Category Archives: Ramblings

My Business and Writing Goals for 2015

This post is for me. Because as a freelancer, I need some really good reasons to jump out of bed in the morning. I figured if I write something down in a public place like the internet, I’m more likely to be held accountable for it. So here goes my goals/intentions/dreams for 2015. It’s not about getting interesting bylines like I’ve focused on in the past but more about landing some book deals. Bam.


Write more short stories. (I have one appearing in an upcoming issue of American Girl!)

Finish my novel. (I’m working on a middle grade manuscript that I was encouraged to move forward with at the SCBWI conference last year.)

Pitch at least 3 non-fiction book ideas to an agent or publisher. (I have one billion ideas that I’m just sitting on — what the heck am I waiting for?!)


Write an e-book and self-publish it. (I’m working on one about how to make more money as a freelancer.)

Start an email list. (This will be a good way to promote my e-book.)

Update my website and portfolio. (I’m working with more and more startups on content strategy and I need my portfolio to reflect that.)

Since “A goal without a plan is just a wish,” according to Antoine de Saint-Exupery, I’ve included actions below to help make my goals a reality.

GOAL: Write more short stories and get them published.
ACTIONS. Research publications that are accepting short stories for kids. Brainstorm, write, and pitch at least 3 short stories to different publications.

GOAL: Finish my novel, land an agent, and score a book deal.
ACTIONS: Work on it for at least one hour every day. Attend the fiction workshop at the SCBWI conference in February where I will present the first 500 words of my middle grade manuscript and get feedback. Ask my writer friends to read my manuscript. Research agents and pitch my story.

GOAL: Pitch at least 3 non-fiction book ideas to either an agent or a publisher.
ACTIONS: Pick the three strongest ideas. Write non-fiction proposals. Research agents and publishers.

GOAL: Write an e-book and self-publish it.
Poll freelance friends about what they’d like to learn about most. Finish writing my e-book by working on it on the weekends. Research self-publishing options on Amazon.

GOAL: Start an email list.
ACTIONS: Add an e-mail sign-up on my website. Brainstorm newsletter ideas. Send out a newsletter. Monthly?

GOAL: Update my website and portfolio.
ACTIONS: Alter my home page slightly to include content strategy. Create case studies showing off content strategy client examples.

I tried the monthly goal thing in 2013 and it didn’t really work for me. In 2014, I wrote goals down in my Day Designer, which kind of helped. In 2015, I’m hoping that writing my goals down in one place I can easily revisit over and over will help me stick to them. Here’s hoping!

Image via The Color Run.

SCBWI & “What Happened To Your Book Today”

I am lucky enough to say that I just returned from the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrator’s Conference in New York City. It was an amazing reminder of why I write – I write for kids.

If you’re a children’s writer who’s feeling uninspired lately or a children’s writer who’s feeling beat down by one-star Amazon reviews or if you’re just wondering why anyone would dedicate their career to writing for kids, this poem is for you. It’s written by Kate Messner, a children’s book author – and TED talker – who absolutely stole the show on the last day of the conference with a talk on the power of failure. Here’s a poem she wrote a few years ago and shared with us called “What Happened To Your Book Today.”

Somewhere, a child laughed
on that page where you made a joke.
Somewhere, she wiped away a tear,
Just when you thought she might. 

Somewhere, your book was passed
from one hand to another in a hallway
busy with clanging lockers,
with whispered words,
“You have got to read this.”
And a scribbled note:
O.M.G. SO good.
Give it back when ur done. 

Read the rest of Kate Messner’s “What Happened To Your Book Today.”

At the end of Kate’s hour-long talk, there had been tears in the audience many times over. She got a standing ovation from YA writers, middle grade writers, picture book writers, non-fiction writers, poets, and illustrators alike. I think I found my people.