Last year, at about this time, I set out the following 2010 goals:
1. Draft a novel.
2. Finish a novel.
3. Draft a story.
4. Finish a story.
5. Sell a story.
(This is just the fiction portion of a larger business plan. Non-fiction, promotional work, and other targets are separate.)
Draft and finish were separate items specifically because I’m working on multiple projects: drafting one book didn’t necessarily mean finishing that same book.
As plans go, this one looks rather fuzzy. The reason specific projects weren’t named (Finish this book, draft that story) in the above list reflects the fact that I spent a fair amount of 2010 waiting for other parties to get back to me on things. The timing on when I received edits for my next novel, for example, was entirely up to my editor’s schedule, and out of my hands.
So I kept it modest, and a little vague. And, of course, a nice thing about modest goals is that it’s often possible to overachieve. So here’s what I accomplished, working from the above plan:
1. Drafted two novels.
2. Finished one novel.
3. Wrote a series proposal and two sample chapters, polished it all, and sent it off.
4. Wrote a grant proposal and thirty sample pages, polished that, and sent it off.
5. Drafted, finished, sold and celebrated publication of a novelette, “The Cage.”
6. Drafted three short stories and embarked on a fourth that proved to be a false start.
7. Finished two 2009 stories, which are now off at market.
8. Sent a novel to market.
9. Sent out material relating to a potential short story collection, after I won the Sunburst.