“Howdy” seems to be the vernacular in these here parts, so howdy it is.
This is my first blog post. I have been surprisingly nervous about this whole blogging enterprise, despite the fact probably nobody will notice its debut for quite sometime, as is the way with new blogs. But nervous I am. So be it. As a good friend recently told me, “Just start one, for Goodness’ sake.” So here’s to Goodness.
I’ve decided to start a blog mostly for the incentive of having a “credible threat.” This is not a new concept, by any means, but it’s explained magnificently in Tobias Buckell’s blog post: http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/2007/01/02/some-ideas-for-achieving-your-goals-in-2007/
Basically, I want to be a professional writer, a successful published writer. This is a long-time dream, something I’ve carried with me since a child. It’s the very reason I went into court reporting; I thought given a good-paying vocation and flexible hours, I would have more time to devote to writing. And though my court reporting career — and subsequently, my current gig as a co-owner of a karaoke bar — has yielded much in the way of dialogue and character study, I am still an unpublished writer.
I’ve spent an awful lot of time writing short stories and bits of novels and screenplays — and even one draft of a novel — here and there; however, obviously not enough. Mostly, this is due to a lack of discipline.
So I thought it was high time I set out my goals a little bit more publicly (as in beyond telling my husband and a few friends), in the hopes of eventually getting folks to check in on me and my progress, and kick me in the ass when I need it. And maybe in this way, I’ll find some like-minded folks to cheer on as well.
In keeping with Mr. Buckell’s insightful post as linked above, I have to agree with the mistakes he thinks many people make when making goals…especially the vague bit. How many Januarys have I set the goal of writing this book or that book, or this many stories, et cetera? I can’t help this, you know. For some reason, when it comes to blind ambition, I was first in line and given more than I could carry. So I am burdened with the knowledge I am capable of accomplishing EVERYTHING, but knowing I don’t because I just don’t feel like it right at this moment. 😛 My mom likens me to having my paws jammed in too many “hunny” pots. Just the way I’m wired, I suppose.
Anyway, I’ve decided to post my goals online in order to hold myself publicly accountable, a credible threat, if you will. And one of the things I’ve decided is to start out with bite-sized goals…at least by my terms of accounting.
So here are my goals for October. And I will try my bestest to post updates daily. Anyone who comes across this, feel free to send me a kick in the ass via the “Comments” section. Anything from “Have you written today?” to “Bend over, fatty,” will do.
1. I will write 31,000 words of new short fiction this month (which equates to 1,000 words daily).
2. That means 4 new short stories (one a week).
3. I will polish and submit 4 short stories (I have a good backlog).
4. I will upload 1 short story to my online writer’s group OWW.
5. I will critique 4 short stories in my online writer’s group.
6. I will write one of my new short stories using Liquid Story Binder (to see if I can get past the learning curve and determine if it’ll be helpful for longer works).
7. I will find and gather all of my story notes, research notes, and various other bits and drafts into one collective pile.
8. I will prepare a project idea for next month’s NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org).
I am giving myself until October 31st to meet these goals. And although I feel I’ve really scaled them back on the ambition scale, I realize that realistically, it’s still quite a bit of work to embark on. However, considering I’ve already written over 16,000 words in my journal, and 4,042 words of new fiction (I didn’t start until the 5th, so I’m a few days behind — don’t worry, I’ll catch up!), I think it’s feasible. I’m up for the challenge.
Right now I’m in the midst of a horror short story tentatively titled “Animal Control.” I started out writing mostly fantasy when I was younger, but it’s progressed to slipstream, magical realism, science fiction, and now horror. Horror seems to be a nice color on me as of late.
In any event, <whew!> my first blog post is done. Now I’m off to get some work done.