Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Goals for 2012

As I look at this month, I don't think I'm going to hit all my goals. Finishing A Fistful of Earth, for example. (Sorry about that.) I had to take most of last week off, which put a serious crimp in getting my goals accomplished.

(By the way, as Dean Wesley Smith reminded readers recently on his blog and Kristine Kathryn Rusch points out in her Freelancer's Survival Guide, goals are things you can control. Things you can't control are dreams. So word count output? That's a goal. Number of sales? That's a dream.)

So I'm taking a deep breath and setting up some public goals for 2012. Who's with me?

Goal #1: Write 50k words of fiction per month.

I'm doing the "50k words per month" thing with Margo Lerwill, fellow fantasy author. (If you're a fantasy fan and haven't read any of her short stories yet, shoo! They're $0.99 US each, and most are in the word count borderland between "short story" and "novelette".)

Not sure how she'll be tallying her words, but for me, it's of fiction. The blog posts here don't count. Forum posts don't count. Notes don't count.

Only story counts. An average of 2500 words per weekday. I even made myself a checklist.

Goal #2: Write 1, Sub 1 (per week).

I plan to write and submit a short story a week to markets. Considering my goal of writing 600k words of story this coming year, this goal should be a stepping stone for that other one.

Of course, it's one thing to know that you're capable of something, and doing it is another thing entirely. That's why I found a buddy who's willing to try it with me—my in-person friend Holly Parker, whose primary publishing experience involves FanFiction.net. Right now, she doesn't even know how to find story markets. She's learning that this week (I'm helping). Even writing original stories will be a challenge for her, but she's open to it.

I made a checklist by week for this, too—and submissions tracker worksheet on Google Docs, so we can keep each other accountable. I even set up a plan for the year, with characters/themes I can focus on each month, so I don't get overwhelmed.

Goal #3: Finish and release the Chronicles of Marsdenfel.

By Christmas next year, I want to have all 4 books out: A Fistful of Fire, A Fistful of Earth, A Fistful of Water, and A Fistful of Air.

Ideally, I also want to release print versions and a bundled version. (Note: I've been holding back on print version just yet due to cover image quality. I'm trying something that, if it works, will make photo stock quality a non-issue for that series.)

I think this one's self-explanatory. ^_^

Notice that none of my goals are about sales figures.

I can't control those. Thus the goals on things that I can control: output.

I have other goals, an entire 3x5 card full of them, some of which will help fulfill the others. But these are the three I'm making public.

What are your writing goals for 2012? Want to join Margo and me on the 50k words per month? Or what about Holly and me on Write 1, Sub 1?


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