Mid 2017 Goals Check-in: Where are we now?

19 Jun

So in January I outlined some pretty clear goals for the year. And the one thing I’m good at is looking at my goals ;). I figured its about time to check in on how far I’ve come this year.

Before I do that though I will say that I think the thing I need to do with my goals next year is to make them a little smarter and to dig a little deeper. I haven’t by any means finished all of my goals but I think I need to spend sometime getting underneath what I’m trying to achieve. So yes I want to get words down or words related to a project but why? What’s that for? What is that trying to serve? In other words I think I need to think about what my writing career goals are so that I can be in alignment on all my little goals rolling up to that and really serving that.

  1. Finish my re-write of Lycanthropy and dig in on editing the manuscript. I’m not where near done on this one and honestly unlikely to be finished. I decided to trunk this book. I was mid-rewrite and wondering where I was going. Considering that was my third re-write it was not a good sign. So I decided to give this one a rest and keep writing other things. Maybe as I improve my writing skills I’ll be able to come back and improve it but I’m also equally open to the idea that that was my first book and it will never get where it needs to be. That happens and it’s ok.
  2. Rewrite and Edit Through Time and Space. I still haven’t picked this one back up. Honestly I don’t think about it much. I should give it a look and see if there is anything there I think is worth salvaging. But there is definite lack of enthusiasm here.
  3. Write and submit three short stories. So far this year I have written (to completion) four short stories. I’ve also done a re-write of the Novella I worked on last year. I submitted one story so far and was rejected but have gotten some good feedback and will make some edits and send it out again. I’m still writing but I haven’t written anything I think it good enough to send off. I haven’t been doing the weekday novel, weekend short stories thing that I thought I would at the beginning of the year. When momentum was pushing me forward it made sense to keep that momentum going. I think the thing I need to do is read more short stories. I think that will help me to really figure out how to boil a story to it’s essence and keep it short.
  4. Participate in more local writing events. This year I took a class at Left Margin Lit which was an interesting experience. The class was interesting but some of the things said made biases clear. I also went to Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley. That was a good experience. Not all of the panels I attended were worth it (at least two were awful) but I did think a couple of them were worth it. To some degree doing this is about building my people skills, talking with other attendees and hopefully eventually talking to authors. If I think about it as an effort to do that then it was a good first step. I still plan to attend Litquake and I’m thinking about trying to Volunteer at least a little bit but I’m not sure :).
  5. Write a new novel. I did this one! Mark it as done :). For years a family of demon hunters has been swirling around my head trying to find purchase in the written word. The Harkeman’s are Buffy meets August: Osage County. I outlined this one quite a bit before I started writing and I think that helped a ton. It’s not exactly faithful to that outline but I think that helped a lot. Next step for this MS is to read it once without much critique (simple does this make sense as a story). Then to read it and outline it for whether each scene is about what each character wants. Then to read it for plot holes and continuity errors. I haven’t thought about about how I’m going to accomplish that goal yet but maybe I’ll try cutting my writing goal to 500 words in July or August and focus on the editing part of this project. Truly editing and thinking about it systematically is another thing on my list of things to learn. I’m not an amazing writer but if I an become an amazing editor and make my drafts way better than it won’t matter as much.
  6. Apply to at least one writing workshop, retreat or class. Mission accomplished. I applied and was rejected from Vona and Lambda Literary. I also took a class at Left Margin Lit. I’m thinking about taking another class but not sure what that would be.
  7. Be a part of the literary community consistently. I am… doing this. I have been beta-ing for folks and joined a critique group. I need to get better about building relationships (which to be honest is just my life) I tend to make friends by doing a lot for others and asking for nothing in return which just isn’t right. I’m working on it though. In a dream world I would find a couple of people I would feel comfortable consistently sharing my work with and getting critique from. I’m not sure if that will work for me but I do want to try.

So that’s where I am so far this year. Where are you at with your goals?

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