Nails dragged across a chalkboard. Two pieces of Styrofoam rubbed together. George Dubya giving a speech. All are infinitely more appealing than progress analysis, a crucial step in goal achievement. How do I know where I’m at in my plan for 2010 if I don’t stop to look at what I’ve done and what I haven’t done? Simple, I won’t know until I face the executioner, I mean, music.
Goal #1 – Write at least 1,000 words a day…Finish manuscript by March 1st.
Results – Failed. I wrote approximately 48,000 words between January 13 – March 31, 2010.
I must not whip myself. I must not whip myself.
Okay, I’ve already given myself a stern, mental tongue-lashing for my failure to achieve Goal #1. No excuses. It was my fault. Period. Therefore, I’ve adjusted the deadline to May 31, 2010.
I will not miss the new deadline.
Goal #2a – Write at least one book review per week…
Results – Failed. I wrote nine “reviews” between January 13 – March 31, 2010.
I aimed to write a total of twelve book “reviews” in 2010’s first three months but fell short, which could correspond to my failure to reach the monthly quota in the 75 Book Challenge. However, I feel like I’m in a groove now and reaching my quota for the book challenge and my goal for weekly book reviews won’t be an issue during the next three months.
Goal #2b – Write at least one movie review per week…
Results – Succeeded. I wrote thirteen movie reviews between January 13 – March 31, 2010.
Apparently, I have no problem with Goal #2b because I was on par in my first update and again in today’s update. What can I say? I love watching and writing about movies.
Goal #3 – Write an update on my manuscript at least once a week…
Results – Voided.
I learned that I don’t much like discussing my manuscript as I write it. Not really sure why but every time I talk about the story I feel like I lose part of its sparkle. Yeah, weird, I know. That’s the only way I can explain it though. Therefore, I’ll only post manuscript updates after I finish each one, as I work through their revisions, and submit each one for publication.
Goal #4 – Start a short story by January 8, 2010.
Results – Succeeded and revamped.
Short stories were always fun to write. But for some reason, I guess because they insist success isn’t in short stories, I lost my gumption for writing shorts. Thankfully, I discovered Write Anything’s Fiction Friday and Mad Utopia’s Friday Flash. Both sites allowed me the creative freedom to play around with some of my ideas and post them as flash fiction (really short stories) that others in the community might read.
I cannot describe how much effin fun I’ve had writing (and reading) flash fiction. Yeah, I’m still learning the mechanics of super shorts but the learning and the writing and the revisions excite me and get me amped up to continue adding to my novel’s word count. It’s almost as if completing short fiction refuels my long fiction tank.
Side note: Between my blog posts (I published 53 which varied from 500 to 1,500 words each) and my current novel manuscript, I wrote approximately 90,000 words between January 13 – March 31, 2010. Even if I didn’t meet all my goals, I feel proud I did write so much in the first three months. There’s definitely truth to the “butt in seat” approach to writing. The key to that approach, however, is making sure one’s butt doesn’t skip the seat for, say, TV or naps or outdoor frolics.
Below is the reimagined version of my plan for 2010, including goals outside of writing, blogging and reading, and the categories are in no particular order.
#1 – Write 1,000 words per day on current novel-length manuscript.
[Finish Buzzards by May 31st.]
#2 – Write one short story (1,600 – 5,000 words) per month.
[Finish An Isolated Incident by April 30th.]
#3 – Write one flash fiction piece (under 1,500 words) per week.
[Finish David and Dawn‘s story by April 30th.]
#1 – Publish posts six days per week.
[Write posts in one session for the following week. Sundays.]
#2 – Continue to foster online relationships.
[Visit favorite blogs at least once per week. Saturdays and/or Sundays.]
#3 – Update “Links” pages.
[Include more horror and writers’ blogs and resources that I visit regularly.]
#4 – Complete the 2010 Blog Improvement Project.
#5 – Complete the 2010 Creative Every Day Challenge.
#1 – Read daily for at least two hours.
#2 – Complete the 75 Book Challenge.
#1 – Sign at least two new clients in 2010.
[I signed my fourth client in March.]
#2 – Continue to post non-fiction articles in article directories.
#3 – Submit non-published, non-fiction articles to print and online business magazines and sites.
#4 – Continue with four-day schedule and time management plan to complete daily tasks.
#1 – Complete according to “Chores” list.
#2 – Complete weekend remodeling projects.
#3 – Complete weekend landscaping projects. (Also, daily upkeep when necessary.)
#4 – Complete major repair projects: roof, plumbing, furnace, and garage door.
#1 – Maintain daily one-on-one lesson schedule.
#2 – Maintain daily one-on-one playtime / chit chats.
#3 – Attend weekly activity: My daughter’s choice for this summer is horsemanship lessons.
#4 – Attend weekly field trips: Franklin Park Conservatory, COSI, Columbus Zoo, regular library, new caverns, new museum, new art gallery.
#5 – Continue research into age appropriate art classes and volunteerism.
#1 – Make final decision on which organization to volunteer for.
#2 – Build personal relationships at least one day or night per week.
#3 – Maintain fitness routine.
#4 – Attend my first horror convention.
#5 – Attend my first UFC event.
In closing, I’ll leave you with a motivational quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald:
Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.
Have you evaluated the progress you’ve made (or haven’t made) on your 2010 goals? What are you going to do to make those goals (aka dreams) a reality?