Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goals Missed, Met, and Set

Happy 2013, everyone! 

‘Tis the season to recap the accomplishments and shortcomings of the previous year and set lofty goals for the next one, right? I won’t bore you with my resolutions about running or cooking healthy or sending out job applications (possibly because I didn't make any of those resolutions) and just focus on past and future goals related to reading and writing.


2012 GOALS: I wanted to read 100 books total, 75 of those from my Off the Shelf list. I managed to read 106 books this year – w00t! – but I wasn’t very good about sticking to the books on my shelves. Despite some edits to the OTS list and a December reading marathon, I only knocked off 61 of the 75. Still not too shabby though. 

My favorite read of the year? Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Also topping my list were Red Glove (Black), Imaginary Girls (Suma), The Book Thief (Zusak), When She Woke (Jordan), Song of the Orange Moons (Stephens), Ex Libris (Fadiman), and… well, honestly we could be here all day because I was lucky to read a lot of good ones this year, so I’ll stop there. I am full of even more recommendations in various genres if you want them though!

2013 GOALS: I also want to read at least 100 books total this year, but I’m only going to put 50 of them on an OTS list (posted here). I definitely need some accountability to keep chipping away at the books I already own, but it started to feel too burdensome at the end, not being “allowed” to venture outside of my OTS list because I was running out of time. I need more freedom to scour the library shelves with abandon, or to dive into new releases from my favorite authors right away, or to take recommendations from other readers (hint hint... feel free to share some!) and not have to wait forever to follow up on them. Here's hoping the 50% balance will work. (And if you're interested in taking on the Off the Shelf Challenge yourself, check it out here.)


2012 GOALS: I did manage to write and submit at least one story each month, meeting my official Write 1 Sub 1 goals and earning The Light Ray. (Ah, puns.)

I didn’t always meet my personal goal of at least two submissions per month, but overall I’m happy with my numbers. (Well, I’d like the acceptances number to be higher, but wouldn’t we all?)

- New Submissions: 16
- Resubmissions: 18
- Acceptances: 3

2013 GOALS: Because I want to shift my focus to my attempt at a novel, my short story goal for next year is less ambitious: 20 stories sent out, either submissions or resubmissions, by the end of the year. And I want to be able to do this on a flexible schedule, so I won’t be officially participating in Write 1 Sub 1 this year. I’m eternally grateful to the group for increasing my short story output though, and I would highly recommend it if you’re looking for a similar boost!


2012 GOALS: I considered 2012 my year of the short story, so my only novel goal was to complete NaNoWriMo, which by some miracle I did. (Huzzah!) Now the real work begins…

2013 GOALS: Figure out a timeline for re-outlining and re-writing the novel. Yes, right now my goal is to make a goal, possibly because I'm apprehensive about making novel-writing goals because I never seem to meet them. This does not seem promising. Okay, real goals... 

Outline by the end of this month FOR REAL THIS TIME. 

Then, 15,000 words per month (= 500/day. I should be able to write a lot more, but this leaves time for more brainstorming and re-re-outlining). 

There, now I feel motivated. And by motivated I mean terrified.


This is a goal I never expected to be making. I had given up on journal writing a while ago because I have years of experience and half-filled notebooks to know that I am absolutely no good at maintaining one consistently. It’s simply too much work when I’m doing all of this other writing (and now blogging and other social media sharing), and the days I do feel the need to write end up being melodramatic tirades that I cringe to ever reread. (Or that’s what happened to Teenage Jillian, anyway. Hopefully Present Jillian is a TAD less melodramatic and verbose. Maybe.) 

But a few days ago I stumbled across the idea of a perpetual journal with just two lines allowed per day. The idea appealed to me the same way flash fiction and microfiction started to appeal to me last year –  the convenience and challenge of being concise. I should be able to write just two lines per day, right? What a nice record of the year it would be.  So that’s my 2013 GOAL: Write a brief impression of every day, always something but no more than a few lines. I should probably get around to writing my entry for today, huh? 

Do you have any goals to share for the coming year?


  1. Welcome to my mind - "There, now I feel motivated. And by motivated I mean terrified." :)

    I've got my Standout Books for 2012 post up if you'd like to check it out. If you liked WHEN SHE WOKE, check out Jordan's MUDBOUND (if you haven't already) - an absolutely different read but excellent.

    Great goals, Jillian - keep writing and keep reading and you can't go wrong. For me, I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself and my goals while still challenging myself. Yeah, well, we'll see how that goes. :)

    1. I'm glad we're motivated and terrified together, at least. And you're entirely right - keep writing and keep reading and let the goals work themselves out.

      And Mudbound is definitely on my list - if only the list wasn't always so long!

  2. Fantastic goals, Jillian! I wish the best in meeting them all! My goal is to finish my revision to get my manuscript in submission-shape, and to finish and polish the project I started during NaNo... Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks! I've been enjoying your New Year posts and wish you the best with your goals as well. :-)

  3. Your goals are so much more put together than mine! On that note, I should go exercise like I promised...