• Writing

    2019 Stretch Goals

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    I intended to announce the stretch goals as one-offs, as the regular goals were met or if the stretch goals began to look possible. I’m going to stick to that basic concept, but right now, I’ll admit publicly to the ones that fit the bill right now, all at once. Basically, if it looks like there’s time enough left in the year to achieve one of them, it’s in this post.

    And we’ll talk Stretch and Super Stretch goals.

    Currently Relevant Stretch Goals

    1. First draft of one additional novel. This is actually already complete. I’ve logged the first draft as complete on four novels so far this year. The original goal was three, with one for the stretch goal. Completed: the last Troll World book, Welkiri Corps, Big Hair Day, and A Matter of Honour.
    2. 8 additional Short Stories edited. I’ve done three of those so far, and, honestly, expect to kick this goal pretty solidly.
    3. 25 Additional Blog Posts. I haven’t actually don’t the initial 100 posts, but I’m a touch over half way there and only a third of the way into the year. It seems reasonable for this goal to be publicly available.
    4. 10 Additional Journal entries. Since the initial was 50, and I’m at 71, I think I can mark the goal complete that took me to 60.
    5. 2 additional short pieces independently published, taking the total goal for the year to 6. As the third is set to go and the fourth is prepping for June, this is a reasonable goal to share.

    So I’m only making note of 5 Stretch Goals here, but there are 11 altogether, counting writing, publishing, and Secret goals. Yes, there are a couple of goals that I’m not publicizing at all until/unless it looks like they’re actually going to happen.

    Currently Relevant Super-Stretch Goals

    And the third class of standard goals is the Super Stretch variety. These are either extensions of Stretch Goals or are things I’ll pursue in the event of something specific being completed. Announcements on these will happen if it looks like there’s time enough left in the year to achieve them.

    1. First draft of one additional novel, bringing the total goal of drafted novels for the year to five. This book is in progress: Fallen Heroes, and will complete the Heroes Inc. trilogy. I’m actually over 1/3 through the plot.
    2. 15 Additional Journal entries, which puts the total goal for the year at 75. I’m not far off of this now, so I don’t think this is an issue.
    3. A second fanfic novel in the publishing queue. This one is possible, as I’ve finished the first draft of A Matter of Honour. Not high on my editing list right at the moment, but there’s quite a bit of 2019 left. Hoping this will happen near the end of the year.

    There are only 3 Super Stretch Goals listed here, but there are 12 in total, once again counting writing, publishing, and Secret goals. Others will be announced as they begin to look possible.

    At the beginning of the year, I doubted I’d need to make any targets beyond this level, but left the door open. I probably won’t, even if I start to hit the Super Stretch Goals. Instead, I’ll just keep writing and make the targets higher for next year. Rinse and repeat until things start to get to be in the right ballpark.

    The idea is that I set the annual goals for what I think normal writing/publishing operations will take me 10 months to do. Stretch Goals are for the last two months of the year if life cooperates during the first 10. Super Stretch are for those times when things flow really well for long enough. That’s working out so far this year, but it’s only May.

    Just keep writing.

    Be well, everyone.

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  • Publishing,  Writing

    2019 Writing Goals Update

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    So we’re four months and a bit into 2019. I thought it might be worth touching base on this year’s goals. The writing year is going quite well for me, and I’m hoping for that to continue. Working for that to continue. It occurs to me I should maybe be looking at these goals quarterly to see how I’m doing. As if I don’t have an excel file tracking progress on all of my goals for the year, even the ones I haven’t made public. Still, a quarterly review might be good and help keep me on track.

    But this time out:

    Writing Goals

    1. Plotting of the four novels. Unified Destiny plotting completed. Scorpion’s Prize and an as yet untitled book partially taking place on Curaçao in progress.
    2. First draft of three novels. Um, I’ve kicked this one already. First draft of the last Troll World book, Welkiri Corps, Big Hair Day, and A Matter of Honour, all completed in 2019. Three of them started this year. The last is a Star Trek fanfic story converted from audio drama scripts which is actually harder work than a regular first draft. Marked complete.
    3. Three novels to final draft. Only one so far: Hero’s Life. I’m working on the Troll World books as a group, so we’ll see how that turns out.
    4. 12 Short Stories. So far, only two complete, but one was an almost 9000-word novelette. A 3000-word short just finished yesterday.
    5. Editing on all of the Undead stories. Done. In fairness, about a quarter of them were at 3rd draft on January 1st. Marked complete.
    6. ST:FU to Final Draft. Complete. Just moved from one draft to the next and it worked out well. Marked complete.
    7. Finish the Haiku book. Still waiting for the lilacs to bloom to get the image I want.
    8. Book-length non-fiction project. I’m listening to the ISIRTA episodes at my leisure, but haven’t really started the detailed level of note-taking this is going to need.
    9. 100 Blog Posts. 51 so far. Half done at less than half the year complete, but it’s still a little lighter than I’d like, overall.
    10. 50 Journal entries. 71 so far. Honestly, I didn’t expect to journal this much. The Stretch Goal (which I’ll talk about in another post) here was 60. The Super Stretch is 75. Thinking that’s going to work out okay. Marked complete.

    Which says to me I can mark 4 of the 10 goals complete. Not bad for four months into the year. But remember that I set them based on minimum bench marks, bench marks I’ve been thrashing pretty handily so far. Whether life continues to cooperate is part of the equation.

    Publishing Goals

    Pushing ahead into the next phase of a writing career is the publishing side of things. Six primary goals set here.

    1. Shop 2 novels to agents and small presses. I haven’t done an awful lot of this yet.
    2. Independently publish 3 novels. One done, one ready.
    3. Indie route on a collection. Graceland is slotted to drop at the end of the month.
    4. Four shorter pieces to be indie published. “Thorvald’s Wyrd” and Turn the World Around have been released. “Babysitting the Taran-Saurus” is ready to go. “Mummy Powder” slotted for June. Three more planned for the year at this point, but I don’t promise that won’t change.
    5. 100 short story submissions to magazines, websites, and anthologies. So, with about a third of the year gone, I should be around 33, right? The actual count is 7 so far. Need some improvement here.
    6. All 7 of my Star Trek shorts will appear on Wattpad and maybe wind up being downloadable PDF files as well. Definitely PDFs involved. Three released so far with the rest slotted one per month beginning in July.

    So none of these met, but five of them in very good shape. A little more work needed here, but I’m almost caught up several fronts. Looking to make some additional inroads on the submissions and agent/small press front over the next little while.

    Be well, everyone.

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  • Writing

    2019: The Writing Goals

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    I’ve spent the last five months getting my writing back on track, ramping up the editing of drafted material, and prepping for some indie, and hopefully professional, publishing in 2019.

    Rather than talk about specific projects, even if I’ve got them in mind, I’m going to keep the goals listing very general. I do have a habit of reforecasting and modifying my plans on a regular basis, so I’m going to establish benchmarks here instead of specifics.

    I’m building my writing

    Writing Goals

    1. Plotting of the four novels I hope to write in 2020.
    2. First draft of three novels.
    3. Three novels to final draft.
    4. 12 Short Stories, which will likely mostly fall into the 3-7k range. Yes, scaling back to one completed story per month. There are reasons, which will be revealed in the fullness of time.
    5. Editing on all of the Undead stories. I’m starting the year with about a quarter of them at a finished third draft.
    6. ST:FU Final Draft. This may be harder than it sounds. The first draft was just a conversion from an audio drama script. The second will likely involve some heavy expansion.
    7. Finish the Haiku book. I just need the lilacs to bloom to get the image I want.
    8. Book-length non-fiction project. Hint: ISIRTA.
    9. 100 Blog Posts. 2 per week, which I managed in 2018, from the first of August onward.
    10. 50 Journal entries. 1 per week. There was a time when I kept a daily journal with entries 100-200 words long. I somehow doubt I’ll ever get back to that level.

    Making the writing piece of things only requires an average word count of 1100 per day. Counting all of my writing days in 2018, I averaged just a touch over 2000. That said, I’ve built a lot more editing into the plan than previously. Aside from all of the books I want to write, I have six novels somewhere past first draft complete but not having made it to or through final draft yet and at least 50 short stories that fall into the same category. Those numbers are only going to grow if I don’t start catching up.

    But 1100 words per day on average means that if all of my drafting is via dictation during commutes (which I hope it won’t be), I need to manage 1750 words per commuting day in 2019. As in every commuting day. I average about 40 words per minute composing and dictating while I drive. Not exactly fast, but that does add up to 2400 words per hour, which is roughly my daily total commute. 1750 seems achievable.

    Publishing Goals

    To preface these goals, I’ll note that I have seven novels and one collection sitting, waiting. Final draft complete, but I haven’t taken that next step. This year, I’m going to take a whole bunch of next steps.

    1. I’m going to shop 2 of those 7, at minimum, looking for either an agent or a small press for each.
    2. I’m going to independently publish 3 of the other 5.
    3. I’m also going the indie route on that collection.
    4. And on four shorter pieces, though nothing smaller than a long novelette.
    5. 100 short story submissions to magazines, websites, and anthologies.
    6. All 7 of my Star Trek shorts will appear on Wattpad and maybe wind up being downloadable PDF files as well.

    If it seems like a lot, it probably is, and there are certainly no guarantees. But I’m a firm believer in dreaming big. All of the writing goals are more than achievable if I stay more or less on the track I’ve been building for the last half year. The publishing ones are a new piece of the puzzle, except for short story submissions, so they don’t have any data to back them up, but we’ll see how things work out.

    There are also a handful of secret goals and stretch goals which I have detailed, but will probably only get shared on a one-by-one basis as conditions are met.

    Be well, everyone.

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