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.