Dean Wesley Smith calls the next few months of the year the time of great forgetting. It’s far enough from January resolutions for people to have lost the vim and vigor with which such resolutions are attacked in the first few months of the year. The weather is getting nicer, making butt in seat hours harder to attain. School is out and so many other things-to-do end up edging out writing.
He recommends setting goals right now to carry a writer through the time of great forgetting. I think I’ve already got somewhat of an edge up, because I never made any resolutions in January so I’m not falling behind. But the reason I didn’t make resolutions was that I was taking a class. The class was the final one that I needed to complete a second bachelor’s degree, and so, even though I plan on backpacking as much this summer as last summer, I’m going to set writing goals for the next four months.
Basically, the plan is to go ahead and start writing more. Not necessarily more words, but more often and more story oriented. I keep up with my blogs on a weekly basis, but I don’t write stories for them very often. To that end, I’ve got some goals.
Output Goal: 500 words of fiction per day on non backpacking/camping days. 100 words of fiction per day on backpacking/camping days. These are minimum counts. I’m setting them low because I want to start building a streak. When I was writing my fiction for my last class, I discovered that I tended to write about 300 words in an average session, so 2 sessions per day shouldn’t tax me at home. When I’m out backpacking and/or camping, I’ll be writing my words long hand to transcribe later. I admit, the main reason to cap it at 100 is so I don’t have to manually count more than 100 of my chicken scratch handwritten words.
Completion Goal: I’m going to have a couple different goals when it comes to completion. I’m aiming at one short story per week each week this summer, with the exception of three specific weeks when I’ll be out backpacking for the entire week. Since a story may not take an entire week, and/or my brain might need a break, I have other projects that I’ve been wanting to attack. I want to complete four longer length works that have been in my head for a while.
Publication Goal: This one is the hardest for me. I still haven’t figured out how to not react to rejection. That’s why I need to do it. I need to find venues to submit and continue to submit to them. Every week. I’m still nowhere near my first 100 rejections. It’s time to start building that collection again.
Accountability Goal: I will post a blog (almost) every day with word counts and story counts. I write almost because when I’m out backpacking there’s no way to post anything. Backpacking days will have no entries, but will be recapped on the next possible day.
My final portfolio for class is due tomorrow by 5pm. My challenge begins Friday May 6, 2016 and runs through Thursday September 1, 2016. 17 weeks. At the end of that period, I aim to have 14 short stories, at least as many rejections, 4 novellas and a mighty streak.