2017 Writing Goals

I don’t think I actually set 2016 writing goals unless they’re listed in a buried notebook. I did challenge myself to revise work and while I had a tantrum and didn’t manage to knock out the one-a-week revision edition, I did steadily  practice revision all year, sometimes playing for the sake of playing (like with poetry), sometimes finishing a story because it was time, and twice revising to publish (here and hopeful). A year ago I also started exploring creative nonfiction through an online course. That class woke up an interest in telling true stories and showed me the time involved in telling a story well. Meaning that while 2016 is the year I decided I can be a teacher and writer, 2016 is also the year I realized there are some stories/ projects I need time to commit to doing well.

But this post promised my 2017 writing goals. So, here they are:

  1. One notebook a month
  2. FINISH Canyon Edge story
  3. Practice looooonger essays/ expansion as revision
  4. Write a sonnet composed of found comments on a single article/ issue/ video
  5. Submit five pieces for publication to at least three different magazines/ sites

I can do that.

January – June Writing Goals

  1. Fill one notebook a month
  2. Submit work to 10 different publications
  3. Take one writing day / date a month
  4. Read more!
  5. Experiment recklessly

First three are doable. Number four is my treadmill routine a few times a week (key: slow pace, big letters). If I can get through the year without smashing my iPad to bits when I reach for a towel, awesome. Number five contains multitudes. I’ve started experimenting with dialogue formats and tags. And I’ve played around with a George Saunders-ish style. Some of my WP is like dress up. I’m trying it on in a draft. I can change back into my tee-shirt and khakis after.

I like to tell this story, because I like me a little more to remember when I first read Kurt Vonnegut. I thought it was the funnest stuff ever and immediately started a story about a man named Milton. I had this whole wild story worked out, with wacky product names and invented countries, all inching toward some remark on society. It was fun! I even made a screen print of Milton. I dropped him a month later, but I still remember how great it was to be taken in by a character I made up. And how great to try on a style that didn’t quite fit but looked neat on the rack.

Because I haven’t got a story burning in me, I think it’s a good time to play. Good six months of writing ahead!