August: 2012 goals

Is it August already? Lord. I thought the summer had just started. I’d better get working on this Irish tan. The summer’s practically over and I’m not nearly red enough.

Anyhow, it’s time (past time, actually) for the update on my resolutions for 2012. Not interested? Who could blame you? Click below for this month’s distraction. (Last month it was Beauty and the Beat. This month, the same folks put together a very different but equally cool video, Cinderfella.  And bonus: It’s got Glozell and Shangela.)

Anyhow, I’ve been MIA due to vacations, weddings, funerals and then a lot of work. But I did manage to make some progress on my goals in July. Part of this is due to an agreement I made with another writer – we’ve sent one another contracts with our goals and weekly, we send updates, telling one another what progress we have (or haven’t) made. The accountability has been very helpful to me.

Here’s my progress.

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. It won’t happen before September because there are more than four chapters in my novel, but it might happen in the forseeable future.

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. Let’s pretend that I never put this down as a goal, ‘kay? Just for this month?

Read one two novels a month in 2012. It’s either feast or famine when it comes to me and reading. It took me months to finish Swamplandia! by Karen Russell, but I did it. Then, encouraged by finishing a novel, I threw myself into my bookshelf with abandon. Since the beginning of the month, I’ve read The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa, all three Hunger Games novels (pro tip: Avoid that last book unless you enjoy being in Bella Swan’s head in the Twilight books), Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins and now I’m in the middle of True Story of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey. And after I finish with all that Booker Prize goodness, I’m going to need some more genre junk food, so I’m planning to finally read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Of course, I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. For all I know, my reading bender might be coming to an end any day now.

Make at least $20 off a piece of fiction. Done in March. I got my first royalties this month. I am by no means independently wealthy, but I did make 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.

I did nothing with either one of those. Because it’s summer and I don’t feel like being anxious or thinking too hard about existential questions.

That’s it. If you need me, I’ll be doing my damndest to do all my work on the beach.  Pass the red pen and the sunblock, please.