Every year, I set goals for myself, and every three months, I review my progress. After the hectic summer I had (working 50 hours/week, 20 hour/week internship, two classes, and researching for my thesis), I don’t know why I’m even bothering because I didn’t accomplish anything this summer, but here goes anyways.
1. Finish my third novel, tentatively titled On the Other Side, which will be a steampunk political thriller because, well, why not.
This not only didn’t happen, but On The Other Side has been pushed out of line by outlines for two other novels that I might write first. One is about five characters very loosely based on people I met while interning at a homeless shelter, and the other is a sequel to The Lone Wolf.
2. Write and submit at least one new short story every month.
I’ve had two submissions in 2014: one for a publication that went defunct, and one rejection. I haven’t finished any new stories recently, but I’ve been heavily mulling over plot points; all I really need is to make myself sit down and write them. And then submit them.
I’ve recently joined a local writing group that starts each bimonthly meeting with a short story prompt. I’m hoping to finish each story I write and get them submitted.
3.Get a short story collection ready for publication (not including The Futility of Loving a Soldier, which will be out this fall from Evolved – hopefully).
I have three stories with similar themes and tones, plus a couple more half-finished stories that would fit with them. If I can get six done, I’ll publish them like I did with Us, Together.
4. Self-publish at least two long short stories.
I’m currently working on three that should come out to be about 10-20k words. Depending on when/if I get them done, I’ll probably go through my publisher, Evolved Publishing, rather than self-publish, like I did for “Not My Thing.” The results have been awesome for that – it hit #1 in July on Amazon’s free literary short stories list.
5. Read 100 books.
I’m at 43 – 24 books behind schedule.
6. Learn a new language – either Spanish, Tamil, Arabic, or Icelandic – to the point I can carry on a basic conversation in it.
I plan to really hit this goal this fall. I’m taking a class on campus once a week, so I’m hoping to get some language CDs to listen to on the hour-long drive. It’s nice to decompress to whatever’s on my iPod, but I feel kinda guilt for not being productive during that time, considering how much stuff I always have to do.
If you’ve set goals for yourself, how’re they going so far this year?