Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Writing Goals for 2015:
The Assessment

December 26th, 2015

Since 2011, I’ve been publishing a list of my writing goals for the year, and at the end of the year I take a look at that list and assess how I did at meeting those goals. So it’s time to assess 2015.

I want to start by saying that in 2014 I had some lofty goals — and I failed to meet several of them. So in 2015 I scaled down my ambitions. Here’s how I did:

1. Revise and polish the third novel of THE RED trilogy so that it’s ready for publication.

Yes. Done. And Going Dark has been published!

2. Write at least one novella set in an existing story world.

Nope! As I mentioned last year, I really want to write a novella. I still do. I like the idea of a complete, fully developed, novel-like story that can be read in just a few sessions, and I even know what story I want to write. Maybe in 2016.

I’ve only ever written one novella, “Goddesses,” which is available in my short fiction collection of that name.

3. Write at least two short stories unrelated to anything else I’ve done.

Hmm…this is a sort-of yes. I wrote one story which will appear in an anthology scheduled for the far future of 2017. And then I wrote a second story which is just sitting in my files. I abandoned it there because I thought it probably wasn’t SF-nal enough for the market, and it was pretty grim, and seriously, does everything I write have to be grim?? Still, I should probably take another look at it.

During these last couple of years I seem to have lost my short story mojo. It’s been hard even to come up with ideas that I feel will work, never mind the actual writing. I wonder if this isn’t due, at least in part, to a subconscious sense that even when I write a story I really like and place it in a good market, there just isn’t much of a pay off. The initial payment is tiny given the hours of work involved, and in the longer term there rarely seems to be any positive effect on my career or increase in my book sales.

But on the positive side, short stories are a great means of developing new ideas. The Red Trilogy would not have existed if I hadn’t stumbled onto a story world and a protagonist by writing short stories.

4. Write at least three nonfiction posts that I feel comfortable marketing to high-circulation websites.

You know what? I just don’t have a strong skill set for writing nonfiction articles. I did write a little post for though, on the technology behind The Red.

5. WRITE A NEW NOVEL. But I’ll go easy on myself and call this goal fulfilled if I have a new novel planned and well begun by the end of the year.

Yes! Given the way I phrased this last year, I have succeeded in this goal!

No, I haven’t actually written a new novel yet, but it is well begun, probably close to 40,000 words at this point, albeit in very rough form, and in two files which are being slowly combined. But I do have a plan for it, in the form of a synopsis that outlines the major points, through to the end. So thanks to my younger self for not insisting that I have a finished draft! 😉

Did you have writing goals for 2015? How did you do?

Posted on: Saturday, December 26th, 2015 at 6:00 am
Categories: Annual Writing Goals.

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