Monday, January 2, 2012

December Goals Wrapup/January Goals Refresher

As part of the #writemotivation project, I'll be blogging every Monday this month about how things are going with my writing goals. It won't usually be the only focus of the blog post but today, with the December goals wrap-up to cover as well, it will be.

First, here were my December goals:

1) Write and submit a new short story for each weekend in December. - This one was interesting. It was my attempt at doing a mini Weekly "Write 1/Sub 1." I think I can basically say I met this goal. My records show I finished first drafts of nine stories in December. Of those, five are in submission and the others are still being worked on. I'm glad I plan on doing the Monthly "Write 1/Sub 1" this year, though. I expect I'll end up writing a bunch more short stories than 12 this year, but trying to juggle first drafts and revisions and submissions to make sure that one new work was getting subbed out each and every week was a bit hairy.
2) Keep my regular blogging schedule with the exception of a possible Christmas weekend hiatus. - Done.
3) Make decisions on how to proceed with four stories written earlier this year which are not yet on submission and act on those decisions. - Well, first of all, it was three stories, not four. I did OK with this goal, but not great. Two of the three went through final revisions and got sent out. The third is still sitting around waiting for me to circle back to it.
4) Read at least fifty short stories which are new to me. - This was a bit more challenging than I thought it would be, especially since I restricted the stories which "counted" to stories which had been published in the last year or so. The point was to improve my understanding of some of the markets out there which I felt less sure about what "type" of stories they liked to print. To that end, I think it was somewhat useful, and it's definitely something I should try to do in other months as well.
5) Draft January goals to align with my second pass through "Adrift." - Done.

Now the January goals. These are slightly refined from the original comments I made around my 2012 goals in December.

1) Spend time in the first half of January analyzing my first draft of "Adrift" and time in the second half of January planning the second draft.
2) Write 25,000 words of new fiction including at least one new short story.
3) Keep all my writing routines -- Seinfeld Chain, blogging schedule, etc.
4) On 1/31, have one non-time-sensitive blog post written and ready for future use on a day when I'm not able to post something "new."
5) Submit one or more short stories for the first time this month.

The one of these that I feel most "edgy" about it the 25,000 words. When I first said that in early December, it didn't sound like a bit deal at all. Heck, I'd just finished writing 60,000+ words in November! But that was mostly in the context of writing a novel, all of it first draft. In December I wrote a bunch and while I didn't keep track of words per day or anything like that, a generous accounting has me coming up with something like 22,500 words for the month.

I thought about dialing that goal back down to 20,000 but this is ultimately part of the larger 250,000 words in 2012 goal. So, I want to see how it goes in a month that doesn't also include holiday madness. If I end up coming up short, I'll have better information for refining my goals in future months.

OK, that's the lot of them. (And, yeah, it feels like a lot of them right now...) I'll be posting my progress weekly this month, so you'll get to see how I'm coming along on a regular basis.

Best of luck to my fellow writers in achieving their writing goals for January!


  1. All the team meetings I go to at work tell me that goals are important. It must be true if it bears repeating, right?

  2. Hi, Michael! Not sure if you were going for a humorous comment or something deeper... So I'll assume the latter. ;)

    I'm sure there are lots of people who don't get value out of explicit goal-setting and goal-tracking. It may even be that a year from now I'll be saying "Eh, writing up my goals and keeping track of my progress used to be helpful for me, but I don't need it any more."

    At this point, though, what I know is that I've written more in the last four months than in the prior twenty years and I've had specific writing goals of one kind or another during all of that time.

  3. Great goals! Good luck and have a wonderful 2012. :)

  4. I'm in awe of your goals, not to mention your accomplishments. It takes drive to maintain that pace, you should throw a goal on there to celebrate occasionally, too!

  5. Your goals are fantastic! I'll cheer you on the whole way. But I know you can do it anyway :D

    Here's to a great start to 2012!

  6. Thanks, Christine, Julie, and KT! I appreciate all the encouragement.

  7. Your goals are aggressive but attainable, at least from what I've seen in visiting your blog in the past and seeing how you've done well in succeeding more times than not.

    So I see 2012 being a great year for you. We're all glad to encourage you along the way.

  8. Congratulations for your achievements! I hope you do even better with your new goals! :)

  9. Way to go on your accomplishments. Good luck with your new goals! Those are amazing :)

  10. Thanks, everyone. I'm making good progress on some of the goals so far, but need to get down to working on going through that first draft again here in the next few days. Hoping to make time for that over the weekend, if nothing else.