surefire way to end up with a manuscript of diminished quality.

Going forward, my plan is to finish my revisions by January 2018, and then establish quarter-based querying goals that allow for greater flexibility and benchmarking along the way.

So sure—I came up short, but I learned SO MUCH in the process. Not only that, but the way this new manuscript is shaping up… whew. Hold onto your hats, friends, because I feel like this might be the one.*

*he said, recognizing he’s been saying that for a few years now. Someday I have to get it right, though, right? I mean, right?!

Now it’s your turn. Tell us about one of the 2017 #WriterlyResolutions you had, but didn’t quite achieve. What happened, and what did you learn from the experience?

Then, on Friday of this week, tune in for a new writescast episode all about setting goals and maximizing our takeaways from our success (and failures, too!).



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