I am sitting here at my desk on the last day of school waiting to go with the seniors to Firelake Casino where our graduation will be held tonight. I will be reading the names of the seniors as they walk across the stage and using every ounce of facial muscles I have to not blubber like a mother hen.
Soon I will be home for summer vacation, and as a teacher this is that time of year where I usually reflect, write better lesson strategies, attend conferences and do other teacher stuff (because after all teachers only work 9 months out of the year).
Actually, I do all of that stuff, but in the mean time I am working hard at writing a screenplay, writing a novel, and other things that have to do with my side-passion which is being a science fiction novelist.
Here are 10 writing goals I have for this summer.
- Plot out that novel / screenplay - I have the character bios all done, but I'll be busy writing a detailed outline of the plot and sub-plots so that I can start working on the actual script and novel. I'm writing both of them at the same time.
- Get a Guest Spot at a Local Convention - I will be a guest (and grant it, I was invited months ago) at SoonerCon in Midwest City, OK. I am a "media guest" which means I get to talk about my books, discuss topics in which I am an expert, and generally find new customers on a face-to-face basis.
- Write Short Stories and Submit Them to Magazines - I finally have time to write those short stories I've been dreaming up all year. I use the SimpleNote App to record any ideas I have for short stories over the course of the school year, and because of this I have about five or six really juicy germs for stories lying around on the app. If you haven't downloaded Simplenote, you should. It goes on your phone and your laptop/computer and it is a great way to record story ideas you have on the fly.
- Write Query Letters to Agents - I have a goal this summer to write at least 20 query letters to various agents. This includes researching them, discovering if they are newer agents or not, and figuring out what they are wanting to peddle to publishers. I think if I get in the habit of writing query letters it can be something I can do during the school year when I get a spare moment, just not 20 in a 3 month period.
- Attend a Writing Conference - I plan of looking for a writing conference to attend this summer. I will hopefully find one that isn't too terribly expensive, one that will be worth my time, and mostly one that will offer a "pitch party" with agents.
- Get Very Involved in a Local Writing Group - I already belong to the RoseRock Writers Group which meets on Friday mornings. Because my school attends a 4 day school week it is perfect for me to be a part of this group. Due to the walkout (you may have heard about it, but here is a link to one of my articles about it) we had to go to a 5 day school week in order to keep from going to school on into June. However, I plan to be a regularly attending member so that I can get feedback on my writing from other writers on a face-to-face basis.
- Solicit a Bunch of Critique - There are several ways to do this. One way is to put your stuff up on Wattpad, gain a bunch of followers by following other writers in your genre and then critiquing their work, and sit back and wait for critique (or trolls... sometimes trolls). The other way is to find a few people in your writing group who write in your particular genre (or close to it) and ask them for help. Usually they will help and will enjoy building the professional connections as well.
- Write Comic Book Scripts - If you do a little digging, there probably is a local comic book magazine in your area. Oklahoma has "Okie Comics", which has accepted my short story "Headless White Horse" as a 3 page comic treatment, and I plan on submitting more scripts. You might be surprised how many of your stories would translate well to comics. Give it a shot!
- Start a Blog - I already have this blog (duh), but you could start a blog to just journal about your progress as a writer. You can post frustrations about writing, your story ideas, your process, pictures of your dog watching you write, or whatever helps motivate you. I find that writing my blog keeps me salty as a writer because it forces me to come up with new content at least once a week. It keeps my creative juices flowing for sure!
- Start a Podcast - Podcasts are actually free to do if you have a smart phone thanks to Anchor.fm. All you need to do is set up an account, download the app and record right from the application on your phone! Of course you have to have a nicely themed podcast that people will want to listen to. Peruse other podcasts, listen to other podcasts, then try to find a niche that is not really saturated. I'm currently doing (due out this weekend) a podcast called "Writing Is Hard Work" in which I discuss writing tips and topics and also rehash old popular blog posts I've written in the past. I'm also doing a podcast called "Southern Fried Christianity" where two evangelical Christians talk about all the things we feel are wrong with the American brand of Christianity.
If you are a teacher and also a writer and you have any other ideas about what to do this summer regarding your writing goals, post them below in the comments. Otherwise, if you haven't subscribed to the feed to get new articles, then please click on the link below if you have Feedly or one of those RSS reader apps. No e-mail list. Just RSS.