Apologies for the hiatus; I've been away most of this month at a writer's conference and then on an anniversary vacation.
Though fun and (esp. in the case of the SCBWI Summer Conference) inspiring, it's been a hectic month, and I'm REALLY looking forward to getting back to work.
And what is that work, exactly? My main short-term goal:
To rethink my social media and blogging habits.
I'm a social media addict. I've been a huge fan of online communities before the term "online community" even existed. These days, however, I'm feeling spread too thin over too many social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Second Life, various writing and illustration communities, plus all the blogs I either manage or in which I participate as a collaborator.
No, I'm not going to quit cold turkey. Nor do I think social media is inherently a time vampire. It CAN be a time vampire, but in my own experience, it can also be a huge boon to authors and illustrators if properly managed. Most of the publishing opportunities that have come my way have done so because of contacts I've made through social media, or posting and reading blogs.
Recent opportunities, however, have convinced me that I need to better manage my time. There are SO MANY BOOKS I want to write, or illustrate, or write and illustrate. The awards I won at last year's SCBWI Illustration Portfolio Showcase (which resulted in a book contract and heightened interest from publishers) and the Sue Alexander Award nomination I just received for my YA novel in progress have been a much needed kick in the pants.
My long-term goal:
TO GET MORE BOOKS PUBLISHED.
And to do that, I need to finish some projects and get them sent OUT there.
My interim goals:
-- To finish writing my YA novel. Whether or not it wins the Sue Alexander Award, the nomination has convinced me that this novel-in-progress has much more potential than my previous attempts. I've been working on my craft as well as benefiting from the critiques and advice of my MiG Writer group and some of my Torkidlit pals, and I believe that I'm a much better writer now than when I wrote my previous mss.
-- To finish my own picture book projects. Now that I'M BORED (Simon & Schuster, 2012) is nearly finished, I need to have more projects ready to send out: projects that I've written AND illustrated. I've been working hard at improving my illustration craft over the past year. I'm going to continue to work on my craft, of course, but it's time to get some new projects out there.
-- I also have several nonfiction book proposals I need to revamp and send out, such as the compilation of my writer comics.
In order to achieve my long-term goal, I'm going to be taking a hard look at how I spend my time online.
And yes, I do see the irony of blogging about spending too much time online. But I figure I'm not the only one who has this challenge. Some of you have likely found your own solutions.
I'll be posting on my progress (feel free to share yours!)...but not as often as I'd like to. If that makes any sense. :-)