Writing Goals: Looking Forward to 2016

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And so, 2015 is over. It’s been an interesting year. I’m not certain whether I can comfortably look back on 2015, but I feel confident in saying that I look forward to 2016, and that’s no mean feat. My writing goals for the past seven months have mainly been “write!” and so it’s difficult for me to assess how well I’ve met them. I accepted some new challenges and took some new risks.

Here are a few things I am happy about, this year-end:

  • Writing in Hebrew again. A new writing workshop has afforded me an exciting opportunity to go back to writing bilingually, which I’ve neglected for years. The feedback from my writing group is especially valuable, as well as the burning impetus provided by a fixed deadline.
  • Writing interactive fiction and games. I completed two Twine projects. The first is “Box of Unicorns“, a small practice game. The second is a project for the above-mentioned workshop.
  • Submitting my work to professional venues. I started in June under the sweet and earnest notion of writing a story a week and submitting twice a month. Since then I’ve submitted three times and, in retrospect, I’m pleased.
  • Reviewing books, games and other media. I’m particularly pleased with my review for Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, and Failbetter Games’ Sunless Sea. Gathering a back catalog of blog posts is also a worthy achievement.
  • Keeping positive. Possibly this is the most challenging mission on the list. I could not have done it alone.

My goals for 2016 are more of the same. I want to rework some of my older materials for blog posting or possibly for professional publication. I want to keep building up my Twine library while steadily working towards one larger project. I want to make a dent in my big spreadsheet of anthology deadlines. And I definitely want to read more.

jan_2016_new_cat
My brand-new pristine January 2016 writing goals spreadsheet, now with an added games tab (marked magenta).

My new spreadsheet for this month of January reflects not only my goals but my existing achievements, which is something I feel especially positive about. There’s a special floaty feeling of contentment to be had from setting goals based on milestones reached. Set against my unrealistic goals of last spring, it’s especially relevant. Working to one’s own deadlines isn’t easy, and I think I may have underestimated how difficult it can be. Rather, I think I underestimated my own success in doing so.

2015_monthly_words_table
A total of 51,819 words over seven months.

My numbers are between comforting and baffling. It’s true that these figures don’t include my three daily pages of warm-up writing, which I do almost every day. They also don’t include most of my workshop writing on grounds that most of that is warm-up exercises as well. And I can’t be certain that I remembered to log every bit of writing, even though organizing my efforts was the main reason for keeping these charts. The other was to make pretty, pretty graphs.

2015_monthly_words_chart
Words, charted: a running start in June, and dips in July (house-moving) and September (holidays).

Now I have some hard evidence to back up my good feelings.

Crossposted to Dreamwidth

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