Thursday, November 10, 2005

Setting Goals

I'll have more to say on WFC soon. (To sum up; if you were there and I talked to you, it was great but I wish we had talked more and you should email me right now. If you were there and I didn't talk to you, I wish I had and you should email me right now. If you weren't there, I really missed you and you should email me right now.) But first, some business.

For the past few years, as a note to myself, I've taken notice of what I've accomplished in the past year and what I hope to accomplish in the next. It helps me gauge my progress and my speed. My Writing Year starts and ends with the World Fantasy Convention; the only trouble is that I didn't make it to Tempe last year, and I let the year slide by without writing up new goals. So, I'm rolling the last two years into one report.

Work goals from 2003-2005:

>1. Finish the novel and be at least halfway finished with another one by next WFC.

Yeah, well, this just didn't happen. I mean, I did finish the manuscript I was working on, but I haven't started a new one yet. Perhaps this goal was unrealistic, what with grad school and all. But I'd have to give myself a C on this one.

>2. Same as last year--send the manuscript to agents--if still necessary. (Knock on wood.)

I now have an agent. So I can scratch this goal off the list. Yay!

>3. Write at least seven short stories, and keep submitting the ones I have.

I could be better about submitting them, but I managed to write fifteen short stories in the past two years, so I'll give myself a passing grade on this.

>4. Continue the writing group successfully.

The group I was in at the time I wrote this pretty much disintegrated, but I joined another one which is going very well. Another pass.

>5. Start a fiction zine and put out two issues.

I had intended to put out those two issues in one year, not two, but they did come out. Next year I'd like to do two.

>6. Do a reading at WisCon and WFC, and look into some other cons.

I did read at both WisCons, several times at Twilight Tales here in Chicago, and a couple of times at Quimby's, once with the Lady Churchill's folks and once with the Perpetual Motion Roadshow. Oh, and I read at WFC this past weekend, though it was a spontaneous event not on the program. But hey, I'm happy.

I also had some goals that weren't directly in my control which I set:

>1. Same as last year. Get an agent, sell two novels.

Like I said, I got the agent. The novels are pending.

>2. Sell four short stories.

I managed to sell sixteen stories, plus one poem. Very happy with this one.

So I'll give myself a B overall. I'm thrilled with the progress I've made, but I am ambitious. I want more. Hence, my writing goals for the next year:

1. Do the revisions my agent asked for on the latest manuscript, finish the children's novel I've begun, and get at least halfway through another novel by next WFC.

2. Write at least seven short stories and keep submitting.

3. Stay with the writing group and attend meetings regularly.

4. Put out two issues of The Dogtown Review.

5. Do readings at WisCon and WFC and any other opportunities that arise.

Goals not in my control and therefore likely to be highly unrealistic:

1. Sell two novels.

2. Sell eight short stories.

No big changes, really; I'm going to be trying to find my rhythm again after school, looking for a job, etc. But I'm getting a feel for what I can accomplish in a year, which is nice. On to Austin in '06!


Blogger Elizabeth Genco said...

That's a great list of goals. Very inspiring.

I definitely got some things accomplished this year, but not everything I wanted to. I have to give myself some credit, though. This is the year that I learned how to work, and that's an important lesson.

Then again, the year's not over yet. :)

3:39 PM  
Blogger Tim Akers said...

That's a good idea, putting goals down and posting them. I think I'll do that.

3:41 PM  

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