2012 Results and 2013 Goals

Discussion in 'Writing' started by JRMurdock, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

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    I used to make New Year's resolutions. Those are little more than wish lists (I want to write more. I want to lose weight. Etc.). Now I make New Year's Goals!

    It's now December. NaNoWriMo is over and we're coming into the Holiday Season. Now is a great time to see how you did this year and what you hope to accomplish next year. Why wait for the New Year's rush, right?

    Last year I set out to write 450,000 words, complete a few novels, several short stories, and successfully complete NaNoWriMo. I built a spreadsheet to track my word progress throughout the year.

    As of this writing I've written 467,615 words (I love my spreadsheet).
    I completed 3 books, 3 Novellas, 4 new short stories, and added a lot of words to a serialized podcast, and got half way through two other novels.
    I also blogged on a continuing basis (as daily as I could), wrote book reviews, movie reviews, and some basic writing advice.
    I got better at editing ebooks and published 5 short stories myself and had 3 stories picked up for publication.
    I wrote 50,105 words During NaNoWriMo (winner!)

    Next year it is my intention to:
    Write 500,000 words (gotta push the limit, right?)
    Complete 5 novels (those two partials and 3 new novels)
    Publish 5 already completed, edited novels.
    Publish at least 5 new short stories.
    Publish 3 new novellas (in the same series as the two from 2012)

    I have big ambitions for the coming year. I've set these as goals, not just hopes and ambitions. I'm going to work on setting dates for when writing needs to be done and when books need to be ready for publication. For 2012 I wanted to take my writing more seriously and actually write as much as I could. Now that I know I can write a lot, it's time to see just how many books I can produce in a year (write and/or publish). 2013 is going to be a highly active year for me.

    Now comes the question(s): What are your plans for 2013 and how did you do in 2012? Do you write down your goals? Do you track your progress? Are you exciting for the coming year? Anxious? Nervous? Scared? Where do you see yourself now and where do you see yourself at the end of 2013 and just how do you plan on getting there?
     
  2. RedMage

    RedMage There is no tomorrow

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    Ok Mr. Murdock, I am a bit behind you. I had a few goals for 2012 which I set in May:
    --Finish rewrite of novel 1
    --Be 1/2 way through novel 2
    --Read so many books

    I know I wrote these down but I had to move unexpectedly shortly after doing so and now I have no idea where the page is. But I know it was tacked to my wall for several days before I was forced to move!

    Anyways, I think this year I am going to this electronically and make some more specific goals, such as you are describing for yourself. Though I have not accomplished any of those goals I set for 2012, I do think I am in better place writing-wise and more able to accomplish new goals than I was a year ago at this time. So, for next year:

    2013 Goals
    --Write 300,000 words (25k per month because I know I can do it for one month, but all year?)
    --Write 2 novels (the cars are built, or nearly, and they just need the key to be turned in the ignition)
    --Read 12 published novels (1 per month because I am a slow reader but need to read more, more, more)
    --Start a blog for my writing (I've got nothing ready to publish but you can't start promoting yourself too early. Plus it will give me the great motivation of a public place to keep track of these goals and my progress on them.)

    These are just off the top of my head now, before I go to bed, which I have intended for a while and would really like to accomplish. I'm sure there are more though and I'll add to this list. Because, at this time next year, I would really like to have something more to point to having accomplished than just a list of intentions and some wishy washy dreams that may or may not happen. And the only way to do that is to sit down and do it.
     
  3. Wilson Geiger

    Wilson Geiger Greymane

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    I don't think I had any specific goals for the past year, other than to 'write more'. Having come back to writing after a long absence, I didn't want to press my luck by demanding numbers I wasn't sure I could commit to. That's definitely a change I've made in myself though; now I have those expectations, and largely I've met my unwritten goal.

    Now that I write mostly on a daily basis, it might be a good idea to get these goals down in writing. I won't make a yearly word goal, as that sounds like more work than maybe I want to go through to track it all.

    • Complete first draft of novel, book one in the series, that is approximately halfway done at this point.
    • Edit, revise, and determine if the finished product has potential.
    • Complete first draft of second novel, book two in series.
    • Look at publication through Amazon, other e-pubs while also querying in traditional market.
    • Complete first draft of a work-in-progress novel that was halted earlier this year, 30,000 words in, due to NaNoWriMo.
    • Continue to write flash fic and short stories, with an eye towards submissions.
    • Submit at least ten stories in the coming year, more than the zero I did this year.
    • Continue to update my site and blog on a weekly basis, daily when possible. Maintain feedback on site and name growth.
     
  4. Andrew Leon Hudson

    Andrew Leon Hudson sf-icionado / horror-ator

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    In order of ambition, my 2013:

    1. Finish, polish and submit (or self-publish) novel WIP: 40,000 words required, plus redrafting.
    2. At least make a start on the first sequel: 75,000 words, estimated.
    3. Complete and submit planned sf novella: 20-30,000 words, estimated.
    4. Write at least one short and one flash story per month. ssfworld will help with that...
    5. Polish/rewrite and resubmit every existing unpublished short story I have.
    6. Compile any stories in 5 still not accepted for self-publishing in 2014.
     
  5. suboptimal

    suboptimal Registered User

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    Last year I told my wife that my goal for 2012 was to write a novel. I had a fairly productive spurt of writing early in the year, but failed to make it a priority. The result is a lot of fragments and a frustratingly stalled primary WIP. My main achievement in 2012 was reading 30 or so SF novels, helping to reduce my reading deficit in the genre I would like to write in.

    For 2013 my goal is still to write a novel, but I intend to get more disciplined:

    1. Write every day: use my morning commute to write, and put in at least 1 hour at home.
    2. Let my imagination run free of my self-criticism, undoubtedly the single greatest hinderance to my progress. What this really means to me is: let myself write a bad, cliche story, and finish it.
    3. Enroll in a good small group writing course where I can rub elbows with other writers and benefit from having discipline imposed from the outside.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  6. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

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    Great goals one and all. I know I'm excited for 2013 to get here. I've had so much fun writing during 2012 that I can't imagine what 2013 will hold :) I hope everyone has the success they're looking for.

    Now the question, will you track these as goals or just make a wish list in your head?

    For me, if you didn't figure it out, I wrote everything down in a word doc that I'll have open each time I sit to write and I have an excel spread sheet that I'll also open each day when I sit to write. I found that keep my goals in front of my motivates, and keeping the spread sheet in front of me shows me how well or how poorly I'm doing. Nothing like keeping myself motivated. :)

    So how do each of you plan to hit these goals during the year?
     
  7. RedMage

    RedMage There is no tomorrow

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    I am motivated by others being aware of the goals I have set. By a public announcement of them. I was part of the monthly writing goals thread that was on these forums for a while and those really helped. I didn't always make my goal--I actually failed more often than not, but with only a few exceptions I did make an effort every time. In the end that is what I want out of myself, to have made the effort. Actually meeting the goal is not important to me. It is that I tried. And if I don't try then I certainly won't achieve what I want. If I do try, then I may just meet the goal and, possibly, even surprise myself by doing better than what I thought. But I have to try first.

    That is part of why I want to do a blog. I want to be able to put up my random writing, story, reading related thoughts, keep track of how I am doing on my personal goals, and maybe some other stuff.

    So yeah, I'll be keeping track.
     
  8. Andrew Leon Hudson

    Andrew Leon Hudson sf-icionado / horror-ator

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    I've only attempted that kind of thing in the most perfunctory way, and only in 2012. I may try the spreadsheet method in 2013, see if it helps keep me honest.
     
  9. Wilson Geiger

    Wilson Geiger Greymane

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    I've put my goals up on my site, with the intent that I'll refer back to them for motivation as needed. And like RedMage said, just getting them out in public for others to see is a motivation of its own.
     
  10. Red Dobbs

    Red Dobbs Red Dobbs

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    I did what I hoped to do this year. My second book was published, I won a short story Halloween contest, I sold a book to a new country that I have never thought of reaching, and I am working on book 3. I didn't however get a hold of any big names to help me promote more. so 4 good, one bad...not such a bad year. I made lots of foreign friends on the net and they are helping me with ideas, and circulation. All in all, 2012 was a pretty good year for books and writing...not the weather and garden though.
    For next year, I hope to reach 3 new countries, finish book 3 and start 4, and hopefully win some new contest. Who knows what could happen! Reach for the stars I say and Happy Writing to all of you!
     
  11. N. E. White

    N. E. White tmso Staff Member

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    Wow - everyone, I am impressed.

    I failed at all of my writing goals for 2012. So, I hesitate to publicly state my goals for 2013.

    Maybe we should try the monthly whipping, oh, I mean, encouragement threads again?
     
  12. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

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    I'm game for posting a monthly motivation thread.

    The beatings shall continue until morale improves.

    Thank you
     
  13. RedMage

    RedMage There is no tomorrow

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    I would be up to do it again too. It was the best thing I have ever done for my writing. I just refuse to have tmso and myself playing host for 6 of the 12 months like our last attempt devolved to (that is not to say others did not host the thread. We were just the primary people and it was too hard on us. Or, not to put words in tmso's mouth, too hard on me). We tried a 2 month long thread, rather than a monthly, and that never got a chance to get off the ground. I would really enjoy something like that again. I just don't want to be the only leader when it is a group thing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  14. Wilson Geiger

    Wilson Geiger Greymane

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    Thanks for the reminder in that other thread, RedMage. :)

    I liked the monthly motivation threads, but you're absolutely right in that it wasn't fair to either of you. It'd be cool if we had someone with a bit of coding knowledge, or a site where we could just enter our word count goals, and it did the tabulation for us. Much easier to put a screen up here than to have to check every forum post in a thread and add up the numbers for everybody.

    So, short answer, not sure I have a solution, other than someone hosting their own little NaNoWriMo site that kept track of word count for folks here. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  15. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

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    I could always create a master spread sheet in Google Docs and share it out for everyone to put in their numbers. I could also help out with the monthly reminder thread for people to pump each other up with :)
     
  16. RedMage

    RedMage There is no tomorrow

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    No problem Wulfen! I hate killing threads (especially when there are such great things happening in them like in this one!) and I was worried that was what I had done with this one.

    Mr. Murdock, I PM'd you with the info of a shared, group google docs account that we had used for a few months before stopping the group last time. The account was made by wwfward (thanks man!) but was purposed for all group members to use to help alleviate the role of the month's host and allow that person to better accomplish their own goal for the month. Take a look around. We copied and pasted the graphs into our old threads so know that if you change numbers, it does change them on the old threads as well. I'm not sure if that's important anymore but, sometimes, it's nice to look back at a period in your writing you were really proud of yourself during. Good for motivation, that sort of thing. The group was always changing so we just kept the info in the PM's and didn't put it in any threads. Thank you to do the same.

    On that note, I am not sure of how clear I was, but I would be very supportive of starting up the goal threads again or even doing something similar here on sffworld or at somewhere else. I'd participate and help run it too. I'd just ask for fuller participation from my friends and fellow group members.
     
  17. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

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    I think this motivation thread will be a good thing. I guess I should look through the old threads to see what was done before :)
     
  18. N. E. White

    N. E. White tmso Staff Member

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    Like any endeavor, troops, ya need a strong, unwavering leader.

    Someone with the fortitude to whip the minions into shape.

    Someone to put the fear of god into their trembling limbs.

    Someone to shout out the distractions and--

    Oh, I'm sorry, I meant, someone to gently prod ya all with a cowpoke. :)

    It is not easy being the ring leader. No matter how smooth the set up, someone has to organize everything and keep it running. And I think an offsite thing isn't a good idea. No one wants to go somewhere else, report their numbers and then come back here. What's the point? I wonder if we can some how utilize the poll feature for a pseudo-word count tracker? I'll do some tests and see if it might work.

    With that said, yes, I would be happy to help move things along, too.
     
  19. zachariah

    zachariah Speaks fluent Bawehrf

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    I'm gonna sign up for this one, yes sirree. I very much fear if I don't get that novel done this year, at least in first draft form, it'll never happen.
     
  20. RedMage

    RedMage There is no tomorrow

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    Yay! That's four people now for our comeback with the monthly threads. Yipee!

    So tmso and I had a little discussion, it sounds like I have been nominated to head up the first thread in January. If that is alright with everyone I will go ahead and do so. tmso, if you would look into the possibilities of what we can do for tracking, that would be wonderful.

    In the meantime, I am going to continue trying to get into the google docs account because, for some reason, it denied me repeatedly last night when I tried to login. Have you been able to get in Mr. Murdock? tmso, have you tried it? I'm not sure it is working anymore access-wise...