In 2019, I didn’t have clear, quantifiable goals so I had to generalize, but this year, I have very clearly laid-out goals I’d wanted to hit on both the writing front and the personal front. The situation with the virus this past year notwithstanding, I’m incredibly pleased with what I’ve managed to accomplish.
1) 250,000 words spread between short stories, writing exercises and novels. This goal I barely managed to hit. As long as I add in blog posts, failed stories, removed words, and critiques, I’ve passed the 250,000 number with flying colors, but otherwise, I’ve come up slightly short. That being said, in 2019 I’d written less than 80,000, so instead of being upset with myself, I’m satisfied. The amount of words shows just how much time I’ve put into my writing, both in finished projects and in practice.
2) Maintain a rolling 7 submissions out at any given time. Coming to do this post, I thought I had made a goal of 15 or 12 or 10, and was utterly shocked to realized that I’d only demanded 7! 7 concurrent submissions out at any one time, with the number never going below. I’m beyond stoked because by mid-year I had gotten myself to a rolling 10/12 (that shrunk slightly during the Odyssey Workshop) and then shot all the way up to over 20 in the last quarter of the year. I am at a pretty stable 15 at the moment, with a couple of holds and a couple more that feel like holds. My total submission number ended at about 97. [After writing this I received an acceptance for a story that had been sim subbed to three places, so my total submissions number is actually at 12 at the publication of this post.]
3) Attend at least 2 conventions (I toyed with the idea of requesting to be on panels, but I’m allowing myself to not fulfill that eventual goal.) This one, which was most assuredly the hardest going into the year, ended up a little easier thanks to COVID. So many conventions took to doing virtual experiences because in-person was cancelled, that I ended up having opportunities I never thought I’d have. I did not attend Balticon because I couldn’t figure out what they were doing and by the time I did I had committed to DreamFoundry, which was the weekend before or after and Odyssey was about to begin so I was super stressed. However, I did participate on my first panel at DreamFoundry. (I was awful and only just signed a release form for it to be posted, because I had to first swallow all my anxieties about it.) I also attended the Nebula Conference as I’m officially a part of SFWA, as well as WorldCon—ConNewZealand—and Capclave, none of which I did panels for, but I did attend kaffeeklatsches, which I think is just as brave in terms of social anxiety practice.
4) Not disappear off social media. Sooo, I did sort of disappear off FaceBook. I don’t like FB at all and there’s a good possibility I might just link my blog posts over there and ignore the whole platform other than that. I also struggled with blog posts in the back half of the year. However, I did slowly begin to be more social on Twitter, which I’m quite proud of, as well as joined a few Slack and Discord channels, which, while my participation is still spotty, I am striving to exist. This is a goal that I think I can do better this coming year, but am pretty happy with how far I’ve come this past year.
Quantifiable Writing Achievements:
I submitted a total of 97 times. Of that, I received 3 acceptances, the first of which was published in October 2020. The second two are forthcoming in 2021. All three of these stories were written in 2020.
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