Posted by: devonellington | July 1, 2011

Mid-Year Evaluations

Half of the year has zipped past — more, for those of you who start your writing year in August or September.

So it’s time to do some evaluations.

Normally, I’d go back to the questions I asked last fall and answered early in the year. However, last fall was so tumultuous, with the sudden decision to move, Elsa’s death, ad the move, that I never wrote any.

My goals, dreams, and resolutions for 2011 were, basically: Survive and Thrive.

I’m getting there.

Now that I’m settling in to my new life, the life I wanted, dreamed about and envisioned.

But I’m asking myself questions, mostly due to the fact that, during the current Saturn Retrograde, I’m having some growing pains in terms of my career.

I came up with the following questions:

1. Are you happy with the way your career (or careers, if you have a writing career and still carry a day job) has evolved over the past months?

2. What, if anything, do you want to change, in the balance of the year?

3. How are your personal goals coming along?

4. What ideas/positions/elements of your work or your life have you outgrown these past months? There’s nothing wrong with dropping or changing goals if they no longer fit your vision for your future.

Think about these for the next few weeks, and we’ll reconvene mid-month to discuss them.

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Responses

  1. […] you believe it’s July? I’ve got my July To-Do list up here, and the Mid-Year Evaluation here, over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions Site. Join in the conversation this […]

  2. Hi Devon,

    I’ve thought about these questions and here are my responses. Also, I’ve included my last month’s review.

    1. Are you happy with the way your career (or careers, if you have a writing career and still carry a day job) has evolved over the past months?

    Yes. I’d been working on obtaining a healthy balance between both, but by doing so I seem to have found creative ways to find more time to write. This has resulted in higher outputs all round.

    2. What, if anything, do you want to change, in the balance of the year?

    I’m delighted with the balance I’ve achieved. I’m writing all the time; day job is flexible 95% of the time; and with my personal life I’ve managed to integrate a lot of that into it, which was a major source of frustration over the last couple of years for me.

    3. How are your personal goals coming along?

    Swimmingly well! I’m staying on top of everything and reaping the results as far as publication goes. Also, I broke through some confidence barriers in order to get myself out there more and have made a lot of good friends in the industry. It’s been a great year so far!

    4. What ideas/positions/elements of your work or your life have you outgrown these past months? There’s nothing wrong with dropping or changing goals if they no longer fit your vision for your future.

    I’m dropping the “fringe plans” I had in order to keep focussed. Things like stage/radio plays were nice ideas but not within my realm of total desire. I’m dropping those things that don’t support (in any way) my desire to publish fiction and poetry.

    Okay- here’s my final monthly review (July and the first bit of August).

    Fiction
    ——-
    * Submit GREENER IS THE GRASS – not done; have made a contact at EBF on this matter
    * Submit and recycle fiction – all returned fiction resubmitted
    * Redraft new short fiction – done

    Poetry
    ——
    * Work on layout and design of Edinburgh chapbook – done; not finished though.
    * Complete 1st draft of London chapbook – done
    * Continue work with artist on SP3 illustrations – done; final images in.
    * Frame and handover poetry as art to Trevor Jones (Trees for Life) – done; launch 3rd Nov.
    * Work on layout and design of Poolside Poetry 2 – done; not finished though; renamed to MORE POOLSIDE POETRY
    * Design new front cover for Poolside Poetry – done; not released yet other than FB and G+
    * SELEKTION back up and available as free download – done

    Editing
    ——-
    * Send interview questions to Rob for RR September issue interview – not done yet

    Freelance
    ———
    * Keep all my websites updated and relevant – done; updated with iBooks ref for FF; added EdBookFest page to blog
    * Develop more ideas and for Hidden/Secret page on website (if time) – not done
    * Keep GGP website up to date – done; new galleries uploaded
    * Start work on new GGP Boudoir website – not done; one for autumn
    * Gig review of Aidan Moffat gig for MitE – done

    Marketing
    ———
    * Prepare marketing material for Edinburgh Book Shop launch – not done
    * Continue to promote the Kindle books – done; need to do more on FB and G+ as well
    * Make contact with Elvis Shakespeare on back of EBS success – not done
    * Plan out book Book Festival Podcasts – done; Ep.1 launched on 3rd August
    * Prepare and post-publish August Newsletter – done
    * Send signed copy of FF to The Sky Project charity for auction – done
    * Draft plan of all marketing/media needed for each book release – done

    Reading & Learning
    ——————
    * ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT by Annabel Aidan – done
    * WHISKEY SOUR by JA Konrath – done
    * THE LIST by JA Konrath – done
    * WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen – done
    * KILLING MUM by Allan Guthrie – done
    * BYE BYE BABY by Allan Guthrie – done
    * SUNSET PARK by Paul Auster – done
    * THE FRY CHRONICLES by Stephen Fry – IP
    * THE SECRET LIVES OF PEOPLE IN LOVE by Simon van Booy – IP
    * SHAKEN by JA Konrath – done
    * THE IMMACULATE HEART by Andrew Raymond Drennan – IP

    Things That Turned Up
    ———————
    * Saw the British Royal Family!!
    * Coffee shop chapbook idea spawned
    * Generated a lot of publicity early on with EBF posting about Story Shop
    * Generated a massive amount of publicity during the London Riots
    * Officially join Savvy Authors
    * Re-subscribed to Writing Magazine
    * Interview with Annabel Aidan

    Submissions Activity Summary
    —————————-
    Half a dozen fiction pieces read and sent back out into submission cycle
    2 rejections – sent back out
    1 acceptance

    Successes
    ———
    * Made a patron of The Sky Project charity
    * Involved with The Sky Project charity auction
    * Fabulous holiday in Rhodes that saw the writing of a new chapbook: MORE POOLSIDE POETRY
    * Launched the first episode of the Colin Galbraith Podcast through Freedom from the Mundane blog site
    * Flash fiction acceptance: BUZZ to be published by Flashes in the Dark on 23rd August
    * Edinburgh Book Festival launch, networking, writing course and opportunities all taken advantage of
    * Application for media accreditation at the Edinburgh Book Festival accepted

    Failures
    ——–
    * Application unsuccessful for Edinburgh City of Literature Story Shop programme at book festival
    * SLICK returned
    * Lost News of the World gig after the paper was shut down in the wake of the “Phone Hacking Scandal”

    Cheers!!

    Col

  3. Colin,

    Those are great. Your year has been so inspiring! You’ve achieved a wonderful balance and are steadily working towards your goals without driving yourself crazy over it.


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