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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » A Writer's New Years Resolution

Author Topic: A Writer's New Years Resolution
Member # 8501

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I'm starting this thread part for me and part to see what other Hatrackers are thinking of doing in 2010.

I'm keeping it simple. Three goals. They involve a lot more work, but I've got it down to three items:

1. Three Novel Query Campaigns - I have two first drafts done and another novel half written. They will all be seeking homes in 2010.

2. Writers of the Future - Finalist or Winner. I know, I know. That's not totally under my control, but I am going to try my darndest.

3. Work up so that I have ten shorts in the submission process at all times by the end of the first quarter and carried through for the rest of the year.

That's it. Lot's of work, but easily measured.


4. A qualitative goal. I wrote 70 short stories (including flashes) last year. A lot of that is dross. I need to write a little less and a lot better. So I have to pick up my style, my plotting and my characterization in 2010.

What's yours?

[This message has been edited by Owasm (edited December 29, 2009).]

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Member # 5174

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Overall, I need to increase my pitiful production (which won't take much):

1. Five shorts completed and in submission rotation by EOY.
2. Two WotF submissions.

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Member # 8368

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  • Get THE SHAMAN'S CURSE back out there, seeking an agent.
  • Polish up BLOOD WILL TELL and get it out there, too, sometime this spring.
  • Work on revisions/polishing on DREAMER'S ROSE. This one will need at least one chapter exchange after the first revisions. Have it out to agents by sometime this autumn.
  • Keep trying to write short stories. If possible, get at least one published.
  • Most important of all, keep writing
  • Not directly writing related, but--exercise more and eat less
  • Forgot to add. Start a website of some kind. I've been accumulating ideas.

Edited to add one more goal.

[This message has been edited by Meredith (edited December 29, 2009).]

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Member # 8201

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-- Enter Writers of the Future every quarter
-- Write, write, write (which will be easier now that I have my very own laptop and don't have to use the family computer)
-- Submit, submit, submit
-- Don't fall into the trap of too much rewriting, which tends to ruin the voice of my stories

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Member # 8612

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Making goals about what to write doesn't work for me. If I say "I want to finish my novel by year's end," and then in July I've written a bunch of garbage, I'll toss it and then give up because there is no way I'll finish in time. I do plan on writing at least daily (give or take weekends and holidays). If I can crunch out a page a day (which can take me anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on how well I am prepared...) I should be able to finish my novel by the end of the year. But if I don't, I still have that daily goal and shouldn't get discouraged by other stuff...

Plus, I think as a side bonus, every time I do short stories, I should have another entry for contests and other types of submissions.

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Member # 7974

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By the end of 2010, I intend to have at least:
  • One novel and its query package completed and mailed
  • Four completed short stories, each submitted to pro markets
  • My 2011 novel project in the planning phase

That said, the goal above all my others is to improve as a writer.

*Another goal: Learn how to enter UBB code without needing to edit posts.

[This message has been edited by aspirit (edited December 28, 2009).]

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Member # 7277

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Goals for this year

1) Enter WotF every quarter.
2) Choose one of my novel WIPs to focus on, finish and send out for crits by November.
3) Complete a rough draft of my dissertation.

Lots of other things I want to do, too, but those are my Big Three and if I accomplish all of them I will be one very happy camper.

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Bent Tree
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Ok, Let's make this official.


Enter one more WOTF so I can win. I am utterly ashamed to say that I have not entered since my second entry a year ago when I got my HM. Which I recently had fun looking back upon. I read all my crits I received on it. One was particularly amusing. The Critter said something along the lines of "I hate to come across this way but well, your story is very amateur and it will never do well in the competition. The MC is a teenager and the story reads like YA which never does well in the WOTF". Another said" It is way too long and boring." I guess they didn't know longer(up to 10-12k) are more likely to succeed than a 2k story. Anyway, I had fun looking back on all those crits and then at the HM hanging on the wall after my second attempt. And to all those nay-sayers get ready because the next one I enter will be at least a finalist.


Begin querying my novel I just put "The End" on yesterday, a expansion of my HM WOTF entry.

This should be #1, but I never seem to have a problem. Read hundreds of short stories, at least forty novels, and study daily. As I said, I doubt I will have trouble with this as I read siwty something novels last year, countless shorts and maybe not everyday, but countless hours of research on related subjects to my writing, even with all the stress of opening a new restaurant in MAy.

Write three novels. This should be feasible as I am semi-retiring again. By going back to consulting, I have made myself more time to write.

Write a short story per week.

Clean up and submit all my WIP's and get a better system for tracking my submissions.

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Pyre Dynasty
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I am going to finally finish the Harrow.
I am going to finish the novel I was supposed to finish for Nano
I'm going to look through my files and organize them into categories. 1.junk 2.junk to edit 3.ready to submit (Number three will be empty so I hope to fill it.)

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Member # 7912

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I'm going to do what I always do, and release the stories, voices and characters that are constantly trying to claw their way out of my mind.

Its largely pointless for me to try and say what I'm going to do beyond that.

So I will finish my current story, then write the next one in my mental queue.

I also need to make a couple little corrections/tweaks to a couple of stories so I can get them out there again.

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Member # 5137

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Treat writing as a career instead of a hobby.

This means finish what I write, and putting it out there in the hands of people who can pay me money for it.

I'm going to switch my focus to novels (I have 3 WIPs, have selected one to start with...hope to spend less than 3 weeks on it before starting the querying process.) I want to keep my short stories out there, and will continue to write new ones from time to time, but the money's out there in noveling, and I've got a niche I've targeted that nobody's writing much in (mid-grade and YA sci-fi.)

I also resolve to put some non-fiction book projects into the marketplace to see if they are any easier to sell.

But mostly, it's not a hobby anymore. There, I've said it.

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Dark Warrior
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Here is a cut and paste from my facebook 2010 goals (Just the writing part of it) To see my acting and other 2010 goals add me as a friend facebook.com/donavandarius


Write an entry (Short Story) for each quarter of the Writers of the Future Contest (WOTF).

Place (Top 3) in one of the WOTF quarters.

Submit one short story each quarter to IGMS, Asimov's, Analog, and F&SF until one is published.

Complete novel "Islands in the Sky" (Working Title).

Complete novel "Beta Moon" (Working Title).

Attend Uncle Orson's Writing Class and Literary Boot Camp.

Attend Hawaii Writers Conference.

Find fun co-writer to write and illustrate childrens book.

Begin writing Sci-Fi screenplay

Develop writing/acting website

Join SFWA (Must be published to join)

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Member # 2733

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This is a topic I've been thinking about. I managed to succeed on some substantial non-writing resolutions last year, which was kind of cool.

In 2009 I got sidetracked writing poetry thanks to a chance encounter with an old friend. I think there was a lot of value in the exercise, but in 2010 I want bring her about and get back on track with fiction. To give myself a measurable goal, I'll say submission for two quarters of the WoTF contest. I have no deep desire to do so, but it's a way to jar me from my comfort zone.

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Robert Nowall
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I resolve to get something going and also to finish it.
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Doc Brown
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I will finish episodes 3, 4, 5and 5 of Gallant upon the Sea.
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Member # 4849

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Get at least one novel out to agents, and write at least three. My recent WotF entry is to be tha last until I complete the three novels I am outlining, and the one I have written.
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Crystal Stevens
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Finish my novella and submit it to the Writers of the Future contest. I'm not going to make winning or being an HM or a finalist one of my goals. If it happens, it happens. I have another project and some ideas for future entries running around in my head .
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Member # 8329

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In 2008 I wrote one short story and one novel for a total of 80,000 words (largely due to NaNo). So it was mostly nothing and then all out.

In 2009 I wrote six short stories for a total of 30,000 words. But again, 80% of my writing was in the last three months.

So in 2010 I want to beat the negativity that seems to counter any attempt to improve my writing and achieve some type of regular output. My goals are simply:

* Write a short story a month, and improve on the wordcount from 2009.

* Submit one story to a competition and one to a publication.

* Read, read, read. I read 36 novels in 2009. I wonder if I can hit 52 in 2010? And I now have a subscription to Analog - so there's some short fiction in there too. I might have to turn the tv and computer off a bit more.

2009 was a challenging year in my non-writing life. There's no reason to think 2010 must be easier - but I can find ways to write regularly, I know it.

So, will we revisit this topic in December 2010?

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Member # 8714

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I like setting goals and checking things off lists but I don't worry if I don't get to everything. Here's what I've got so far.

1) I am going to enter WotF for the first time. Realistically this will be a second quarter entry as I am just starting the story now.

2) I am going to revamp my first novel on a level that may be considered a total rewrite. The bones and the characters will stay but I have a huge amount of world building to do and I am shifting the timeline and that will certainly affect the story.

3) I am going to set aside a little time most days to scribble down new story concepts even if I'm not ready to write them. I got a cool little notebook for this.

4) Amidst the bigger projects I am going to continue writing short stories. If I had to put a number I'd put six to eight as a realistic goal.

5) At some point I want to rework some of my older stuff and bring the quality up so they are better submissions. But right now I'm feeling a need to start fresh so I'm not sure when this will happen.

6) I want to work on being a better writer, to focus on my weakest points and try to create more complete, rounded stories.

7) I want to clean my bedroom, which is also where I write, so I won't have this 'other thing I should be doing' looming over me when I want to work on a story.

Good luck to everyone in accomplishing your goals.

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Member # 7354

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I got a head start on my upcoming goals. Less than an hour ago, I made the Walk of Joyousness to the post office across the road from where I work, and mailed out my WotF entry.

One goal accomplished, many more to go. Let's rock!


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Member # 2651

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My broad 2010 goals are:

Enter WOTF each quarter until I am no longer eligible.

Be no longer eligible (but be eligible for full SFWA membership instead).

Sell 5 stories at pro rates.

Complete 1 novel and full detailed outlines of 3 more.

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Member # 7299

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1) To become ineligible for the WotF contest.

2) Beat Skadder in our bet and start collecting my 100 million from him

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Member # 8707

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In 2009 (my first year of writing) I finished one short story and one novel (for nano, so "finished" might not be the right word)

This years goals:

1. Start running 5K at least once a week (not writing related, but still important to me)

2. Make writing a part of my schedule. I'm a creature of habit. I need to find a time that I can sit down and write every week, at the same time. I may have to cut down on the WOW raids...

3. Finish a short story and submit to WOTF. This will be my first submission anywhere, so no expectations as far as placing.

4. Finish the second draft of my nano novel and write another novel in November.

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Member # 8631

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Finish my novel by March, revise and query agents by the end of the year.

Write a few short stories and polish one enough to submit or enter WOTF.

I know it isn't much, but I'm a slow writer.

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