Having reviewed my 2010 objectives, it’s time to roll out those for 2011:
- Keep my priorities in order. The requirements of my spiritual life, family life, and day job have to come first.
- Submit quality work. Clean, tight, and worth reading. I know how it should look.
- Have fun. If the writing becomes a grind rather than a creative outlet, throttle back.
- Sustain. Short story submissions and general writing. Short stories keep my imagination active and my work in the public eye. It’s the writing I enjoy the most. Goals: 30 submissions to paying markets (includes resubs). Write at least 500 words of something (stories, blog, book reviews, etc.) Monday-Friday.
- Reach. Submit to more pro-level publications. This makes me accountable to improve the quality of my writing and take risks. Goal: 10 or more of the 30 submissions to professional markets like Asimov’s and F&SF.
- Broaden. Write some non-genre material. This will both improve my versatility and make me a better genre writer. Novel #3 will integrate some poetry, so I need to hone that skill. Goal: Write and submit 5 or more non-genre short stories and 5 or more poems to literary markets. (These are in addition to my goals in Sustain and Reach.)
- Network. Attend a writer’s conference this year and make some new contacts. Networking helps me build skills, friendships, business contacts, and word-of-mouth for my writing. Goals: 2 conferences, including my local major SF&F conference, ConQuesT. Make at least 10 new writing contacts outside the local area and 5 in the local area.
- Stretch. Try something that exceeds my expectations. Getting outside my comfort zone is the only way I’ll progress to the next level. Goals: Qualify for SFWA membership. Have The Seer ready for publication by November (assuming my publisher still wants it). Finish my two novels under construction, and develop concepts for two more.
- Study. Improve my writing skills. This will help my writing become more polished and professional. Goal: Take a writing course this year.
- Read. Maintain a habit of reading consistently. A good writer must be a reader. I need to read more literary fiction if I want to write it well. Goal: 1 book a month, at least 25% literary or non-fiction.