A (Half) Year in Review

Since I let this blog get a little cobwebby over the last year, a recap post seems like the perfect way to come back to the world. I was inspired by my awesome writer buddy Leslie Starr O’Hara the Cyborg Valkyrie, who wrote back in January about her writing goals for the year and put down actual numbers. She has this theory of thinking about your life as a business – you set goals and metrics for the year, and then give yourself quarterly reports to see how you’re doing. Of course, despite this inspiration, I’m not implementing the plan until 6 months into the year, but hey, something’s better than nothing, right?

But first….a quick catch-up. Previously, on Writing Wonder, our heroine had been very close to getting into Clarion/Clarion West, but ultimately unsuccessful, and was considering applying to Odyssey. Welp, I got in! Woot! And spent six weeks last summer in the woods with an amazing group of writers, an incredible teacher (Jeanne Cavelos) and weekly visits by some of the industry’s best. I even got to meet/hang out with/get a critique from one of my favorite writers, Kij Johnson.

Drunk with success and in writing-in-the-woods withdrawal, I followed up Odyssey by applying to an MFA program – Stonecoast. I wanted to go because of the amazing professors and the fact that it’s low-res so I can continue to live my life while figuring out how to incorporate a consistent writing practice. And I got in! Woot! It started in January, which is where this half-year in review begins.

My 2016 writing goals are very simple – amass 100 submissions (this is part of the 100 rejections blood pact I made with my Odyssey crew), have 5 stories out on submission at once, and write every day. I am much much less prolific than many of my friends/writing buddies, so this is a good goal for me to keep me focused without trying to run somebody else’s race.

So how am I doing? Well, let’s go to the videotape! look at the numbers:

Stories/Essays First-Drafted: 6
Stories Currently in Revision: 5
Stories/Essays Completed: 4
Note: This includes stories drafted before this year, but finished since January.
Most Subs Out At Once: 2
Total Submissions: 10
Form Rejections/Personal Rejections: 5 form/2 personal
Acceptances: 2
Note: This includes my non-fiction essay, which was written and accepted for a specific anthology.

Not so bad. I’m not where I want to be yet, but if I can convert more of these pieces in revision into finished stories, I’ll be on my way. The one thing I know I have not done? Write every day. I try to write on my commute in the morning on the train at a minimum, but I know sometimes I haven’t done it, and I haven’t been tracking it consistently, so I am now going to start tracking it and try using a Don’t Break The Chain mentality – it doesn’t matter how much I write, just that I write every day. Wish me luck!

Until next quarter…

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