So, I’d like to share my 2019 goal with you: by year’s end, I hope to have all 32 illustrations plus the info page ready for focus tests in early 2020, and an aim of a publication date in the latter half of the year.
Sharing this information with you is a way to have accountability. Setting goals can be unpleasant and scary, and further feel pressured in a bad way. But goals can also make your tasks feel more routine and automated. If I throw in several hours of illustration time on the weekend just like vacuuming or doing my ironing, I might be surprised with how much I do get done by year's end! Also, if I chunk them up to only three a month, it sounds a lot better than 32.
The catch is that other things come up in life, and then the key becomes being able to adapt my goals. For instance, I have been preparing for a children’s book conference in February. I spent a day running around looking for materials for my press kits and putting them together so that I would be prepared should someone express interest in Centipede Dragon. It was a day that I could’ve made headway on an illustration, but instead, I was doing something else for Centipede Dragon. Therefore, worth my time, but also puts me behind with my 3-illustration goal for January. Now, if I say I must complete 6 illustrations in February, it would likely make me feel more stressed, and thereby make my goal feel less achievable. Therefore, maybe I aim for 4 illustrations in February, March and April. After all, 4 sounds a lot more doable than 6!
So, I’ll check back in and let you know how my illustration count is faring!