2019 Goals; 2020 Goals

It’s about that time when I look back at my writing goals for the past year and set my writing goals for the new year.

As always, I lose track of my yearly goals somewhere in the middle of the year, but I still think it’s a useful exercise to remember where I wanted to go and where I actually ended up.

For 2019, I wanted to:

  • Finish a first draft of my pirate novel
  • Edit my portal fantasy novel
  • Send my zombie novel to 100 agents, and if I got no bites, send it to indie houses that accept unsolicited manuscripts
  • Edit my pirate novel
  • Blog weekly
  • Continue writing sonnets

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how much of this I got done. I did indeed finish the first draft of my pirate novel, and while I did not edit the whole manuscript, I’m about half way through. The first half was the hard half (I’m telling myself), since we significantly changed the setup of the whole novel, and hopefully the further I get, the less I will have to edit in terms of plot and character dynamics.

I also managed to edit my portal fantasy novel, and I’ve even gotten some really helpful feedback from beta readers. There will be more editing to do than I hoped in the third draft, but I feel poised to finish the book strongly and get it all ready for agents this coming year.

I sent my zombie novel to well over 100 agents, and in fact several agents are still looking at it. Since it’s still under consideration, I haven’t started sending the manuscript to smaller indie houses. But that’s a can I’m willing to kick down the road for now.

I missed a few weeks of my blog here and there this year, but I’m happy that I have been mostly consistent, and that I’ve rarely felt like I didn’t have something writing or editing–related to write about. The blog continues to be a useful place for me to think out loud about my current writing challenges and questions.

I didn’t write many sonnets this year, but happily I placed two with journals, SUFI and God & Nature. These were my first creative publications, and both helped me feel more confident about my writing and future work.

Most of my 2020 writing goals continue directly from my work in 2019:

  • Finish the second draft of Pirates and get beta feedback
  • Finish the third draft of the portal fantasy novel and send it to agents
  • Follow up with agents interested in my zombie novel; if no dice, send to indie publishers
  • Blog weekly
  • Write poetry as able
  • Send poetry and short fiction to magazines for publication
  • Consider re-editing the memoir I wrote with my brother when we were both in graduate school

I’m sure I won’t get to all of it; as always, there’s more writing to be done than I can actually do. But I’m excited about the projects I’m planning to tackle this year.

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