For the last two years, I’ve had a blog post listing my writing goals for the coming year. Making those goals public has been a great way of both letting you all know what’s coming and holding myself accountable, and I suspect I’ll continue the practice for years to come.
2020 is, of course, a very unique year; a collection of individual hellscapes somehow packed into 12 months. Nevertheless, the year that would never end is almost done, and it’s time to look back on my goals to see how well I did.
If you, like me, have once again forgotten what those goals were in the face of political elections, global pandemics, Galactic Federations, and Colonel Sanders Hallmark movies, you’re in luck. I’m sharing them again below, along with the final grade I’ve given myself1 and a brief status update for each goal.
So here we go; the 2020 year-end report card. Goals, grades, and snarky comments, just like we used to get in school… you know, when school wasn’t just a laptop and kitchen counter.
2020 Writing Goals – Final Grades
Neatly sidestep the question of whether goals are the same as resolutions by exclusively using the word goals in this and future posts
As far as I’m concerned, resolution isn’t even a word anymore.
Finish my re-write of Investigation, Mediation, Vindication, and publish it by late spring
Investigation, Mediation, Vindication has been available on Amazon since late May and continues to mind its own business.
Allocate Thursdays for writing poetry and start sharing those poems again
Poetry writing stayed consistent through about October, when Red Right Hand’s impending release took over my life. I also haven’t shared any new poems here on the site since April. Whoops.
Continue blogging every month
Including this post, I’ve had 33 blog posts this year2, which goes well beyond one a month, and starts to tiptoe across the border into bourgeois excess.
Drink a lot of whisky
Lately, I’ve been buying more whisky than I’ve been drinking3, but this was not a hard goal to meet. I am pretty sure the country runs on alcohol and pizza at this point.
Write the sequel to See These Bones and publish it this fall
I ended up finishing Red Right Hand slightly behind schedule, but released it on schedule, thanks to quick turnarounds and mostly positive feedback from my sainted beta readers. And people seem to really like it!
Reserve December for writing Fire of Unknown Origin, the next novelette in the See These Bones universe
I’m a few hundred words into Fire of Unknown Origin, and it is slow going so far, but I still think I’ll finish it this month. I did pivot in November to write a short story in the John Smith world, from the perspective of Lord Beel-Kasan, demigod of nightmares, vindication, and terror. My beta readers found it amusing.
Learn American Sign Language
This one got tabled, on account of the whole pandemic thing. Maybe I’ll manage it next year, although it sounds like I won’t be out of the house until June-ish.
Use commas where appropriate. Also… use them where inappropriate. This is a free-comma society, man. We don’t subscribe to your limitations.
Grade: Seven singing angels riding a convertible rocket to the moon!
As the high priest of commas, I spread my gospel far and wide this year.
So there you have it. Five A’s, one C, an F, and whatever that last grade should be considered4. Whatever else you want to say about 2020–and I understand if it involves expletives–it’s actually been a pretty successful year for me. Who would have thought? Now if I can just convince the Galactic Federation that Earth isn’t all bad…
Hmm. Maybe we should send them the Colonel Sanders movie?
If you’ve read this far, you’ve got gumption, kid. In fact, you’re just the kind of person that would make an awesome subscriber to my newsletter. Come join the fun!
And by fun, I mean “be alerted when new books are available.” If this site’s blog posts are my monthly, in-depth, fact-heavy shareholders’ reports, the newsletters are my far-less-frequent, carefully crafted pseudo-tweets, skipping all the nitty gritty to tell you what you actually want to know: what’s new and how you can get it.
I promise that I will never spam you… because spamming takes effort, and I am way, way too busy for that.