Moving the Goals Post

I probably ought to have just crossed out the 0 and replaced it with a 1 on my 2020 list of things I wanted to accomplish this past year, because I hit very few of them. I think that’s probably true of everyone.

I didn’t, though.

I erased the whole thing and we’re going to start over for 2021 because that’s really the only thing we can do. I have no illusions that this year coming is going to make up for the overall trauma of 2020– we’re not out of the woods of a global pandemic yet, and it’s going to be a long while before we can get back to normal. Also, do we WANT to? “Normal” was shitty for a LOT of people; shouldn’t we take this opportunity to rebuild better?

That leads me to something that I think I actually improved on this year. My writing suffered tremendously, but late in the year, I figured out some semblance of a process that has been working for me. I’ve been able to work in small chunks better than I ever have before, and it’s produced some definite progress. Words on the page, anyway, and you can’t work with what isn’t there, so it’s a good start.

Just for the sake of accounting, here’s the 2020 goals and how I fared:

Write/Publish 5 new stories: not even close. I had one story come out in May 2020, The Growing of the Green, in the Swashbuckling Cats anthology from Tyche Books.

Knit 8 Things from Stash Yarn: Ish? 8 things, yes. Entirely from yarn I already had? Not exactly. I had to buy some supplies. It was close though, and I’ll take it.

Finish/Query a Long Fiction Project: Nope.

Overhaul Alekhine’s Gun and Submit it to Erewhon: Nope.

Year Five of The Kindred Experiment writing club: Nope (not my fault, though. Extra-curriculars do not exist in pandemic public schools right now)

Go Somewhere New: Yes! Ben and I took a safe day trip to hike around Minnewaska State Park and we also managed a short trip to Rockport, Mass where we ate our meals isolated on the rocks of the Atlantic coast and it was lovely.

Read 50 Books: Just squeezed it in, but I did! Look for my 50 Book Pick Up Post tomorrow.

So that’s 2020. I’m going to make a couple more specific goals for 2021 but the list will look largely the same.

-Write/Publish 2 new stories (my focus this year is going to be long projects)

-Knit 5 things entirely from stash yarn. Key word being entirely.

-Finish/Query Lee Pittsfield novel

-Zero draft the Middle Grade novel

-Zero draft the Halcyon Hall YA novel

-Final revision on Alekhine’s Gun to submit to Erewhon and/or turn into a web series

-Year Five of The Kindred Experiment

-Go somewhere new

-Read 50 books

That’s it. Ha. It’s an enormous list, but even if I managed half of it, or less, like this year, it’s still progress. And progress is always the right direction.

Come back tomorrow for the year in books wrap up!

Happy New Year, friends. Let’s go exploring.

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