Progress Report

“So, whatcha dooo-in?”

Since I just finished reviewing my daughter’s progress reports in painstaking detail at parent-teacher conferences (it’s all good–the girl is a lovely, well-behaved smartypants who must have been left on my doorstep by aliens), I figured it was time to review my writing progress against my goals for the year.  Here goes:

Ground Rules:

Keep my priorities in order – The writing doesn’t seem to be getting in the way of my spiritual, family, or work life, but as usual, I’d like the spiritual piece to be more consistent.  Grade: B+

Submit quality work – Doing my best.  Grade: A-

Have fun – Yup, still having a ball. Grade: A


  • Sustain. Slightly increase my short-story submissions.  Goal:  40 submissions to paying markets (includes resubs).

Man, I love Duotrope for tracking my submissions.  3 subs so far this year, 1 new, 2 resub.  I’m a little behind pace, but I’ll blame Liberty Hall for being on hiatus for a month and a half, since that’s where most of my short stories get vetted before I submit.  Grade: A-

  • Reach. Submit to more pro-level publications.  Goal:  10 or more submissions, including at least one to Asimov’s or F&SF.

Pretty good so far: 2 of 3 subs to pro-level pubs.  Grade: A

  • Broaden. Write some non-genre material.  Goal:  Write and submit 5 or more non-genre short stories.

Oh, right…I need to do this.  Nothing yet, but it’s early in the year.  Grade: D (It would have been F, but I have thought about it a couple of times). 

  • Network. Attend a writer’s conference this year and make some new contacts.  Goals:  1 conference, at least 5 new writing contacts and 2 in the local area.

Lots of new contacts, but no new ones yet in the local area.  I’ll be involved in an online conference later this year, does that count?  Why, yes…yes it does.  Grade: A-

  • Stretch. Try something that exceeds my expectations.  Goals:  Finish polishing my NaNo novel by March and shop it out somewhere.  Write another, better novel by year’s end.

Doing OK here…actually sent my NaNo novel to another, more experienced writer for review.  I’m thinking her feedback will probably push my polishing goal beyond March, though.  Came up with what I think is a cool idea for the next novel, something like The Prodigal Son plus Full Metal Panic plus Boys Over Flowers, in space.  Stop laughing!  I’m serious!  Grade: A- 

  • Study. Improve my writing skills.  Goal:  Learn 5 new things about the craft of writing this year, and apply them.

Hmm…I’ve been reading about everything but the craft of writing.  Bad, bad writer.  Get with the program!  Grade: F 

  • Read. Maintain a habit of reading consistently.  Goal:  1 book a month, with variety

Getting into a book blog tour has helped with this one.  Grade: A

So, overall grade is around a B.  Won’t get me into Harvard, but will probably satisfy the folks.  Gotta run now and buy Orson Scott Card’s book on writing.

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