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I believe in setting goals. It was a practice I held to in order to get through my education, particularly graduate school, and to write and write and write and eventually attend Clarion West. Clarion was on my goal sheet for years, even though I never believed I’d ever have the opportunity to go. (I believe goal sheets are partly to hold dreams; if we don’t achieve our dreams then what’s the point?)

So, almost two years ago, in the late summer of 2008, my life pretty well fell apart. I’ve spent the last two years trying to reconstruct my life and create the one I desire. It’s still a work-in-progress (when is it not?), but it’s less a reconstruction now than a creation, and that’s a very good feeling. But when life fell apart, I quit doing most of the activities that were a part of my normal life, like setting and achieving goals.

So, this week I put my filing system that keeps me sane back together, put my binders of study projects and scheduling back together, started doing my pages first thing in the morning again, and starting living my adapted life, my new life, and the portions of my old life that I loved and kept me sane.

This weekend around work, [livejournal.com profile] chris_reynaga  and I sat down and made goals. It felt really good, and it didn’t take long, partially because it was so natural to do (almost like breathing) and because I already have had a good sense of where I want to be in the future and what I want to achieve.

I drew my pyramid, marked off my goal points (e.g., yearly goals, quarterly goals, monthly goals...), and began to write down where I wanted to be in ten years, in five years, in a year, at the end of September, the end of December, the end of the month, the end of the week. At the end of the day... And then I wrote down all the personal writing projects I have in the pipeline, another common practice that was abandoned. And then, after that was done, I made goals for having a satisfying and successful technical writing career, and wrote down my plan for that along with all the skills I need to acquire and hone to achieve my goals for that part of my life.

I feel better, I feel more balanced, now that I can see my graphic representation of where I’m headed. I know from experience that my goals will evolve, as they should, but knowing where I’m headed and my plan for the future is exhilarating--a feeling I am intimate with and am so glad to feel again.

My fiction writing goals are as follows:

Five Years:
• Have at least five novels completed and sent out into the world
• Ideally have three in print (this is the dreaming part :))
• Have many stories/B novellas I’m proud of in print (All that are currently on my pipeline list will be making the rounds/will have made the rounds)
• Have written two graphic novels (Perhaps just for my own pleasure)
• Have written one screenplay (Ditto my own pleasure)
• Have completed the NA Anthology
• Be represented by a fine agent I respect
• Be teaching workshops regularly, at least quarterly (I used to teach creative writing workshops to junior high and high school students and loved it; it’s something I’ve been desiring to do again)
• Have a satisfying relationship with other members of the speculative fiction/writing community (It’s a wonderful part of living where I do and having been to Clarion West--all the fantastic and sustaining relationships that are a new part of my life)
• Write what excites me; be excited about my projects

July 2010-July 2011:
• Have Paperdoll completed, revised and queries sent out
• Have POL completed, revised, and submitted
• Be working on real novel #2
• Have at least four short stories making the rounds
• Have submitted to all four WotF quarters
• Be involved in the community IRL and at Cons
• Have fully come back to the online world
• Be actively critting
• Write what excites me; be excited about my projects

Quarterly Goals:
• Have “T&T” completed and submitted
• Have “LoA” completed and submitted
• Have a second draft of “DtR”
• Have draft 1 of “ItEM” completed
• Be actively critting
• Be actively blogging
• Finish my website (Now that I've retrieved my domain)
• Write what excites me; be excited about my projects

Monthly Goals:
• July: Have “T&T”& “T4Bs” completed
• August: Have “LoA” ready to submit by September
• “ItEM” draft 1 completed
• Crit 2 stories
• Make at least 12 blog posts
• Write what excites me; be excited about my projects

Weekly Goals:
• “T&Ts” draft 1 completed
• 1 crit
• Make three blog posts
• Write what excites me; be excited about my projects

Daily:
• Write 1,000 words a day (I’ve been regularly making this goal again after months and months and months of only being able to write 100 to 250 words a day and then about 500 words a day--I’ve made the time for 1,000)
• Read at least 1/2 hour of non-fiction and 1/2 hour of fiction
• Write what excites me; be excited about my projects

So now fess up--what are your goals? What are your dreams? You don’t have to tell me, but I want you to tell yourself.

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albionidaho

January 2012

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