September: 2012 Goals

September? Already? Normally I like fall, but I’m having a hard time coming back from this summer. Maybe it’s because the last few months has been a blur of activity: I met half my in-laws for the first time, two close friends got married, several had children, I saw my college friends more than once, we camped, I had writers’ retreats and gave readings and signings of my book. I didn’t swim nearly enough. Now fall is staring me in the face and I keep squinting at it and thinking “You again? Didn’t you just leave?”

Well, let’s just get down to it, before I retire to my office to shuffle the papers I will pass out to my students in class tomorrow.  Here’s my progress on the goals I set out for myself in January.

Here’s my progress. (Not interested? Check out this Tumblr full of ashamed dogs. Let me know if you see mine on there.)

Finish the second draft of my novel by April (September.)  I’m pushing this back again, but I don’t feel too bad about it, because I’ve been making  progress on it, revising a chapter every week. I’ve revised a good chunk of the first part, and I’m happy with the work. I will have to stop again soon in order to work on my other project.

Get it sent to agents before summer. This is looking like it actually might happen at some point.

Send out at least three short stories. I didn’t send out a thing, but I did do some research on that front, so I could send things out to editors this month. I also revised an essay.

Read one two novels a month in 2012. I read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo as planned, then moved on to Ursula Le Guin’s Tombs of Atuan and Tehanu, neither of which were favorites of mine, although I enjoyed reading fiction with dragons in. Now I’m slowly moving through Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road. It’s beautifully written, but sometimes I can’t stand the characters, so it’s slow going. No clue what I’m going to read next.

Make at least $20 off a piece of fiction. Done in March. I got my first royalties in July. I can confirm that I made more than $20.

Other goals: I also set to work on two of my big conflicts this year: My feelings about my faith and my issues with anxiety.

My issues with faith were resolved, I thought, two months ago. And then things got a little more complicated this summer. Once, again I have no answers. I’m beginning to think I may never have answers and that I might have to be cool with not having answers.

As for anxiety? Well, it hasn’t been a problem this month. I don’t feel like anxiety’s even been an option for me lately. I’ve just been doing things because I have to.

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3 thoughts on “September: 2012 Goals

  1. I know, the summer flew by so fast … I have very little to show for it, I am a little ashamed to admit.

    Revolutionary Road is good, but it’s a tough read. It took me over a year to get through, for much of the same reason … and it got REALLY SLOW about 2/3 of the way in. I got bored and just stopped reading, and then came back around to it maybe 6 months later. Almost immediately it picked up again, and I finished it a few days after that. But it was a satisfying, well-written end.

    Rev Road had none of these nagging issues bothering me about Mockingjay right now. I feel like I need to get into another book ASAP so I can stop obsessing over the problems with Mockingjay.

  2. I went to Stockholm this summer, so I was compelled to read TGWTDT as well. You and I may be the last to do so. Strangely, I am not yet sure if I’m reading the other two in the trilogy. I’m not sure what that says about me.

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