Writing Goals 2017

I guess the flip side of a Year in Review is setting out some writing goals to work toward. Dean and Kris talk about the difference between dreams and goals. A goal is something that is (mostly) within your power. If you work on it, you can make it happen. A dream is outside of your control. It might happen, but you can’t make it happen. Yet if you define your goals properly, they can make your dreams possible. “Win a major book award” is a dream. You can’t make the nominating committee or the voters like your work. But “Write a great book” is a goal: you can try and keep trying until you succeed. And if you never achieve that goal (great book), there’s no chance to achieve that dream (book award). Sell a story? Dream. That’s up to the editor to decide. Submit a story? That’s all up to you.

So with that clear, these are my 2017 writing goals:

  • Finish Today I Am Paul (The Novel), and get it to my agent.
  • Write something for the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award.
  • Finish “The Adventure of the Martian Tomb”, a science fiction mystery starring Nick Aames and Rosalia Morais.
  • Finish “The New Sheriff in Town”, the second Nick and Rosie mystery.
  • Write “The Horace Gale Affair”, the third Nick and Rosie mystery.
  • Finish “The Captain’s Tree”, the story of a generation ship.
  • Finish “Uncle Roy’s Computer Repair Shop and Used Robot Parts”, a humorous near-future story.
  • Write the next Milford Creek novel.
  • Finish Starchaser, a YA fantasy novel.
  • Finish Debts to the Fallen, a Military SF novel.
  • Write a story TBD for an undisclosed invitation-only anthology.
  • Finish For Want of a Sword, a fantasy mystery novel.
  • Write White Hart in the Headlights, a fantasy novel.
  • Write the train story (you’ll know it when you see it).
  • Write the story of the snowy road.
  • Write the story of the human cop and the dinosaur cop.
  • Write the next Fog story.
  • Write the next Buddy story.
  • Write the next Hamal story.
  • Write more short stories.
  • Write more novelettes.
  • Write more novellas.
  • Keep submitting. The Saturday rule: any story still on the shelf on Saturday has to go back out to another market.
  • Submit to more foreign markets.
  • Submit to more reprint markets.
  • Write The Daily Blog (almost) every day.
  • Write nonfiction articles for select markets.
  • Attend a workshop (in person or online).
  • Apply for the Schrodinger Sessions (assuming they’re held this year).
  • Attend ConFusion.
  • Attend CapriCon.
  • Attend the Writers of the Future gala and meet the class of V34.
  • Attend the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop.
  • Attend FenCon.

Too ambitious? Probably. That’s a schedule to make Gama Martinez weary! But…

Aim high, miss high.
Aim low, miss low.
Aim at nothing, hit nothing.

I prefer to aim high.

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