My “goals accomplished” percentage for 2017 was roughly 54 percent, same as for 2016. And a lot of the goals I didn’t get done, I completed partially, for example almost finishing Southern Discomfort. And I made about 2/3 of the income goal I set, which is better than I expected — it was more an aspirational goal than a serious one, so that’s cool. Of course the flip side of that is that the income-earning work ate up a lot of time I’d otherwise have put into fiction. I worked on a lot of short stories this year, but didn’t finish any of them, for instance. I didn’t finish my Undead Sexist Cliches book, which I’d thought doable. Several minor projects never even got started. Obviously I’m not going to beat myself up over that: I’ve got limited time and if choices have to be made, a good paying gig is worth dropping others. I did, however, turn down some projects that didn’t pay much.
On personal goals, such as doing stuff with TYG, I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped (no surprise, as we’re dealing with two people’s schedule). The goal I fell furthest short on, though, was bicycling: I never came close to cycling all the way to the Raleigh trailhead. It used to be we’d get up early on summer weekends to get it done before the heat. This summer, though, was a)really, really hot; and b)to give the dogs a decent walk, TYG has to take them first thing in the morning, so we inevitably go out late, if at all. This year I’ll have to plan things better.
My writing goals include finishing Southern Discomfort and submitting it; self-publishing Undead Sexist Cliches; self-publishing my old Questionable Minds psionic steampunk novel; and writing four short stories (a big drop from what I planned last year, but doable I think). I also want to write 1,000 words of fiction every day, to ensure any paying gigs that come up don’t cut into stories too much. Speaking of paying gigs, I still haven’t heard back on the Space Invaders proposal, but that’ll obviously consume a lot of time if I get the go-ahead.
I also want to get back to submitting articles and columns to good markets with decent pay rates. I had that on my goal list this year, but I was way too ambitious. This time it’ll be more modest.
To make sure I wasn’t overreaching I sat down and thought, realistically, about what I could accomplish each month during the year. I’m going to try planning out January the same way, so that little stuff that might fall through the cracks isn’t left hanging to the last day of the month (that’s happened too often). As the Sphinx might have said in Mystery Men, if I do not master time, then time will become my master. And I’ll end up hanging from a big clock-face. Which would be bad.
My total goal list for this year actually came out over 100, but I think I have good reasons for all the goals being on there. And what the heck, there’s no penalty if I don’t achieve them, so why not?
Wish me luck …
(all rights to cover image remain with current holder).