goals, Write 1/Sub 1, Writing, Writing Workshops

Mid-Year (hrrmph!) Review

Well, here it is, mid-August, and I’m just now realizing I’m due for a mid-year review of my goals. Well, what were my goals, then? Umm, wait a minute. They’re around here, somewhere…  Oh yeah. To recap (for the full post, click here):

    • Set up a workable writing environment in my new home.
    • Find a writer’s group and community near me in New Jersey.
    • Participate in Write 1/Sub 1, creating 2 new stories and 2 submissions each month.
    • Continue reading slush for (a) magazine(s), and learning from it.
    • Attend a new-for-me convention in the NJ area.
    • Broaden my online presence (without overwhelming myself with updates, etc), and make more connections with other writers, both online and in person.

So, how am I doing?

In the spirit of sharing what my writing space looks like, here's my desk, at the window. Not bad, even if it overlooks the parking lot.
In the spirit of sharing what my writing space looks like, here’s my desk, at the window. Not bad, even if it overlooks the parking lot.

The writing environment has been done for some time. It’s sometimes hard to keep “other life” from intruding upon this small desk by the window, but I try my darnedest, and usually succeed. Check.

A writer’s group. Well, I’ve joined up with Writers of the Weird, and while I can’t attend every month (as I’d like to), they’re a great group. Also, I joined the OWW for an online group, and am giving a “new” group (members of my MRK writing class) a go this weekend. Whew, that’s a lot of writing groups! Can I get a double-check for this one?

W1/S1 at 2 stories written and 2 submissions per month. Here’s the tricky part. Let’s check those stats. OK, I have 16 stories completed to date this year, and we’re on week 35/month 8. So, that’s roughly one story every 2 weeks. Hurray! This is kinda surprising to me, because it really didn’t seem like I was keeping up (some weeks I finished 2 stories, while others I finished none. I’m keeping to the spirit, not the letter, of the law).

In the submissions department, Duotrope reports 37 submissions. I know I’ve made at least 3 to markets not covered in Duotrope, so let’s call it 40. Again, that’s a win. Weee-hoo! But this leads to the sad realization that I’ve gotten only 3 acceptances so far. I was hoping for a few more by this time, but so it goes. I’m sending stories to better markets, and many are taking the full length of the “replies by” time. And I’m getting good rejections, too. So, while that last bit might seem gloomy, I am keeping to my goals. A check on W1/S1.

Reading slush. Well, submissions aren’t open on Blue Shift yet, so I haven’t done any slush reading. This is really making me sad. I loved doing this, and I learned much from it. I thought about applying to another market, but considering my move and my upcoming VP workshop, I decided to just hold off on that for now. February is coming soon enough. (In true Game of Thrones parlance, Winter is coming!) No check.

A new-for-me convention? Well, I had to duck out of attending Readercon, so I haven’t done this yet. But I have high hopes for PhilconNo check.

Finally, connecting with other writers both online and in person. Well, this is a double-edged sword. I’m connecting with new writers thanks to my upcoming VP attendance, and because of the WotW membership, and because of the online classes I’ve taken. But my blog suffered a bit of a hit this summer. Still, I’ve added a few new online bits here and there, so I don’t feel I’m being too wimpy in giving myself a check here.

Wow. That feels pretty good. I’ll admit, I was  worried about my finished stories and submissions not being up to par. But once my finished stories ended up on the “right” side, I was clear. All but three of those have been submitted, and early on I submitted for the first time a few stories written late last year (not sure they count in the letter of the law, but I’m going for the spirit here, remember?). So I’m safe and set.

How is your year going?

2 thoughts on “Mid-Year (hrrmph!) Review”

  1. Congratulations on your progress and successes! And good for you for writing out your goals and sharing them. It inspires me. So thank you, as well. I also think it’s awesome that you have a tag with the title of “perspiration”. 🙂

    1. Glad the number-crunching on my goals/experience helps. That’s what I’m trying for with it. As for the “perspiration” tag, it’s from a quote by Thomas Alva Edison: “Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration.” Truer words were never spoken…

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