Last year I gave myself the goal of getting 50 rejections and ended up falling miserably short. However, I did learn quite a bit when it comes to goal setting my writing like that. First of all, I need to be more realistic. Second of all, not every goal is going to work for me.
The idea of getting 50 rejections seemed like a good one at the time because it would motivate me to submit more of my short stories. The problem with this approach is that I really don’t have the short story inventory to generate that many rejections, particularly when the rejection process is on a completely different time table. I have no control over when I get the rejections. They can take days or months. Combine that with a limited inventory and I found out that I tore my ACL before I even made it out onto the track.
However, had I not given it a go, I wouldn’t have learned that. I’m a sucker for learning things the hard way.
This year, I’m going to take a different approach to my writing goals.
My biggest goal is going to be revising The World (Saving) Series to a point of doneness. Not THE point of doneness, but A point of doneness. That means that I want to get the novel to a point that I’m done messing with the story and the structure and all I’m worried about is consistency, word choice, and descriptions. I want to be satisfied with the big picture of the story, so to speak. Giving myself until the end of the year seems reasonable, I think.
I’ve got seven short stories waiting on my ready list. I want to submit them all at least once. I’ve got three stories still out from last year. If they all get rejected, then I want to submit them all at least once, too. Any new short stories I write, I want to send those out at least once as well. Not exactly a lofty goal, for sure, but sometimes I feel very divided with my writing. This is a way to motivate some progress without being too hard on myself and getting discouraged. It also encourages me to give all of my stories a chance on the market instead of holding them back, afraid to let them be seen by the world.
I haven’t abandoned my idea to edit Night of the Nothing Man into a novella and self-publish it. That will get done sometime this year.
My current sooper-sekrit project is under way. Even though I don’t want to talk about it, I’m working on it. And even if I don’t like the way it’s going or think it’s a flop, I’m still going to finish it. I need to develop a little faith in myself when it comes to working on non-fiction projects (that’s the only hint you’re going to get!).
I think these goals are good enough to keep me busy for the year. We’ll see how it shakes out.
If you’re taking bets on if I’ll be scrambling to submit stories in December, it’s probably a pretty safe bet to take. I know me.