I nudged past 100,000 words of fiction written for 2012 a few days ago which is both really, really cool and also got me to thinking about what my goals will look like for next year.
Writing-wise, I'm in a very different place now than I was a year ago. This time last year I was only a couple of months into my return to writing. I was having fun, at least most of the time. I really didn't have any specific plan of attack, which makes sense given that I spontaneously started writing again, rather than having done so by design.
My goals for the year 2012 were shaped very much by what I did in those last few months of 2011. Two of my goals were based around NaNoWriMo (revising last year's novel and writing one this year) and a third was based on a word-count goal which I've since learned would be really hard to maintain while writing mostly short stories. (I'd aimed for 250,000 words. Realistically, I'll probably end at about half of that.)
I don't necessarily see myself putting more energy into novels in the near future. I'm much more comfortable with the short story form than I am with the novel form and short stories are what I've put my energy into developing a certain level of competence with over the past fourteen or so months. But not pursuing novels both opens up some opportunities (I can play around with a lot more story ideas per year.) and also closes some off. (It's next to impossible to make anything even close to "a living" with short fiction.)
I've thought a lot about that trade-off this year and, for now at least, it's one I'm comfortable making. If I thought that switching to novels would make it likely that I could write full-time, that would be one thing. But the level of success that would require is significant enough that I'm not interested in chasing that dream right now.
Before too long I'll start working on defining my goals for 2013. When I do, I'll think back on this past year and look to write the goals in such a way that they keep me on the path I've been on this year, working at writing short fiction regularly and trying to do what I can to improve my writing. It may not be a path to fame and fortune, but it's one I've enjoyed all the same.