2012 Goals

New Year’s is nearly upon us and I’ve been thinking quite a lot about what I would like out of 2012. Resolutions seem too commitment-y, so I’d rather set some nice goals.

#1: Get one of my fiction stories accepted for publication. (This may be rather lofty. I’ve only written 5 short stories in my whole life and have just now been getting really into the idea of writing fiction. I’m a poet at heart, but there’s something so wonderful about all that space. I will say, I find it really depressing anytime I read an amazing short story and I wonder how I’m ever going to be able to learn to write something that seems so wondrously perfect. But I have to take a step back and think I’VE ONLY WRITTEN 5. One of  my stories has gone through at least 7 incarnations. How many incarnations could those amazing ones have gone through? Plus, at least three of the authors that won a Pen/O. Henry prize for 2011 said that they had been working on the particular story that won for 10+ years.)

#2: Get published in one of the journals my heart leaps for joy over. (In no certain order, this is The Kenyon Review, The Journal, [Pank], Granta, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Southern Review, The Normal School, Gulf Coast, Ploughshares, Tin House, Threepenny Review. Of course there are many others. Some (like The New Yorker) I’m a little too embarrassed to include on that list. First thing is to start submitting to these journals. Some of these seem so amazing that I’ve been too ashamed to even CONSIDER submitting to them, but how can I get published in one of them if I don’t even chance a rejection?)

#3: Get paid $ for one of my publications. (In the past, I’ve only received contributors copies for my publications. While this is something I adore, there is something about getting paid that makes the whole thing seem a little realer, like, hey, this could be sort of like a…job or something. Even if it’s only $10, I’d totally take it.)

#4: Be accepted into Bread Loaf. (I’ve applied to Bread Loaf for the last 2 years and gotten rejected each time. I’ve heard amazing things about the conference, and I’d just really like the chance to go, meet some people, etc.)

#5: Keep up my writing ritual. (7 o’clock in the morning, coffee in hand totally works for me. Read about some other writer’s rituals here.)

What are your literary goals for 2012?

9 thoughts on “2012 Goals

      1. No problem. Encouragement can be hard to come by.

        To that end, a support network of some type or other is absolutely necessary. Even if you can’t find a writer’s group (and good ones are hard to come by; I’ve been with mine for 11 years now) you need an objective eye or two who can give you honest, constructive feedback on your writing. Family members are spectacularly bad choices for this. I give my new stories to three people for an initial read-through before it even gets to my writer’s group; either the draft I read there or the draft after that is the one that gets sent out. I’m blessed to have the network I do, and I know it.

        Remember: the story is everything.

        In answer to your original literary goals question, though: I’d just like to finish three new stories. That’s it. Nothing big.

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