So I want to write. But I also want to get published. That means I have to do more than write. I need to pump out words and edit them and polish them and find places where they might be good fits and send them in and research independent publishing and network with other authors and improve my craft and –

Well, in all that, it’s helpful to have goals. Goals give you a focus. Where are you trying to get, and what’s the best way to get there?

And last week, I decided on a 2020 goal: I want to publish 12 pieces this year. Or, more properly phrased, I want to get 12 pieces published.

The positive side: I’m already contracted for 6 of those. I’m halfway there, and it’s only a few weeks into January!

The negative side: There’s relatively little I can do to guarantee this happens. I can write my butt off and produce my best work, but if it doesn’t connect with the right editor, it ain’t gonna get bought.

Another positive side: I’ve already had 6 purchases for pieces published in 2020. That means I’ve got some good inertia built up. Emotionally, I’m still writing and pumping out stories that I believe have good quality. Basically, my confidence is up right now.

Another negative: Even if something is bought in 2020, the later I get into the year, the less likely it is that whatever is bought will be published in 2020 – and I really want to see if I can get 12 pieces published in 2020. And once something’s bought (as before mentioned, something I have little control over), I can do very little to hurry the process along from purchase to publishing.

So, basically, I’ve picked a goal I really have very little control over. Which generally is a pretty senseless goal to have.

I never said it made sense.

Another negative is that I’m switching gears into writing longer works. I just finished a revision of one novel (currently at my editor), and before I tackle the next big project I’m writing two or three short stories. One of those is already out at one publisher for consideration. But that means my output of short stories has significantly dropped. Before I’d be writing about one short story a week; now it’ll be more like two or three a quarter. That’s a significant change!

I suppose the result of that will have to be a higher quality so more editors are interested in purchasing!

We’ll see what happens, of course. I’m already pretty content with how my 2020 is going for writing output as well as what’s contracted. And if I hit my goal… well, I shall celebrate with cookies. Maybe wine. We’ll see.

What about you? Have you made any writing goals in 2020? If you did, what are you doing to pursue them? Do you have any control over whether or not you actually meet your goals? What can you do to get closer to your goals?

Published by Jon

Jon lives in Kentucky with his wife and an insanity of children. (A group of children is called an insanity. Trust me.)

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