For many years, I set writing goals. I looked back – I have graphics going back to 2013 and I may have done it before then. You may remember that I didn’t set any goals for 2016. To quote Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman”: Big mistake. Big. Huge.
No goals meant no wrap up post, either. Oh sure, I kinda-sorta did one over at Mysteristas, but it was very general. How could it not be? No goals, no specificity.
I decided that in 2017, I was going to get back to goal-setting. I needed the structure. That led to thinking: Just what do I want those goals to be? I’ve seen a lot of suggestions, including setting a goal for rejections received (because receiving rejections means you’re completing and sending work out – suggested number is 100 and without intending to, I hit that last year, despite my short-fiction successes).
Ah, but then–but then–I saw this post from agent and author Paula Munier on Twitter. And it’s freaking brilliant. At least I think it is. Therefore, without any shame, I am stealing her goals. Breathe, Read, Write.
As you may know (or maybe you don’t), I did martial arts for many years, about five to be precise. I earned my second-degree Black Belt and figured hey, next stop third-degree. Then I succumbed to intense pain and weakness in my knee. Thinking that was my problem, I underwent a lot of tests, especially once I was reduced to walking with a cane and my neurologist said, “Um, that’s not really typical.” See, for years I’d been told I had nerve damage in my knee and I just had to suck it up.
Many tests later, I find out what I actually have is a spur in my hip that has been affecting my gait for almost 10 years and the knee finally said, “Hey, I’m done” after doing more than its fair share of work.
Weeks of PT later, I’m back to (mostly) walking normally again–at least as normal as I’m gonna get. It’s been months since I hit the taekwondo mats. I find myself in desperate need of exercise. I write, therefore I sit. A lot. I won’t say the old derriere is spreading, but I need to do something.
The Girl told me yoga. Before I commit to a class (they’re a little pricey around here), I think I’ll try it out on my own. Or swimming. I hear water aerobics are good.
But I need SOMETHING.
And I’ve started a “minute meditation” in the morning. Not long. A simple reading and some quiet time before I get in the shower. Build me up for the day.
I’ve always read. Ever since I was a kid. I even enjoyed most of the stuff I had to read as an English major (not Moby Dick, sorry). This year, I’ve signed up for the Goodreads challenge. I set a goal of 50 books. That’s about four per month or one per week. The big goal doesn’t sound too ambitious, but when you break it down… Don’t forget, I have a day job, two teens, and my own writing. I’ll keep you posted.
I took a good, hard look at where I was at the end of 2016. I’m on book 3 of The Laurel Highlands Mysteries, the project of my heart. However, the project of my heart doesn’t seem that attractive to the market (see those 100 rejections above). That means I have some decisions to make. With the help of my critique group, I’ve made a plan. No, I’m not going to share the plan. I’ll share the decisions as a result of that plan as they become relevant. Yes, I’m such a tease.
In the meantime, I’ve got another project brewing: a historical mystery (traditional, not really cozy) set in Buffalo during World War II. Yes, it’s a spin-off of “Home Front Homicide,” the story that was accepted for Mystery Most Historical from Malice Domestic. Right now, I have a character and a setting–but no plot. That will require some brainstorming.
I also have my Pittsburgh-based PI, contemporary. She’s fighting me. Brat.
I want to continue with short fiction. I’ve got a couple stories in the chute for January, one done and one almost-done.
In short (see what I did there?), there will be writing. Lots of it.
There you have it. Goals for 2017. Or at least objectives. Of course I’ll let you know how it goes.
Oh, and sorry Paula. But look at it this way–your list was great inspiration.