You would think it was New Year’s Day judging by the hangovers Kris and I are nursing. Last night was… well. A night like one we haven’t had in awhile. And one our bodies would like us to avoid for the foreseeable future.
It’s time now, of course, to think about the turning of the page to a new month and a new year and with that page turn, to set some goals. My first goal is to post said goals here and then see how I do with them a year from now.
I hate the idea of resolutions. Especially New Year’s Resolutions. Talk about setting yourself up for failure. That said, it’s an important tradition and now is a good time for me to set some goals as I’ve been spending the last few months trying to get into new routines. And I thrive where there is a task at hand. Give me a to do list and I’ll complete it.
And so, it is with mixed feelings that I share my Writing and Reading goals for 2017.
Writing Goals for 2017
- 100 Rejections. If you follow me on Twitter you’ve already heard this one. I’ll talk a little after my list of writing goals about why I think this is so important and perfectly packaged. I would love if you’d join me by setting your own 100 resolutions goal and tweet it using #100rejections – you know you wanna.
- 7,000 Words/Week. I’m not sure about this one. 1,000 words a day is doable but as part of my developing a sustainable writing practice I’ve got to admit that I’m not sure I can write every day. I want to write every day. But sometimes on the weekends it doesn’t happen. Here’s to 1,400 Monday through Friday… or to getting in time on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Better Blogging. I’d like my blog to find itself this year. Ideally I’d like to post about reading, gaming, and food & drink in addition to creative/narrative nonfiction that is cohesive.
- More Blogging. Without sacrificing #3, of course. I’d like to post quality blogs once a week in January and then work my way up to 2-3/week. When there’s something to say.
- Reading About Writing. I’d like to work my way through three books on writing this year. In addition to the course I’m currently taking and the one I’d like to take next I don’t want to set something unrealistic. Depending on how this one goes, I’m going to modify it. The three books? On Writing, Writing Fiction, and The Portable MFA in Creative Writing.
- Write in the Light. I am very good at writing in my apartment. Very good. But it’s time to move into the light and connect with other writers face-to-face. I’m weighing attending a local writing group Tuesday. I’m also seriously considering a one day intensive at Gotham and then, possibly, a ten week workshop. I also want to stay active on the YeahWrite grids.
Before I get into my reading goals, I want to address the first goal for this year: 100 rejections. I apologize for not knowing who came up with the idea. I saw it in the Yeah Write coffeehouse on Facebook and immediately attached to it. Here’s why: it’s license to fail while also forcing you to write and submit your ass off. I’m making a slight variation to it and including contests as a submission/response because I have quite a few contests this year. By setting the goal to be rejected 100 times in 2017 I have to submit 100 things. More than that. And in fewer than 12 months because sometimes it takes forever to get a response. I love that this goal lacks anything that even slightly resembles pressure. It’s not about getting published. It’s about getting rejected. A lot.
Reading Goals for 2017
- Read More Short Fiction. I read a lot of novels but I don’t read much short fiction. For some reason it feels like cheating when I’m staring at a book count goal for the year which brings me to #2.
- Stop Being Weird About Reading. At some point I set a goal in goodreads to read a book a month. Each year I have added to this and this year I failed miserably. So, one of the weird things I do about reading is setting ridiculous goals. It’s not like I’m NOT a reader. I’m a voracious reader. I don’t need to set a goal to read. And I don’t need to fixate on reading x number of books. I also need to let go. If something doesn’t capture my attention right away (I’m looking at you, Truly, Madly, Guilty) there is no reason to keep reading it.
- Read About Writing. In addition to the books mentioned above I want to read more about writing. Articles, blog posts. Books. Sometimes it’s easy to get so caught up in writing that we forget that there are people who’ve made the mistakes already and can point us away from them. It’s good to discover some on our own, but I’m all for learning from others.
So, there you have it. My reading and writing goals for 2017. I’m looking forward to a more productive year on the writing front — especially with a few classes lined up and the possibility of connecting with other writers. I have two betas on Twitter I adore and of course S, but it’s not a bad idea to meet people locally, too. And to swap and crit and discuss. And stay motivated.
Did you post your 2017 writing goals? Share the link in the comments!