It’s that time of year again, where we all decide to really do the things we want to do. Usually it lasts for a couple months then we fall back into our ruts. That’s why it’s better for goals to be concrete, realistic, and achievable! Here are some of mine for the next year.
Make 50 submissions
I made 25 submissions this year, and that was with all my submitting effort occurring in the final 3 months of the year. So I think it’s very achievable to get 50 next year.
The past few years I haven’t been trying as hard with short stories, and it’s time for that to change! I’ve written quite a few, I just haven’t sent many of them anywhere. A lot of it is that I’ve been discouraged. I had a string of good luck right when I started writing, and now I haven’t had a story published in over five years. It’s put a bit of a damper on my enthusiasm. This is the year to get over that!
Write 20 stories
To get those 50 submissions, I’ll have to write some new stories. I wrote 25 last year (a coincidence that it matches my number of submissions, I didn’t send them all out) mostly in the last half of the year. I think I should be able to do 20, more focused, quality ones this year.
I feel more confident every year in my ability to design, start, and finish short stories. If only I could find people who liked them! I continue my quest in 2019…
Finish editing my novel and send it somewhere
I was supposed to do this last year, but got less than halfway through. This year I’m going to finish the first pass through, and a polish, and send it to at least one agent by the end of the year.
This has been taking so long because it’s really discouraging to look at it, and I find myself disliking it so much. Other people who’ve read it have told me it’s good, but I can only see what a mess every line is… it’s hard to keep going when I feel I could write it so much better now! Nonetheless, I must persevere and send it somewhere, just to see what happens.
Read 40 novels
I failed this year, but this is definitely achievable if I avoid 700 page, dry monsters that take me two months to read. 40 seems like such a small number as it is. Only 400 books in ten years? Such a tiny amount of books we can read in a lifetime…
Shift this blog to quality over quantity
I tried the blog every day for a year thing, and it lead to consistent writing but of a poor, slap-shod quality. Sadly that ‘style’ has become a habit for me, and one that I will try to change next year. You may have noticed my previous half dozen posts or so have been a bit more involved than my usual stuff. That’s the plan going forward! I want to take this blog more seriously, and put effort and planning into each post. That will mean they come less often, but I think it will be worth it to take myself more seriously.
Journal (with a pen and paper!) every day
Every time I’ve tried to start this, I fade out after a few months. Every year though, I wish I had a journal to look back on. I have an ephemeral memory, and it’s so easy for times and events to fade into fog. I know older me would really appreciate having even just a simple description of the events of each day. If I could just get present me to do it…
Reach intermediate level in Spanish
I’ve been teaching myself Spanish for the past few months, and am making a fair amount of progress. I think I will soon be able to say I’m at the ‘beginner’ level. It’s very enjoyable and I can feel it strengthening the language sections of my brain, so I’m going to keep at it! It is also a very practical choice for the area I live in, and would look great on any resume.
My aim is to pass a few of the intermediate language tests online by the end of the year. I’ll do this by continuing with Duolingo, as well as the several YouTube channels I’ve been watching, and the Spanish language stories I’m (very slowly) reading. Also, I need to find someone to chat with in Spanish very soon!
So that’s my plan for the year! This year I failed my reading and novel goals, but I did write the number of short stories I wanted to, and I did finish editing my novella and send it a few places. Goals can’t always be successes. But here’s to trying!
What are your goals for next year?