night swim

Question of the Month: Goal Check-In

by Susan Henderson on February 6, 2012

Remember how we talked about our writing goals? How are you doing? Want to report any progress or any trouble you’re having with reaching them?

My writing goal is to have a first draft of my book before my kids are out of school for the summer, and my non-writing goal is to get back to my fighting weight ASAP. My progress so far in 2012: +6 chapters, -5 pounds.

Note when I say I’ve “written” 6 chapters, I’m talking about the kind of writing I wouldn’t dare show a soul. I tend to write in layers of themes and story arcs, combing through the manuscript again and again as I have new insights or better understand the relationships between the characters. This first go-through is without many of those layers and without the poetry, rhythm and emotion I demand in my final drafts.

Still, I’m happy with my progress and think it’s mostly due to my checkmark system. I have a chart that consists of this: My morning weight and daily checkmarks for not eating between meals, for 5 exercise breaks, and for hitting my writing goal. For someone who would do anything for a gold star in kindergarten, this is the right system for me.


In other news, I’m happy (okay, ecstatic!) to announce that UP FROM THE BLUE will be produced as an audiobook by HarperAudio! The narrator will be Emily Durante, who’s narrated almost 100 books by authors such as Nora Roberts and Jacquelyn Mitchard. I’ve become so accustomed to the slooooooow pace of the publishing world that I was shocked to discover the audio business works at lightning speed. Four hours after I was told HarperAudio was interested, I heard from the producer, had a narrator, and a release date of April 10th (of THIS year)!

Some really lovely mentions of my book at The Entertaining Writer, Shannon’s Book Bag, and La La Lovely. Thank you! And I have some upcoming events in Florida, Maine, New York, and California. Details are over here in case you’d like to join me.

I’m going to end with news about someone LitPark regulars know well—Jessica Keener—whose book, NIGHT SWIM, is now (finally!) out in the world.  Reading this book was pure pleasure. It’s a poignant and sensual examination of a life and a nation on the cusp of change. Sixteen-year-old Sarah brings us a moody and burgeoning wisdom as she pulls us toward secrets we recognize—the desire to hurry past pain and loss toward adulthood, the pull to belong and yet not be absorbed completely into the will of others. In a delicate balance of rebellion and compassion, Sarah teaches us to listen and hold tight to our dreams. Please click here and check it out! It’s gorgeous!