My only new year’s resolution is to teach myself how to use a planner effectively. I’ve been feeling very disorganized lately, and that’s had an effect on my writing. I’ve felt as if I haven’t been writing enough, and, in my mind, what I have written hasn’t been very good. The only way for me to fix that is to write more and write often. One could make an argument for increasing the amount of things that I read as part of my plan to be a successful writer, but who has time for books with twitter and tumblr and all these amazing vines all over the internet?
I came across a post on Facebook in which a fellow writer, Thaddeus Howze, gave a detailed and honest outline of his writing statistics in 2014, and laid out his strategies for increasing his output in 2015. I saw the utility in this kind of detailed strategic plan as soon as I started reading his post, and set to creating my own plan for the year ahead.
I’ll share the most relevant bits of this with you here. In the time that I sat down to write this, I realized that I have a lot of work to do. I’ve set some reasonable goals for myself, and I’m going to do my best to achieve them.
2014 in Review:
I consider 2014 to have been a pretty successful writing year. A few of my fiction and nonfiction pieces were published, and my writing gained quite a bit of visibility.
In professional sales of Fiction, I submitted seven short pieces to publications and three of those pieces appeared in print and online. One of these was a pro sale to an anthology. The other was hosted by an online journal of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Another story is forthcoming in an anthology with an date to be determined. One other story, which was written before 2014, appeared in an ebook distributed by the World Fantasy Awards.
In Nonfiction, I had a piece on my experiences while living in Korea published in The Mash Up Americans online Magazine. At the very end of 2014, I submitted a nonfiction essay to a literary publication, and I am awaiting the results. This is in addition to posts from this blog being reprinted in various media outlets (AtlantaBlackStar, WordPress Freshly Pressed).
Strategy for 2015
I have decided to break this part down into three sections.
- Writing and Publishing
- Community Building
Even though the last two portions, Branding and Community Building, aren’t technically related to my writing, they are important, as I publicize my writing and interests through twitter and other social networks, which assists me in networking with other writers and discovering resources.
- Complete a fantasy work of longer length for submission to a professional or semi-professional market.
- Finish edits on stories critiqued by [NAME OF WRITING GROUP REDACTED]. Finish incomplete short stories. Submit edited short stories to pro and semi-pro markets, submit incomplete short stories to [NAME OF WRITING GROUP REDACTED] for suggested critiques.
- Write MORE short stories. In 2014, I sat down and wrote eleven short stories. Of those eleven, five were completed. Three of the five short stories were submitted to anthologies or online publications. In 2015, I want to write twice as many short stories as I did in 2014. Failing that, I want to COMPLETE as many short stories as I attempted in 2014.
- Continue to build my voice as a cultural critic through frequent blogging and more submission of nonfiction pieces to online culture/review magazines and literary journals.
A doable goal for me is to complete AT LEAST one short story every 30 days, many of which will be written alongside a longer work that should have a completed first draft no later than April 2015. I will submit these stories to various professional or semi-professional publications every two months over the course of the next year. The key publications for me are:
- Daily Science Fiction
- Strange Horizons
- Heroic Fantasy Quarterly
Other publications are, however, options as acceptable as those mentioned above. As are any and all anthologies that call for submissions.
These are my 2015 goals. I’m going to try to stick to them as best I can. Maybe I’ll give up halfway through and decide to drown myself in Oreos and beer, who knows? I do know, though, that one surefire way to become a better writer is to write more. And ultimately, that’s the goal of all of this. I left off the Branding and Community Building parts because they’re for my eyes only (also, because they’re mostly just a mishmash of ideas and coffee stains). If I keep to this in 2014, there will be quite a few changes that I’ll be sharing in the future.
What are you doing to change up your 2015, for writing or art or anything? Drop a comment or if you’ve already blogged about it, drop a link to your blog in the comments. We all need as much support as we can get. 🙂