I feel like I’m kicking off the year strong with the publication of my first short story sale (!!!). But, hey, it’s time for me to set my goals for 2022.
Last year was intended to be a year of drafting, revision, querying, and networking.
Thusly, I listed my goals:
- Querying and submitting
As I shared last week, I lagged on the writing — but excelled at the querying/submitting and reading portions, and made up for the writing toward the end of the year. Covid played a bit of havoc on my conventions, but in the end, didn’t stand in the way.
This year? My focus is on revisions and reading. I’m not sure if the market has healed from the pandemic, so I may hold off a bit more with the querying, but nothing’s stopping my submissions of short stories — cause clearly that’s working for me.
As always, I like to set SMART goals –
- Specific – Which projects
- Measurable – Wordcount and page goals
- Achievable – Things I have control over — number of queries and pages, not ‘getting an agent’ or making (another) sale.
- Relevant – My health goals aren’t on this list, I’m keeping it writing related.
- Time-sensitive – Obviously, these are intended to be completed in 2022, but some items may have specific dates associated.
So? Let’s take last year’s list and put it in a new priority order.
Since my end goal is publication, and I’ve got 5 manuscripts, 21+ short stories, and 30+ poems just waiting for a home, I need to see what is salvageable, and what should be shelved.
This year’s goals? Do a quick edit on my Space Fantasy and get it to my alpha reader by her spring break, do a revision after she gets it back to me and send it out to beta-readers. Also, revise two of the short stories I drafted during my NaNo-Of-Shorts back in 2019. Bonus if I revise my middle-grade school play fantasy.
I found 2021 harder than 2020 — because of the fluctuation. 2020, you knew what to expect, 2021 kept raising your hopes and then a new Covid strain would spike. I binged a lot of romances. All in all, I read 184 books, with maybe 20 being re-reads, 11 being physical books off my to-read pile, and a lot being on my phone/kindle.
So? I’m upping my goal from last year of reading 36 books – to 52 books! With at least one a month being from my physical to-read bookcase.
3. Querying & Submitting
A quick reminder: you query agents, and submit to publishers. Typically, agents represent manuscripts and submit them to publishers for you (many not even accepting unagented works), whereas short story publishers don’t expect an agent.
This year, for my short stories and poetry, I’m going to try to actively submit my polished short stories to 3 markets each quarter.
Additionally, once I’m more comfortable with the market’s landscape, I will start sending out my second-world fantasy again. After a talk with one of my beta-readers last month, I feel more confident that my coming-of-age novel isn’t strictly YA, and might appeal to the broad fantasy market. Perhaps, that’s been my issue all along?
Write something new for NaNoWriMo, 1 short story, and at least 6 poems.
I really like participating in NaNoWriMo — and you know I hate ending a winning streak. But, writing shorter pieces helps keep that create juice flowing.
You are my supporters, my community, and my friends. You cheer me on and watch me learn and grow. As always, blogging helps keep me out there, keeps me accountable, and gives me a way to give back to the community.
Plus? I haven’t missed a week on my blog since February of 2016 (although, I have done reruns) nor a vlog since I started vlogging on June 27, 2017. Here’s another streak to keep up. You’ll be seeing a new blog/vlog every Thursday with writing tips or writerly musings.
With the podcast and weekly Livestream. I plan on taking a week or so off between seasons, and no more than one live-stream off a quarter (unless double-booked with a convention).
6. Conventions / Writing Groups
Last year’s goals worked out nicely, so I’m going to try for that again: panel at 3+ conventions, attend 6+ open mic nights, 6+ monthly writer meetings, and 3 NaNoWriMo events (kickoff, 1 write in, and the all-nighter till 11pm (if possible)). Plus? Staff Balticon.
Ravencon (April) pushed out my panelist dates from 2020, to 2021, to this year (fingers crossed), I’m hoping to be a panelist for Balticon again (May), and I’ll likely do Imaginarium (July) again. Not sure about WorldCon in Chicago. My panels were well received last year, and I’m hopeful that I’ll be accepted back. (All of my panels were topics from this blog that I feel I can talk competently on, where my mostly-unpublished perspective won’t be a detriment to my authority on the subject).
Plus, I’m running social media for Balticon’s parent group. So… there’s another time suck!
What does being on panels net me? Why do I want to do this?
First, it’s a greater reach for my blog/vlog/podcast that’s supposed to lead to a larger audience when I do publish. It’s a great way to network and meet more writers and readers who like the same stuff I do. Plus, a chance to talk about all the stuff I obsess over on my blog and on my vlog and my podcast in person with actual people.
But how does attending conventions count as a writing goal? Isn’t it just fun? Or part of your social media addiction?
Well, if you’ve been following my posts, you’ve probably noticed that over half the content is actually write-ups from notes at convention panels! I attend the panels partially for those who can’t (or don’t). Also? My sister teases me that I act like a teacher, trying to get her recertification credits, all in one weekend.
And? Well, I talked about it in my post on attending conventions, but, of course, there’s the networking aspect. The science-fiction and fantasy conventions I prefer are full of readers, writers, and even a few publishers and agents!
7. Beta Readers
This year, again, I’m going to try not to beta-read more than 3 full manuscripts for others.
I will need the short stories I’m preparing for publication beta read. As always, I like to keep my beta reader pool to no more than 7 readers from different backgrounds. I usually give them separate copies, so that their feedback won’t influence each other.
As always, I’ll be blogging and vlogging and podcasting throughout the year. This year, I’m starting off with my focus on revision, reading, and submitting. Spring will be rather convention-heavy, but by fall, I should be back in the writer’s seat.
Except for December. I’m not a writer in December — everyone needs a chance to breathe.
Best of luck in all your 2022 projects!
What does your plan look like for 2022?
Did you build in flexibility?
And, how SMART are your goals?
See my previous years resolutions and reflections:
2017 Resolutions | 2017 Retrospective
2018 Resolutions | 2018 Retrospective
2019 Resolutions | 2019 Retrospective
2020 Resolutions | 2020 Retrospective
2021 Resolutions | 2021 Retrospective
I truly admire your organizational ability, your focus! Yay, you!!
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I want to work on my reading too, plus the querying and submitting bit. Though. I’ve just stumbled across the Overused Tropes page and have discovered the novel that I wrote (someone plugs into the virtual world and becomes dependent on it) was considered super cliche. So maybe I might need to rewrite that entire thing, lol. Anyway, thanks for sharing, Morgan, and wishing you all the best!
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