I had to look at my past performance honestly to understand what I could achieve in the span of a year. Outliers, like that time I knocked out 16k in 6 days, didn't count. More recently, I was doing the same wordcount in about 30 days, on average, consistently. These were stories I had no intention of putting on track to publication, so I was freewheeling it and not taking the time to make a good first draft.
I had to set milestones. So, no vague by-end-of-year-kazzam goals that I could choose to do whenever and however. What could I do in one month--how many pieces could I productively work on at the same time? What should I have done in 3 months? Every 3 months? Where could I push myself and where would I need slack?
I had to decide what areas of my writing I would focus on and which had to take a backseat. Since I wanted to get in the habit of being a prolific, published short story author, that meant no long works and no reviving old works.
I had to commit. That's where this post comes in. I'm 3 months into the year and doing better than projected in some areas while in others I'm way behind or doing nothing. It has helped in the past to make my goals known to a writer friend--sometimes known as an accountability buddy. I hope making my goals public (ha! Like anyone's reading this!) will add a bit more incentive to try harder.
So here are those goals. (If you do the math, you'll note I gave myself at least 2 months' padding, and I should be working on 3 pieces at a time):
- 4 for-publication pieces
- 8 token pieces
- 10 pieces polished
- 5 unique pieces subbed
- 1 for-pub piece
- 3 tokens (max)
- 3 polished
- 1 subbed
- 1 token completed
- 1 act (or a third) of for-pub completed
- 1 polished
Now you know where I'm at. Now you (yes, you!) can nudge me on how it's coming along. I ain't scairt.