For the last week, I’ve been obsessed with this day: May 31, 2011. Not because I suspected an apocalyptic twist today; not because it’s a holiday, or my birthday, or for any publically acknowledged date worth marking.
No, I’ve been obsessed with May 31, because it officially marks the completion of my writing fiscal year. May 31 is all about writing.
Last year, about this time, I made a list of goals I wanted to achieve over the twelve months that followed. Some of those goals have been met. Some of them have been heroically missed. Some have been downright given-up on. But I wanted to look back on this year and put forth a few highlights–some of which were goals, some of which just happened–that made this last year a success to me.
FY 2011 Milestones:
+ I sold 3 stories to paying markets this year, which in and of itself would make this a satisfying year!
+ I successfully completed NaNoWriMo, turning out almost exactly 50k of terrible, terrible, terrible writing, most of which is really just me whining about how I don’t want to write my NaNo story anymore, interspersed with horribly defunct scenes and undeveloped characters. But it’s 50k!
+ I’ve seen two of my stories come out in print anthologies (and just received the comp-copy of the most recent a few days ago!)
+ I had my first public reading with Broad Universe at Norwescon this past April, and I didn’t totally bomb.
+ I sold out of every copy of DARK FUTURES at Norwescon, and made some pretty penny doing so with one of my fellow authors in the anthology (Deb Taber)!
+ I got to talk with a local writers group here in Portland, and had a lot of fun discussing the submission process, small press, and fitting writing into a swamped schedule (the later of which I know quite a bit about!)
+ I got to participate in a three-person panel at Orycon with a big NYC editor and a multi-pro sale author, and managed to both make comments that people seemed to appreciate AND not pee my pants in terror!
+/- I’ve completed a hefty chunk of my novel, and though it’s a partial negative because I was hoping to have it completed by this date, given everything else that was going on in my life this year, I’m pretty proud that I’ve made it as far as I have!
And now: the walk of shame. Here is my list of goals (achieved and unachieved) from FY2011. I broke it up last year into several “levels” of success, which as you can see I didn’t quite achieve in any useful order. I’ve added my excuses in italics. :)
FY2011 WRITING GOALS:
[X] Sell another short story
[ ] Finish novel (50k) rough draft – I have about 28k, not including rewritten/chopped pieces
[ ] Have 2nd novel/book project in the wings and ready to start – I’ve got some ideas, but haven’t had time to formally plan out a draft
[ ] Polish & submit 2/4 CW Challenge stories – I only finished 1 of the 4 CW short story challenge stories, so I knew pretty early on that this one was going to flop out on me.
[X] Sell 2+ stories
[ ] Write 5+ new stories (on top of 4 CW stories for a total of 9+) – I wrote a few new stories, but not enough to make 9+.
Of these six goals, I only achieved two, but they’re the two I most wanted, so I’m not being too hard on myself. Sure, I could have written more new short stories–that’s something I’m looking at for this coming FY2012–and I could have polished more of the ones I’ve written, and I could have focused more on the novel project.
Tomorrow, I’ll be posting up my NEW goals list, this time just a plain old list, not divided into the levels, and I’ll be digging in my heels, hoping for the best!
Thanks to everyone who puts up with my crazy ramblings, my neurotic whining, my sweeping highs and lows, my self-doubt, and my (small) triumphs: you guys keep me going.
Onward, to FY2012!