Thursday, November 1, 2012

2013 Goal #2: Submit 36 Short Works for the First Time

I'm going to be working out my 2013 goals publicly here on my blog over the next couple of months. Note that all of these posts will be considered "First Draft" goals, subject to being modified, enhanced, shrunk, contorted, folded, spindled, mutilated, or even out-and-out obliterated at my own future whim. These goals are also being presented simply in the order that I decide upon them. So Goal #1 isn't any more important than Goal #5 (or whatever). I probably will reorder the goals in order of importance when I go to wrap this all together in a final set of 2013 goals.
2013 Writing Goal #2: Submit 36 Short Works for the First Time

As I've talked about in an earlier post, short fiction is my favorite thing to write. It's also what I've put the most energy so far into developing a certain level of proficiency with.

To continue driving myself forward with development as a short fiction writer, one of my goals for 2012 will be to submit 36 short works (anything from short-shorts to novellas) during the year. This works out nicely to three a month or, if you want to think of it differently, about one every 10 days.

I resisted going with a goal of 52 (which would be a true Write 1/Sub 1 pace) because one of the other goals I'm going to have for this year -- which I haven't quite formulated yet -- will involve working at stretching out into longer short stories, novelettes, and novellas. I've done very little work so far at those lengths and would like to develop more comfort with them. I realize that, in a way, this may seem to contradict what I had said earlier. But, at least from a marketing perspective in the traditional publishing world, there is a fairly clear dividing line between novels and Everything Shorter Than Novels. And I expect the vast majority of my stories will still be firmly in the Short Story length, but in an attempt to try to help give myself a bit more time for each story, I'm going with the slightly-less-ambitious 36 story goal.

Notice also that I mentioned submitting the stories. That means if I write a story and then don't polish it and get it out the door, it doesn't count. On the flip side, if I'm able to take a story which I wrote this year (or even last year) and haven't previously gotten out the door and make it submission-worthy, then that story would count for this metric.

I expect to have more goals specifically around short fiction but I am still working on formulating those. And this one, I suspect, will end up being the Big Goal for the year. Because for now I consider myself to be a short fiction writer and this goal drives me to write and submit short fiction. Convenient, isn't that?

As far as how I will approach this goal, I don't expect it to involve any real new routines. I've worked at this pace since I started writing again in mid-2011 and, if anything, I might have more time for fiction writing if I pare back my blog time. So, this goal might not be a huge stretch for me, but at the same time it would also represent a significant amount of productivity, assuming I do indeed meet the goal.


  1. Wow, that's ambitious!

    Go for it, Michael!

  2. That's a great goal, Michael. And like you, I only count submitted stories. That's a really good way to motivate you to finish the things.

  3. That's an awesome goal! I really like how you've set yourself clear and challenging objectives, but left some wiggle room to work on other goals too. Very cool.

  4. Thanks for the feedback, 1000th monkey, Deborah, and Megan. As always, I'll keep folks apprised throughout 2013 of my progress toward my goals.