I suppose you're all wondering where I've been. Not to worry. I'm still writing. I've just stepped back a little bit.
At the beginning of this year, I reviewed my goals for 2015, and I found that I didn't do too badly. To summarize, they were:
1. Submit one previously unpublished story per month.
2. Submit one book.
I basically missed May, August, and November of goal #1, but I hit all the other goals. However, at the end of the year, I felt very discouraged. Between the rejections and the fact that most of the submissions were older ones I had kicking around that didn't have a home, I felt creatively bankrupt. I felt I needed to do something to "prime the idea pump", as they say.
So, without further ado, here are my goals for 2016 - better late than never, I always say:
1. Write one new piece per month.
2. Write one new book.
"But wait, George," you say. "Just hold on a minute. Aren't those goals pretty much the same ones as last year?"
Au contraire, my fine blog reader friends. They are NOT the same. In fact, there are two distinct differences between this year's goals and last year's.
The first is the word "new". This year, I have decided to shelf all my completed work. It's going in the bottom drawer. It's gathering dust for the year. Based on feedback I've been receiving on some of them, it's just as well. I get the sense the literary world is tired of seeing it.
More importantly, I'm starting to feel the same way. I've been looking at some of them for far too long. It's time to put them away, start something fresh, and learn new things, in the hopes that when the day comes where I take those out of the bottom drawer again, I can look at them with a fresh perspective.
The second is a little more subtle. Notice that I didn't use the word "submit" but rather the word "write". This takes the pressure off me to send something out every month that may not be ready to go. I don't need any of the baby birds to go plummeting to their deaths just because I couldn't wait to kick them out of the nest. This year, they're staying with me for a while until they're really ready.
Yes, I'm going to be a helicopter parent to my writing this year.
Also, this frees me to be a little more experimental. I can already tell I'll enjoy having an entire month to try out new ways of telling stories. In fact, for the month of January and February, I've been dabbling in writing poetry, which is something I'm not very, ahem, well-versed in.
So there you have it. My goals for 2016. Let me know what you think. And feel free to share your goals for the year. I'm interested in what others are doing and how things are going.