I like to set myself ambitious goals. When I began writing fiction in the summer of 2010 I had a straightforward yet difficult first target: to sell a story that year. Many freshman writers struggle for years before they accomplish that first sale, but I’m not patient enough to wait that long. Luckily I didn’t have to. I managed to get not one, but two stories published in 2010. Both sold to relatively modest markets, but nothing to be embarrassed by.
I wrote about my 2011 goals over here. I joined Write1Sub1, committing to write one short story every week in 2011. The goal was 10 story sales. To date, I’ve had a total of 17 short story sales this year, including three to professional markets and a sole reprint to the NJ Board of Education. And the year isn’t even over yet. I also joined SFWA, which was originally one of my goals for 2012.
So what is it I want to accomplish next year? Here’s a list:
Write longer stuff. I will probably write less stories next year, but they will hopefully be better, longer stories. Flash fiction has become my comfort zone, so I will push myself to write longer fiction until I feel as comfortable in the 3-5K word range as I do in under 1000.
To accomplish this, I will spend more time outlining and plotting each story before sitting down to write it. This is contrary to what I’ve done to date, which is to write mostly by the seat of my pants. I will also continue to participate in Write1Sub1, but at the rate of one story per month instead of one per week.
Be consistent. I will try to write at least 500 new words every day. That’s all-new content – editing previously written manuscripts doesn’t count. My biggest problem this year has been falling off the writing wagon for a few days or even a few weeks at a time. Training myself to write a little daily is a good start to accomplishing all of the other goals.
Upgrade SFWA membership - I’m currently an associate member. Full membership requires 3+ pro sales totaling $250+. I’m at 2 qualifying sales and around $150 – so a single short story sale or a couple of flash sales to pro markets will put me over the top.
Socialize. I have never attended a science fiction convention, nor met many of my fellow writers in person. Next year I will strive to fix that. We are planning a special launch event for an anthology I’m in (more details on that in January) so I will get to meet folks there, but I also hope to attend at least one major SF con in 2012.
Blog. Now that I have this spiffy WordPress blog, I am resolved to update it regularly. The goal is at least once a week, but possibly even more often if I have something interesting to talk about.
Novel! The above goals aren’t particularly ambitious. But this one is, for me. I’m completely lost and intimidated when it comes to undertaking a novel. As I continue to work on short fiction, I will research, outline and begin writing a novel. I don’t necessarily expect to finish it in 2012. In fact, I probably won’t start on it till later in the year. Until then I will continue to work on improving my writing, read books and articles on the craft, and maybe even attend a workshop.
This post is part of a W1S1 blog chain where a number of Absolute Write regulars talk about their writing goals for 2012 and how they plan to accomplish them. Samuel Mae started the chain on his blog this morning. Next up is A. G. Carpenter. Please check out their blogs, and those of all the other excellent people who hang out at the Absolute Write W1S1 sub-forum.