June is going to be an interesting month. There are guests visiting, last-minute trips to make, graduations to celebrate with friends, packing up the apartment, and then–at last, after almost two years of limbo–we’re doing the cross-country moving back to the Eastern seaboard for Andy to start attending med school out there this August. Yikes! For so long, it seemed like it’d never get here, and now it’s all coming up so fast!
And so Writing FY2012 begins at the height of chaos! Hooray! No, wait. That other sentiment–Ugh.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m super excited about the goals I’ve set out for myself, but they’re a bit daunting in the face of the month’s impending chaos. I’m a little worried that I’m going to flop on my face right out of the gate. But we’ll see! Hey, if I can stick to them this month, I’ll have no excuses for later in the year!
So, for the past month, I’ve been trying to whittle down what the best and most well-rounded list of goals should be. I’ve learned a lot about myself in this past year, from my habit-making, to my habit-breaking, my strengths, to my weaknesses, and a whole lot in between. I wanted this year’s goals to be attainable but also to really push me out of my comfort zone, which is where I think I’ve been hanging out these last few years.
There were several things I wanted to focus on for this coming year. 1) I need to read generally more, and more in genre, so there are some reading-related goals. 2) I need to write more, as usual, so there are some general production goals. 3) I need to submit *a lot* more, which means making time to edit older drafts AND getting stuff out there, so there’s a submissions goal and an editing goal as well.
In the end, it’s going to be a major challenge to hit every single one of these, but even partially hitting a few of them will–I hope!–make me a better writer overall. I have broken these up into sections (though not levels), from “daily” goals to “monthly” goals to “annual” goals. The idea is, even if I trip over some of these, I want to keep pushing to the end, to see how close to the final goal I can get.
There are eight in total, two more than last year, but with a little wiggle room built in to hopefully help me achieve these things!
[ ] Finish the rough draft of the “Hope City” novel (which is my current novel project)
[ ] Summary draft/Begin a prose draft of new novel project
[ ] Make 60 submissions attempts (submit 60 times)
[ ] Finish “The Thief Dilemma” with 1 chapter posted per month.
[ ] Read 1 “old” book (pre-2009) in genre (ex: Rendezvous with Rama)
[ ] Read 1 “new” book (post-2009) in genre (ex: Zoo City)*
[ ] Write 500 words /OR/ edit for 30 minutes + 15 minutes of practice writing**
[ ] Read 1 short story per day***
So there it is! FY 2012, a little less rigid than FY2011, but with high expectations and pushing for major effort on my part. Ladies and gentlemen: let the year begin.
*This doesn’t mean I can’t read more than this, but 1-old, 1-new is my minimum. Anything else I want to sneak in there (like Edith Wharton!) I can.
**Ditto on the above footnote: I can always do more than this (and often do), but if it’s a terrible day or I’ve got tons of other stuff to do, this is my minimum.
***This one, I totally stole from author Andrew Porter, because it’s a brilliant way to get up-to-speed not only on what’s out there currently, but also on short fiction as a whole.
4 thoughts on “A-c–c—e—-l—–e——r——-a——–t———i———-o———–n”
You should really add more to your plate for June, slacker.
Glad I got to meet you before you flee the West Coast :)
I just started setting actual goals like yours this year. Got the idea from Booklife by Jeff VanderMeer. I find they are as useful for helping me NOT do stuff as to do stuff. By that I mean it is so easy for me to get distracted by all the shiny little creative ideas in my head or that cross my screen — other-media ideas, anthologies, projects, etc. — but having a list of goals helps me remember what I am really working towards as a writer and assess whether those things are really moving me towards what I want. It is not enough to get published, for example, but I want to get published in ways and in places that I feel will move me closer to my specific goals.
Anywhosit, best of luck with your goals, and hope to still run into you online and at future cons.
Haha, I know, right? I’ve always suffered from over-zealous eye syndrome. XD
Totally hear you with goals helping to NOT do stuff! There are so many lovely little distraction projects that I’d love to take a shot at, but they wouldn’t be moving me forward in the direction I want to go. The list definitely reminds me where my head *should* be at. :)
Definitely keep in touch, Randy! And best of luck with all your goals too!
Just curious, what part of Maine will you be living in? I lived in Portland/Yarmouth for 6 years. I miss it.
I’m pretty close to there, actually! Just a little south in Biddeford! :)