I remember reading in one of the many articles I perused over 2011 that publicly setting goals actually hinders one’s ability to get them done. The psychology behind that is that the act of setting goals makes one feel “accomplished,” and therefore slows or stops progress; we need a certain amount of stress to push us to go beyond just setting goals.
I’m ambivalent about that because every year that I’ve done this exercise, I’ve improved my business life as a writer. On the other hand, I didn’t meet a lot of the goals I set last January.
On the other, other hand (because I write spec fic and I can have more than two hands, damnit), a whole lot of opportunities and major changes redirected me…
See, I had this nice line of goals and steps set up, and then wooooo, that path took a 45 degree angle or something–starting not long after I even made said goals!—and while some of those steps and goals still fit on that line, a lot did not.
Big Change 1: Spencer Hill Press
It started with being invited to co-edit this wonderful anthology for which I’ve been carrying around bookmarks and the first contributor copy around like my firstborn child. Which it kinda is, being the first book with my name on the cover. That, and it’s made of teh awesomesauce of awesome. (Go pre-order it now!) It evolved into perusing the slush pile and adopting a manuscript or two to love and edit… which I need to ask Kate about the protocol for pre-publication gushing.
Big Change 2: Presidency!
Of Broad Universe. Because, y’know, just running events and stuff wasn’t enough. I WANT THE WORLD! FOR WOMEN! WHO WRITE ALL SORTS OF WONDERFUL SPECULATIVE FICTION! Ahem. Yes. I’m always very dignified about my responsibilities. You totes should join our quest for world domination!
Big Change 3: Calico Silver!
Ok, I claimed this last year, too, but I’VE NOW HAD A HORSE FOR OVER A FULL YEAR AND WE DID AWESOME STUFF TOGETHER!
Big Change 4: Concrete, Solidity on H-of-A’s Deployment
Which I can only talk about a little for various reasons. But it’s big for both of us.
In planning for these posts, because they are always more than posts for me, I read back over last year’s posts. (Mind you, I really am evaluating myself and planning as I write this. I’m a writer; I think best in writing.) I admitted last year that I wasn’t satisfied how I was tracking certain progress. As I’ve learned more, a lot of what I was tracking is really useless info.
Here is just some of the highlights:
Starting with previously mentioned…
- Maintained horse adoption happiness.
- Edited an anthology. (That you totally want to buy, right?)
- Took on my first novel manuscript at Spencer Hill Press
- Became Prez of Broad Universe
What all else I did…
- Edited and updated another StraighterLine course
- Finished complete second draft of Kelpie and sent to Beta readers
- Published “Kali’s Promise” in Epitaphs, the New England Horror Writers anthology
- Published “To Me You are Holy” in the Eye on Life: Poetry Locksmith
- Had “Fixed” accepted into Corrupts Absolutely? (due out March 2012)
- Had “The Unicorn & the Old Woman” accepted into Sauced anthology (due out 2012)
- Submitted 22 fiction/poetry pieces to various markets, agents, publishers (3 fewer than last year, but higher acceptance rate!)
- Guest of Awesome at Pi-Con
- Presented panels at Arisia, Conbust, Wiscon, Pi-Con, Dragon*Con, and Anthocon
And my usuals…
- Maintained position as food writer for Worcester Magazine
- Wrote and published about two dozen other pieces of non-fiction
- Edited more stuff for StraighterLine and Smarthinking
- Regularly tutored
There ya’ have it. A highlighted list of 2011. Feel free to compare it to my goal-setting post and weigh it yourself, but really, I’m proud of it, and that’s what matters. Next post will be the goal setting, itself.