2013 Writing Goals

I have two writing goals for this year. They are both very ambitious, but also very doable.


The first is to complete the first draft of the novella I’ve been working on. The key to this is letting it be a complete first draft. I often like to go back and edit as I go, which means I spend forever on whatever scenes I’ve been working on, but never actually get a complete longer work completed. Simply having the entire thing written, no matter how much editing needs to be done, will be a major accomplishment for me not matter what.

That doesn’t mean I won’t go back and edit as I go along. I have already gone back and rewritten the opening scenes, but now I’m at the point where I am making myself simply continue the story. I know some of what I am writing does not quite mesh with earlier scenes because I’ve changed my mind, but that can all be fixed in future drafts. The key for me this year is to get the first draft completed.


My second goal for the year is to submit at least one of my shorter pieces to a paying venue every month. I’ve written a lot of short stories, and while many need some kind of cleanup, getting the short pieces ready to send out is not that difficult.

The harder part of this goal is finding places to submit my work too. It can be hard enough just to find places that you can submit your work to, let alone markets that are actually right for your work. Luckily for me, there is Duotrope.com.

Duotrope is a site where magazines and anthologies list their calls for fiction and poetry. I can sort by genre, length of story, or by how much the publication is paying. Duotrope also shows me contests (generally means you have to pay to submit, but the prize money, if you place, is pretty good).

It is a huge boon to me. Instead of trying random web searches, I have one place to go where I can look at the calls for pieces and find the right market for what I have already written, or perhaps be inspired to write something new.

When I first discovered Duotrope, it was free. As of this year, it does require a subscription fee from writers. I decided the one year subscription was worth it for me because, if I’d paid money to have access, I was more likely to use it.


So far, I am making progress on both goals. In the novella, I finally have my characters in the jungle and only one step away from the heart of the story. As far as short stories, I have submitted in November, December, January, and for February, I have submitted to a non-paying venue, a paying venue, and two very short flash pieces to a contest.

It is kind of hard on the ego, though. The pieces I submitted in December and January have received rejections. (What was hard is that both rejections came in the same week.)

But surviving rejections and submitting again is a rite of passage all writers must go through, or at least that’s what I am telling myself.

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