Goal Setting and Other Overrated Activities, 2008 edition


The obligation of every writer is to give some reflection on the year past when it's December/January.  It's lame, but true.

Last year was one of my more successful in writing. I placed in several contests (including two first place finishes in poetry competitions), had a fair amount of work published, and started to find my groove as a writer. I originally set a goal to write 100 works in 2007. That was a lofty goal that I did not meet, but I did write nearly 70 pieces of fiction and poetry, my most productive year yet. There’s nothing wrong with not meeting a high level goal if it still pushes your boundaries, right?

I also had tough experiences. For one, I severed ties to the press that was going to put out my manuscript My Own Brand of Blues, leaving the book with no publisher.  This was after the publisher decided that she wanted to focus on being an author herself rather than a publisher, despite my three years of patient waiting.  Sigh.  Also, a professional exam that I took in October left me so drained that I did not participate in the Nanowrimo challenge (write a novel in one month - November) like I had planned. And the unfortunate crash of a trusted USB drive left me scrambling to recover two years of work that I had been less than diligent about backing up. These and other setbacks have left me humble, which is good. I realize I might have some talent and am willing to put in hard work, but becoming a successful writer is not my birthright – I have to earn this. And I will.

So now, my goals for 2k8: I am going to try again for 100 works written – we’ll see if I can get that goal this time; if not, it sure makes me write a lot, so it’s a win-win for me. I want to find a home for my poetry manuscript – I think it has an urgent message that needs to be heard (by the few people who actually read poetry, lol), and getting a full length book published is a step I need to climb. Finally, I want to take part in Nanowrimo – which may take better planning than I had in 2007, so that I don’t find myself punking out when November rolls around.

I look forward to making my mark in 2008, and hope that you’ll be around to read all about it.