Goal-Tending

I can’t believe it–already we’re in August, over halfway through 2012. I’m late in doing a mid-point check-up on my goals, but hey, better late than never. So, here we go.

From my January post:

…here are my writing goals for 2012.

  • Work on my two main craft weaknesses: character arc and conflict.
  • By the end of the year, have six submissions out at any given time (thanks Sue Healy!)
  • Finish at least 2 short stories a month. (But I can be working on, researching, editing, etc, as many as I like. I just have to finish two.)
  • Continue to blog here, and otherwise widen my circle of writing contacts and acquaintances. (Yes, I’m a terrible wall flower, so this is a big goal for me.)

So, I’ll start with Number Two (you’ll see why shortly–there’s a reason, honest!). Currently, I have five submissions out. But, I’ve recently had 3 acceptances (yay!), so I’m giving myself a bit of time to get back up to six. Most of the year, I’ve had six or seven out, so I’m giving myself a check mark in the ‘Yes’ column for this one.

In a related venue, I’ve had 24 submissions all year, with those 3 acceptances and 5 still pending. That means I’m well-acquainted with rejections, having had 16 so far this year. BUT…I’ve gotten a couple rejections with great feedback, even some positive encouragement! It’s helped tremendously, both in my writing and just making me feel pretty good.

Which leads to goal Number One: working on craft weaknesses. I’m thinking that those rejections that came with feedback indicate that my craft is growing, that I’m getting better and stronger. No one comments positively on junk, so…a check mark here, too!

As for finishing 2 stories a month, well, it’s been a rocky road this year. Last month (thanks in part to the Write-a-thon) I finished a novella and two short stories. The month before, when my dog got sick and died, only one got finished before she fell so ill. And so it’s gone all year. Some months I’ve met the goal, some not. But at least I’m tracking this, seeing where I fell short, and why. And I’m not giving myself easy outs. So, no check here.

For the record, right now I’m actively writing on:

    • First Draft: 1
    • Later Editing Drafts: 5
    • At the Writers’ Group: 1
    • On indefinite “Pause” for thinking: 5
    • Ideas Consciously Percolating: 10-12

Finally, I’m obviously still here, still writing this blog. I’ve ‘met’ some wonderful writers this way, and I’ve read some great things–both fiction and on blogs. I can actually say I’m very happily surprised by the way this blog (and those of other writers, too) has connected me to people I’d never otherwise have met. And that is a check mark!

So far, I’ve met 3 of my 4 stated goals. I also met an unstated goal, which was applying for Clarion and Clarion West. Even though I didn’t get accepted, this helped me to view myself as a serious writer, and led me to the Write-a-thons, which helped me come closer to meeting my output goals.

Whew! It’s been a busy year. How are you progressing on your goals?

Well, I’ve got to get back to writing; I’ve got a story to finish this month to meet that pesky goal Number Three!

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About M.E. Garber

I'm an itinerant Ohio-born speculative fiction writer now living in north central Florida.
This entry was posted in goals, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Goal-Tending

  1. Gold stars for you! And your “for the record” bullet points are awesome. I can’t wait to read them!

    Like

    • M.E. Garber says:

      The stories in progress/being edited may seem great, but some have a nasty habit of becoming intractable, and they stay put too long. Sigh.

      I’ve always loved seeing other writers’ “stats,” though, so I couldn’t resist adding my own.

      Like

  2. Paul says:

    Great post. Keep this post handy for the next time you get the writing blues. Three stories accepted in four weeks & 3 for 4 on your goals for the year, that’s something special. Well done!!

    Like

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