Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On Reasonable Goals

Short version: I'm against 'em.

I was going over my goals for the year with a member of my writing group. I've only achieved one of them so far, and only one more of them is even conceivably achievable at this point. And while I'd certainly rather be eligible for an SFWA membership with a novel out in circulation to agents and 30 stories currently out to editors, I personally think I probably wouldn't have gotten as much done if I were only shooting for a fraction of that.

I have a friend who used to sign her correspondences with "shoot for the moon, that way if you miss you'll be sure to land among the stars."

Like most everything, this is seems like something that will be highly individual. I certainly know some people who seem like if they set any goals, reasonable or otherwise, and didn't make them they'd quickly spiral into unproductive self-loathing, and others where if they feel like there's a chance they won't make their goals there wasn't really any point in setting them. But generally for me I think it's not a bad motivator, as far as all that goes. Nobody's depending on me making these goals; I'm not going to starve if I fall behind. So why not set them high enough that it'll really be something if I accomplish them?

As such, I'm keeping my unreasonable goals for the coming year and adding a couple of extra ones.

365000 words written or edited (it being a leap year I am generously giving myself 1000 words off)
Two novels in circulation to agents (I have two partial novels. I plan to get cracking in January on getting them into shape)
Seventy short stories in circulation (either waiting reply from publishers, or published and waiting for rights to free up)
Fifty-two new completed first drafts (I figure if I made the thirty stories goal for May I should be able to pull this off)
At least one writing exercise of some type every week (I feel like one of my problems this year was being complacent about my skill level)
At least one critiqued story or novel chapter per week (need to build some strong critiquing relationships)
At least one blog post that is not just a link to someone else's blog post per week.
Panelist at a convention (I'm pretty sure I can make this happen! And think how fun it will be!)
Contestant in Writers of the Future every quarter until I am no longer eligible.

Am I going to accomplish all that? I don't think it really matters. What matters is that I'm damn well going to try.

Goodnight, Internet. Sleep well.

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