Goals for 2013: Looking Back and Moving Forward

I recently looked at the goals that I set for myself for 2012, and I’m really pleased at how many of them I’ve met.

Here were my goals for 2012 and my assessment of whether I met them: 
  • Finish my MFA thesis – Check! My MFA thesis is completed, turned in, defended, I graduated!, and I now have the bound copy on my bookshelf. 
    • Submit these stories until they are published or I run out of suitable markets – Check! While I haven’t found a home for all of my thesis stories yet, they’re all on a healthy regimen of submission and revision. This is going to be an ongoing project, but I’m actively pursuing it so I’m calling it a goal met. 
  • Learn more about writing novels 
    • Begin writing a novel – Check! I particpated in NaNoWriMo this year, and while I didn’t complete a novel I did begin one. Actually, I started several. 
    • Workshop the first 5,000 words of a novel and the novel outline at DeepSouthCon – Check! Had a great workshop, got my butt kicked into gear, and met many lovely people. 
  • Attend at least one big convention (AWP & World Fantasy Convention are my top choices) – Check! I attended AWP and it was excellent. 
  • Continue to workshop stories with my Clarion West classmates – Check! 
  • Read more & seek out new authors – Check! I’ve been reading many more novels this year, especially YA, to get myself back into the groove of how a novel feels. I’ve started following YA review blogs, so that I have a better sense of which books will speak to me before I seek them out. 
  • Be more involved with my local geek community: writing, sci-fi, gaming – Check! I joined my local chapter of StarFleet and have attended events with my group, attended Con*Stellation, and participated in the Science Fiction Writers and Cake Appreciation Society reading this year at Con*Stellation.  

Shadow taking a rest after going for a walk
So what are my goals for 2013? 

  • Complete the first draft of one novel. 
  • Attend a residential novel writing workshop.
  • Keep my current stories in the submission/ revision queue until they sell or I run out of suitable markets. 
  • Write 3 new stories and submit them. 
  • Experiment with storytelling in different genres (like visual narratives and non-fiction)
My main goal for 2013 is to complete a novel. I still want to write a few new short stories and keep my finished stories out on submission, but I think that writing a novel is the next big step I need to take as a writer. Even if this one is a learning novel, it will help me get to the next novel, and the next. 
2013 is my year of the novel, and I’m going to tailor my goals to that end as I go along. What are your goals for the new year? 

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