Last year I achieved five of seven goals. This year, I’ve changed my goals a little and some of last year’s goals, sending a story out at least five times before retiring it for example, is now just part of the process. Likewise, I now assume that if I write a story, I’ll send it somewhere, so writing ten stories implies submitting ten stories. I’ve realised that it’s not realistic to write one per month – some months I don’t write – but ten over the year should be doable, even if I’m working on a novel.
This is what I’d like to achieve this year:
- Get four stories published. One down, three to go. I’ve got six stories out at the moment: one’s in the second sift, one’s in a competition I do not expect it to win, one I won’t hear about and the other three could go either way. I’ve got new markets lined up for most of them so I can send them out again as soon as they get rejected.
- Make £150 from fiction. To do that, I’m submitting to paying markets only, and starting with ones that pay at least $50 per story.
- Write (and submit) ten short stories. Super-flash stories (100 words or shorter) don’t count. I’m planning three long ones (5-6K)*, three of ‘literary’ length (2K)**, and four flash pieces (<1K)***.
- Do four spoken performances. I don’t have anything lined up so far so I might struggle to meet this.
- Do Story Shop. I didn’t get in last year. This year, I really, really want it. If I get it, it counts as one performance.
- Complete novel number 1. In progress.
- Start novel number 2. It (and another, shorter YA novel) is plotting itself quietly in the back of my head.
- Collaborate. Working with someone else will be fun: I think it might change how I work. And I know who I’m doing it with so this one should be easy.
- Get an agent. The main purpose of this year is to find an agent. This one task is more difficult than all the other goals put together.
I know what I need to do and it can be summed up like this: write, submit and read. Business as usual, then.
* Two of which already have working titles: Jonah’s Story and Fingers in the Dirt. Watch this space as they get written.
** The first one of these, The Foods of Lara’s Loves, is looking for a market.
*** One for each performance.