Looking Back, Looking Ahead #writinggoals #writingcommunity

Happy New Year! It’s now officially 2022, and as I do every year, it’s time for me to take a look back at the year that was and a look ahead to future goals. In writing this post, I browsed back to see what my goals were for 2021. At the time, I had three:

Word 2021 Goals on torn brown grunge paper background
  • Finish edits on my mystery novel, The Keeping Place, and begin submitting it for literary representation.
  • Finish my WIP, The Ghosts of Wingate Hall, and indie publish or submit for small press representation.
  • Publish my collection of short stories or submit individually to magazines for possible publication.

Overall, I didn’t do too bad in meeting those goals.

  • I finished editing The Keeping Place, and started submitting agent queries in early December. So far, I’ve had one rejection.
  • I had hoped to knock out Wingate with NaNoWriMo but only managed a little over 22K. NaNo was a fail for me, but I used November to draft query letters and a synopsis for The Keeping Place, and begin researching literary agents.
  • I published my short stories as a collection called Things Old and Forgotten.
2022 hello new year symbol. Concept words Hello 2022 appearing behind torn orange paper. Beautiful orange background.

Moving ahead, 2022 is going to look much the same as 2021 did.

  • I need to continue submitting The Keeping Place. I know I’m in for a long haul in finding an agent, but I have faith in the manuscript. I’ve heard horror stories from best-selling authors regarding the amount of queries and time (YEARS) they invested before finding an agent. Discouraging, but at least I have plenty of other works to keep me busy while searching.
  • I REALLY plan to finish The Ghosts of Wingate Hall this year. It’s a little over halfway complete. As the title implies, the story is ghost fiction (mixed with mystery/suspense). The jury is still out on indie pubbing vs. contacting a small press, but I’ve got time to decide.
  • Once Wingate is done, I plan to return to Belladonna Cottage, my NaNo project from 2019–a straight mystery mingled with a splash of folklore.

My blogging schedule will likely look different moving ahead, too. Long time followers of this blog may remember my Mythical Monday posts, which took an in-depth look at various cryptids, urban legends, and tales from mythology and folklore. I maintained that Monday blogging schedule for years, then later did a brief stint of Wednesday Weirdness, which pandered to the same ideas.

In 2022, I’ll be introducing Mae Clair’s Cabinet of Curiosities. I can’t wait to share many of the strange and bizarre legends that have intrigued me over the years. We’ll definitely be taking a closer look at my favorite cryptid, the Mothman, the creature who factors into my Point Pleasant Series. The first Curiosities post will appear next week. While I may try to schedule them for the same day each week, they’ll likely pop up sporadically and won’t be on any set schedule. The same goes for my book reviews and guest author posts.

Elsewhere, you can find me on Story Empire, where I’ll be blogging throughout the year with the other members of SE on topics of writing, publishing, books, and all things related to the written word. I hope you’ll join us, and I hope you’ll continue to visit me at From the Pen of Mae Clair.

The last two years have been a challenge for all of us, but I’m hoping we’re headed toward the light at the end of the tunnel. Among all the things I’m grateful for, I include my many friends in the writing community and blogosphere.

I’m raising a glass of the virtual bubbly and wish all of you health, happiness, and many blessings in the coming year!

57 thoughts on “Looking Back, Looking Ahead #writinggoals #writingcommunity

  1. It seems most people I’ve talked to about this issue have told me the effort of finding an agent isn’t worth the reward, yet I plan to give it at least a year. I recently read somewhere that the odds of landing a publishing deal are 1 in 3,000. Pretty steep odds for sure, but I see no harm in giving it a go.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m with you, Pete. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I recently heard of a BSA who submitted to every single agent he could find in marketplace references. He didn’t land a deal until the very last agent. He said he lived in fear of opening his mailbox each day for all of the rejections he had.
      On the plus side, landing an agent and a publishing deal isn’t the only means to publishing, so like you, I plan to give it an effort, then go from there. Fingers crossed for both of us!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m rooting for you, Mae! I hope you find that agent soon. I look forward to your posts this year and exploring the strange and bizarre legends. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Denise. Thanks for cheering me on. I know I’m setting myself up for a lot of rejection, but it goes with the territory. I have to at least give the agent avenue a try before I decide to go it alone. The good thing is, while I’m shopping The Keeping Place around, I have plenty of other writing projects to concentrate on. Happy New Year!


    • Thanks, Harmony! I appreciate all the support. I’ve got a long haul ahead but also plenty of side projects that are calling me with equal excitement. Cheers and many successes to you in the coming year!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved this inspiring and motivating post, Mae! Yes, I too feel there is light at the end of this Covid tunnel. I’m looking forward to Mae Clair’s Cabinet of Curiosities. You have me curious! Happy New Year to you and your family! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Jill. I have two family members down with COVID right now, plus two co-workers and a potential third who may be infected. It’s time to put this virus in the rear view mirror! I’m really focused on that light at the end of the tunnel!
      And I’m so glad you’re looking forward to my Cabinet of Curiosities. There are so many great legends and bits of folklore to share, I can’t wait to get started. Happy New Year to you and your family!


  4. I’m looking forward to Mae Clair’s Cabinet of Curiosities. I’ve missed your posts like it. Good luck with your submission – it does take determination as it needs to get in the right hands at the right time. That’s something that I’ve heard so many times, and I can see where it’s true. I know if you keep trying, you’ll persevere. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tessa. I appreciate that faith! And you really hit the nail on the head about landing in the right place at the right time. So much of it comes down to luck. Hopefully, I’ll have some 🙂
      I’m also glad you’re looking forward to my Cabinet of Curiosities. I can’t wait to get started on those!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the support, Priscilla. Eventually, I’m going to hit up every agent I can. Hopefully, one of them will take a chance on me. And I’m glad you’re looking forward to my Curiosities posts. I always enjoyed doing Mythical Monday and Wednesday Weirdness, so I’m excited to get started with my first curiosity next week.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wishing you tons of luck with the queries, Mae – it can take days, months, or years, but I’m confident your agent is out there. Looking forward to your Cabinet. I thought about you a few weeks ago – son #1 went to a Cryptid Conference in Lexington, KY. He had a fantastic time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so jealous of your son going to a cryptid conference, Teri. I would have loved to have been there! What a blast he must have had.
      Hopefully, it will be months instead of years on the agent wait, but for now I’m in no hurry. Once rejections start rolling in I may have to rethink that, LOL. Thanks for the well wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Best of luck with all your endeavors. I too have just started queries for an agent for my cozy mystery, Trap, Neuter, Die (involving animal rescue) which I hope will be the beginning of a series. Congratulations on your 2021 accomplishments!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sending you well wishes on searching for an agent too, Sharon. Cozies are hot right now, so hopefully there is plenty of opportunity for you. I love the sound of a series involving animal rescue. What an great idea! Fingers crossed for us both!


  7. Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished and on setting some pretty ambitious goals for the future, too. I’m impressed just by that alone, as I’ve never been nearly as organized as you, and seldom even make “general” resolutions for an upcoming year. I’m aiming to do better at that, because, for one thing, having set goals saves you all that time you’d otherwise spend wondering what to work on next. You’ve inspired me to be more specific with my goals!

    And HUGE wishes for success with The Keeping Place! I’ll be hoping you get an offer (or several) soon. What a thrill that would be for you (and vicariously, for me)!!

    Here’s to a wonderful 2022, Mae, filled with love, joy, peace, AND a publishing contract!!! Woohooo! 🤗💖🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • My goals are always kind of loosey-goosey without specific deadlines, just that I want to accomplish them “sometime” in the coming year, LOL. Of course, when it comes to an agent, that will depend on them rather than me. Fingers crossed!

      I’m glad I’ve inspired you to a degree. I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re up to this year, and I’m sending lots of positive energy that you accomplish all you set out to do. BIG {{HUGS}} my Penderpal!


    • Heeehee. I did think of P&C when planning those posts, Noelle. 😉 Glad you’re looking forward to my series on all things odd!
      I’m going to have to do one on the actual origin of how cabinets of curiosities came to be. Even that’s fascinating fodder for a post! Cheers to you and all the best in the coming year!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Best of luck finding an agent, Mae. You have the right mindset, so you won’t give up, and that’s half the battle. I used to number my rejections and take pride in them, proving to myself I was giving my manuscript a good, college try. When I finally found an agent, I burned all of them:) Your other writing projects sound intriguing enough to keep you happily writing. Hope 2022 is a good year for you!.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m going to have to remind myself that the rejections are still forward momentum, Judi. That’s going to be the hard part. I’m not in any rush to publish The Keeping Place (given the other projects I have in the works), so I think I can bide my time that way. Like you said—it coms down to mindset.
      Thanks for the well wishes. I hope 2022 treats you fabulously as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Best wishes for the new year, Mae. I gave up the agent chase after a year. Of course, at the age of 80, there are other things needing to be accomplished other than getting an agent. I encourage you to stay with it since I have this feeling you will be successful.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Cheering you on, Mae. Knowing your work, I’m confident the book is excellent. Your other titles sound intriguing as well.

    I’m looking forward to your new blog series. Sound a bit like what I have planned to replace my Moon series. You and I both share a fascination with legends and folklore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind words, Joan. I’m really hoping an agent (and publisher) will think the book is good!

      I’m glad you’re looking forward to my Cabinet of Curiosities. It will follow the same lines as my Mythical Monday posts, but there is a lot of new material to share. Plus I want to take a closer look at some of the legends I’ve used in my books, especially the Mothman.

      You and I are definitely of a like mind when it comes to folklore and legends. I always enjoy your posts as well. Here’s to many more mysteries and curiosities!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Flossie. I agree with the basket of eggs. The variety helps too, LOL.
      Glad you’re looking forward to my Curiosities! I’ll be starting with the first one next week 🙂


  11. Congratulations, Mae, on your achievements in 2021. I hope you will find an agent, I have never tried, but from what I’ve read it can take a bit of time. I look forward to reading your posts here and on Story Empire. Thanks to your post about WP lists, I never miss any.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robbie, I am so glad to hear my posts on list was helpful to you! I love using them myself and rely on them to keep up with my favorite blogs.
      I know I’m looking at a long haul on the agent front. Just had my second rejection today. Ugh! I need to start submitting more requests!

      Liked by 1 person

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