Thursday, December 6, 2012

2013 Goal #5: Attend Four Conventions (And a Non-Goal. No Word Count Goal for 2013)

I'm going to be working out my 2013 goals publicly here on my blog between now and the end of the year. 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 #5: Attend Four Conventions

This is a rather straight-foward goal. I want to continue to work at meeting other writers and getting the benefits of going to conventions. The most difficult thing was deciding what number to place on this goal. On the one hand, there are three conventions locally (Marcon, Context, and -- if I include it -- Pulpfest). On the other hand, with a family, making time to go to these events can be a challenge.

Still, in the end, I decided that these are goals, not "must-do"s. I'd like to travel to at least one out-of-state convention again this coming year. So setting the goal at four feels right.

This may well end up being the last of my draft goals. One goal which I explicitly know I will NOT have for 2013 is a word count goal. This isn't because I missed (badly) on my 2012 word count goal. I have two main reasons.

1) It's a bit of an awkward goal to track. I had a spreadsheet which I was using to track it for the better part of 2012 before I realized I wasn't going to make my goal and that I didn't really need to know exactly how many words I'd written in 2012 anyway. Once I set up the spreadsheet it wasn't terribly hard, but it still meant a little bit of fiddling on a lot of days.

2) More importantly, I'm not trying to produce words. I'm trying to produce completed, out-the-door stories. I've put together multiple goals around story production, so I should be well covered in that regard. In theory could I write 4 7500 word novelettes and 32 100 word drabbles and meet my goal? Well... Yes. But it would be obvious to myself and everyone else that this was cheating and not really moving me forward. And if I was inclined to go that route, I doubt a word count goal would all of a sudden "shock" me out of such an approach.

I suspect there's a very good chance I'll end up writing 100,000 words in 2013. And I'll certainly have a good idea of my count of final draft words for 2013. But I won't be tracking every word day-by-day because it just doesn't seem like a productive activity for me at this time.


  1. You're trying to write 36 stories in 2013? That's a hard one. If you need to write a drabble or a flash fiction to make the week's quota, you definitely should. With this kind of goal, it feels like you can't underperform for too many weeks before it becomes difficult to catch up.

    Still, it's totes doable. Good luck!

    1. Thanks for the comments and encouragement.

      It's not a HUGE stretch for me. If I counted correctly just now I've submitted at least 32 stories for the first time in 2012 and that is without any specific goals around story submission counts.

      You're right that it's not one I can afford to get behind on and I'm sure there will be quite a few flash stories in there since that's a length I like working at.

  2. On goals, I don't think it is as important in actually meeting them as it is in setting them and striving for them.
    I understand the word count goal being a pain. Though I have kept track of what I've written daily this year, it is inconsistent with 'what' I'm writing. Some 1,000 word stories flowed out much more slowly than some 3K stories.
    But what I did discover in keeping track of my word count was when I was most motivated (definitely in the beginning and in months without holidays), what my average count per week was, and not to worry if I produced little one week, because other weeks I did really well.
    Good luck with the conventions goal - that's a good one.

    1. Erin,

      I absolutely agree that setting and striving is the most important part. I do think it's good to also set goals which you CAN meet because there is a certain joy in reaching a goal, especially one that required a little extra push to get there.

      Sounds like you had a good year and learned something useful about your own writing practices. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Putting your goals up on your blog will be good for you. People will encourage and admonish you and will give you a bit of accountability too, since you know that your readers will be keeping up with you. I look forward to hearing how it all goes.