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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Goals Assessment

Goals Assessment

Summer vacation is over. Kaput. Today is the last day, and tomorrow, I’ll have to shift my mental gears into teaching mode. Boy, are they going to groan, whine, and squeal!

At the beginning of summer vacation, I posted goals for myself. The idea behind posting publicly was to shame myself into actually doing them. Now comes the public unveiling of my accomplishments:

Goal #1: Write another draft of screenplay

I completed draft #7 of the We Hear the Dead screenplay in the early part of the summer. After letting it sit for a few weeks, my collaborator (producer Amy Green) and I have found this version to be lacking one crucial thread – and we think we know how to fix it. So, yes, there will be another draft coming this fall, and I’m very excited about this one. I think it might be the one!

Goal #2: Show the landscaping who was boss

Just look at the picture. Let’s face it: I didn’t even try.

Goal #3: Outline and begin draft of The Caged Graves

Okay, I didn’t write an outline. I jumped in and started writing this one by the seat of my pants with only a dim idea where I was going. I made a couple wrong turns along the way. There are loose ends from plot pathways I chose not to take — which now have to be cleaned up in revision. But I’ve drafted 57,000 words, and I’m about to gallop into the climax of the novel! Starting school will slow me down a bit, but I’ve got the end in sight now! I credit Tina and Heather and Marisa and The Practice Room for helping me get this far!

Goal #4: Revise my Revolutionary War piece to use in class

This is clearly a work-related project, so why would I do it over my vacation?? Besides, once I got into The Caged Graves, I didn’t want to break my focus. Then it occurred to me that (watch this brilliant rationalization!) revising this piece during the school year — in fact, modeling those revisions in front of my class — was a much better idea. Agree with me here, folks. This makes sense.

Goal #5: Swim for exercise in my pool 5x a week

I laughed out loud when I wrote that one, because I knew I’d never do it. However, I made more progress on this goal than I did on #2. In the beginning of the summer, I really did swim 5x a week. I slacked off a little toward the end, but I made a pretty good effort.

Also over the summer, my blog membership topped 100!!! On Wednesday of this week, I’ll roll out my 100 Blog Followers Celebration Contest. Be prepared. There will be a test.

Did anybody else out there meet their goals or surprise themselves?

14 Responses to Goals Assessment

  1. mshatch says:

    Looks like you did very well in your goals and that summer work project (#4) probably never should’ve been on the list in the first place, right? And 57,000 words! Wow! That’s awesome! I just hit the 40,000 mark. My goal is 5,000 words a week and finish by late October. So far so good – and if you need a beta reader for caged graves…

  2. Jen says:

    I prefer the approach, if you don’t have any goals you have nothing to suck at.

    Just teasing, I made a few goals and have succeeded at some and failed at others. I didn’t get the second half of revisions done that I’d promised nor did I complete the other novel I was working on. However the newer wip is now talking to me and revisions will get it’s chance again this coming Monday August 30th!!!

    So let’s just say everything is still a work in progress like my works in progress!

  3. Linda G. says:

    I’d say you did a great job meeting all the important goals. And, heck, I LIKE the “natural” look in landscaping. 😉

  4. salarsenッ says:

    Great job with the first draft, Dianne. I didn’t get as far as I’d wanted to. Life took an unexpected turn and I had to deal with that–kids you know. I’m hoping to regroup when my kids start school next Tuesday!

  5. I did meet a few goals and had a couple of wishes come true, so I’m GOOD! Good luck with your school year…ughh I remember all too well ;–)

  6. Lenny says:

    hi miss dianne! you did pretty good on your goals. that garden is really yucky looking. ha ha for me mostly i just wanted to do stuff i couldnt do when i was sick and i did. i played baseball. i was crummy at it but it was sooo much fun. i did a ton of swimming and loved it cause im part fish. ha ha. i finished one story and got half way on the other. i should of finihed it cause it was a goal but i just was having so much fun i didnt do it. im gonna make if a new goal.
    …smiles from lenny

  7. Dianne–thanks for the shout out! You had such an awesomely productive summer!! I’m so glad that you found the motivation that you needed. And, I’m with you on all your “rationalizations” about school work. Revision with your kids=excellent lesson. YAY!!

  8. Candyland says:

    You crushed my goals! You’re a goal machine! Um, I did okay I guess. But there’s always more I’d wish Id done. And boo on school!!!

  9. I love the way you talk!

    And yes you were sooo productive. I am impressed. And thrilled that TPR helped! And I like your rationalization. I think it is brilliant! What Heather said! Thanks so much for the shout out. TPR is only as good as the marvelous people who show up. I love it too.

  10. Sun Singer says:

    Congrats on meeting the important goals and letting the less important goals slide a bit.

    Next summer, hire a yard man.


  11. I’m so with you on #4! I admire brilliant rationalizing. I’m quite the expert, myself.

    Great accomplishments. Well done!

  12. awesome! Congrats on the followers and it looks like you got most of your list accomplished and that’s something! My girls go back to school in nine days and, while I don’t go back to work until October 1st, it still changes our schedule dramatically so i’m hoping I’ll be able to finish a fist draft of ‘Fossegrim’ in september.

  13. Thanks, everyone! I’m really happy about what I accomplished in the writing area this summer, even if I did surrender my flower gardens to the laws of succession.

    Today (my first day back) I hung up 2 important motivational signs in my classroom:

    “Why set goals? Because if you’re aiming for nowhere, that’s exactly where you’ll go.”

    And a quote from Will Rogers:

    “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” (Love that one!)

  14. Name: Aine says:

    I didn’t make any goals for the summer. I have year long goals, but none that were specifically for summer.

    I pretty much always have goals, but I need to get better at working towards some of them.