Forging Ahead into the New Year

2021 is almost at its end… and it’s been a heck of a year. I’d say it was the sequel to 2020 in a lot of ways, for better and for worse. But when a year draws to a close, it’s time to review the last twelve months and set some goals for the next twelve.

So, what did I set for myself to do in 2021?

  • An unofficial goal to publish at least 10 stories.

First, I recognize I have little control over this goal. I can’t force anyone to publish my stories. Well, I suppose I could, but I’d rather not hold anyone’s child ransom. It would probably end badly for all involved.

Well, how’d I do on that one? I published:

  • 8 short stories
  • 2 full Vella novellas
  • 1 co-written Vella novella
  • 2 novels

I was expecting 10 short stories. I didn’t get 10 short stories. I’d count this as a major win, though. My first two novels published in the same calendar year, and lots more beside? Yeah! (Incidentally, you can check out everything I’ve published in the Published Works tab.)

What else did I set myself to do? More in my control, I made a goal to

  • By the end of 2021, have 20 short stories out on submission.

And how’d I do?

  • I currently have 11 stories on submission.
  • I currently have 9 stories able to be submitted but not currently out.

What happened?! I had almost twice that out on submission a year ago!

Well, I’ve switched up goals. My focus isn’t short stories right now. That said, in 2022, I do want to return to short stories at least a little bit. The process of writing a short story is significantly different than writing a novel, and I don’t want to lose the ability to write short stories!

I had one more goal for 2021:

  • By the end of 2021, I will write and revise at least 2 novels.

And how’d I do?

  • I’ve drafted 7 books, with an 8th likely to be done by the end of the year.

All those short stories I didn’t submit this year? All the energy went into drafting longer works. Why is that? Well, hopefully in early 2022 I get to make a really exciting announcement… but not yet!

So that’s how I did for 2021. What’re my goals for 2022?

  • By the end of 2022, I want to have 20 short works out on submission. I don’t want to lose my short story abilities, and the best way to do that is to just make sure I’m writing some! To that end, I’ll have at least 8 new short stories ready for submission.
  • By the end of 2022, write at least 6 longer works.
  • And as an unofficial goal, publish at least 10 works. Again, I don’t have a lot of control over this, so it’s more of a realistic dream.

Now, why am I sharing all this?

It’s good for writers to have concrete goals. It’s good to evaluate where you’ve been, see what needs altering, and figure out where you’re going. If you’re not shooting for something, you’ll never hit your target. I set goals for 2021. I didn’t make all of them… but some of them I overshot by quite a bit!

If you’re a writer, this is a great time of year to consider what you want to accomplish in 2022. Are you hoping to write more? Improve the quality of your craft? Get more eyes on your work? Set yourself some goals, and shoot for them!

I’ll be silent the next few weeks as I celebrate the holidays with my family, but I’ll be back in 2022, with hopefully some big news. Enjoy the holidays!

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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