Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Goals for 2009

I've given up on making resolutions. I try to improve myself every day, so to suddenly try to change myself because of the date feels wrong. Instead I have written a list of writing goals that I have for the new year.*

Finish & Submit The Other Side
I'm in the middle of rewrites (or technically first-writes) and hope to get it to a respectable length the first week of January. I plan to send it to my next reader by January 8th and start of my query and synopsis while that person has it. Once I get those edits back, I hope to write a final draft and start submitting.

I originally hoped to start submitting in January, but I know it's more important to have your work at its very best; rushing doesn't help anyone. That said, if my next reader suggests things that require more rewrites, I'll push the submit date back further. BUT, my goal is to start sending queries by the end of February.

Finish My Second, Yet-To-Be-Named, Novel
I set it aside at 62,000 words, so I'm already further ahead than with my first novel, at least in terms of length. I'd say I'm about three-quarters of the way through and I already know a lot of reworking that needs to be done. I plan to tackle this while my queries sit on busy agents' desks.

Write & Submit More Short Stories
I sent my first short story off a couple weeks ago and I'm still waiting to hear back. I know better than to assume I'll be accepted on my first attempt, so I'll send it out again once I get that first rejection. I recently started a second story, and if I can write one per month, I'll be happy.

Write & Submit Non-Fiction Articles/Essays
This goal is a little more ambivalent. I have some general ideas for topics, but I'm floundering a bit when it comes to actually writing anything. This is more of a back-burner goal.


I also have goals for my personal life, but they are all out of my control. For the sake of this post, I'll list them like my wishing will have any effect on their outcome.

Get an Agent
Yes, I know this ties into writing, but because it concerns an actual person, I'm including it in personal goals. :)

Master Dreamweaver
I haven't mentioned this much lately, but I've been teaching myself Dreamweaver - or trying to - over the past several months. I hit a wall earlier this month and I'm now waiting for my dad's arrival because he's bringing a Dreamweaver book. Yay!

Move Back to Chicago
Again, completely out of my control, but that's my biggest wish. Obama & Biden have put together a website called change.gov and they have currently opened the site to questions. You can vote on questions that others have submitted, or post your own at change.gov/openforquestions.

Assuming I Master Dreamweaver & Move Back to Chicago, Start My Own Freelance Business
Ideally I'd like to be able to use my skills as both a graphic designer and a writer. I know it's hard to make a living as a freelancer and I think doing both with expand my opportunities. Ibis and I talk a lot about what we'll do when we leave Mexico, especially in light of the US economy right now, and my only stipulation for him is that he finds a job with insurance. That will allow me to pursue my writing and designing without fearing for our health.

And that's about it. There are a couple little things I've left off, but they're the things I try to do every day: live a healthy life, love and appreciate my friends and family, and try to be a person that others can respect.

I know some of you have listed your goals and resolutions on your blogs, but is there anything you'd care to share here?


* Is anyone else in SHOCK that it's 2009? Ay carumba!

21 comments:

Pink Ink said...

Great goals, Melanie! Good luck.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks! I just hope I can accomplish some of them.

Janna Qualman said...

Excellent list! Many of yours mirror mine, which I'll be posting New Year's Day. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I thought they might. :)

Amy Nathan said...

Your goals include moving back to Chicago? Lucky me! I'm in (ok, near) Chicago.

I usually set goals in increments, like baby steps. Sometimes even that is daunting to me.

Melanie Avila said...

Amy, I know!

Most of my goals have already been started, so they don't seem like huge daunting things to me. And I'm really excited to start querying!

Nadine said...

Great goals! I haven't thought of mine just yet, but getting an agent is definitely top on the list. And fitting in my jeans after this holiday season...

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, I was just trying on my jeans and all I can say is thank god for stretch fabrics!

Zoe Winters said...

Time flies. And wow that's an ambitious goals list!

ac said...

"Start My Own Freelance Business"

What kind? Website development?

Melanie Avila said...

Zoe, time DOES fly. I can't believe we've been here almost two years!

Melanie Avila said...

AC, hopefully graphic design based, but incorporating writing as well. I'm teaching myself Dreamweaver so I can do web as well. I've had to turn down projects in the past and since everyone is turning online, I figure it's better late than never.

Turkey Lurkey said...

Woohoo! Great goals! (Keeps fingers crossed for reportation back to Chicyland)

Melanie Avila said...

OMG, I LOVE that word! Reportation. :P

spyscribbler said...

I am SO rooting for you, Melanie!

The fact that it is 2009 just FREAKS ME OUT! I've made a grueling schedule for myself this year, writing-wise, because I just can't BEAR for 2010 to come without certain things happening. I mean... 2010!! 2010!!!

2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

spyscribbler said...

(Cracking up over reportation, too, LOL!)

Melanie Avila said...

Spy, 2010 is just too foreign to contemplate right now. I just don't believe it!

Jen said...

Good goals, Mel! Here's hoping we meet up in Chicago in a few years' time. :D

aaroncrocco said...

I really like your goals and I think you'll get a lot of them done with some digging in. I hope that Chicago is a 2009 accomplishment as well for you both! You can do it!

Melanie Avila said...

Jen, that would be wonderful!

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Aaron, I hope so too!