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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Setting Goals for my Birthday

Birthdays are a lot like New Years. You get a chance to celebrate, remember good times, and set new goals.

I'm turning OLD on Saturday and, I have to admit, the whole setting goals thing is a major stumbling block.

Part is the problem is that I'm really very stubborn. I don't want to let my old goals die. When I was two I decided I wanted to be a marine biologist so I could work at Sea World. By the time I was twelve I wanted to be a marine biologist so I could play with sharks. By the time I was fourteen and a freshman in high school I'd plotted out which schools I wanted to go to and what classes I would take each semester to have my doctorate before I turned 28.

Everyone told me I was crazy. College is expensive. Once I'd sat through a biology class I'd run right over to the liberal arts college and get myself a journalisim degree because writing was what I was good at.

Just some advice: Never tell a teenager they can't!

What I really needed was for someone to sit me down and explain that sometimes life doesn't fit a schedule we've lovingly crafted on an excel spread sheet. No. Not even if we highlight all the important things in bright yellow and remember to schedule in meals. Sorry. Life changes.

No one told me that!

And now here I am, an adult, stuck with a life I don't have planned out on an excel sheet and no way of getting a refund!

Even my revised timeline hasn't been followed! I tried to make allowances for husband, and kids, and moving every five years.... but then the kids came when they weren't planned, and husband left the country (and came back I'm happy to note) and we've moved every three years!

So, here I am, OLD, and trying to make some goals. I'm still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I want to hit this time next year and look back and say, "Yeah, I did really well last year. I'm on target. Good for me."

I currently have four finished novels (we'll fudge because those last three chapters of Bryson are going to be written very soon here... promise). One of those novels is getting shoved under the bed. I might pull it out for parts at some future date, but not any time soon. One was last year's NaNo novel. It's cute, but it needs substantial work. The other two are both in the middle of edits (drafts 1 and 3 respectively) and show promise.

On top of that I'm finally getting the hang of short stories and flash fiction. I am sending one out at the end of the month.

And, to top that, I've been tenatively offered a 6 month writing gig for an e-zine. It's not a paying gig, but it's an offer to write a series of non-fiction articles over a six month period and get my name out there.

Not bad for a SAHM with a bachelors degree in marine bio.

Now I need to write some realistic goals based on what I have instead of what I don't have (like a university with a masters in marine bio within a 200 mile drive)...

1) Get a short story published.

2) Get a novel in an agents hands - I'd love to sign with an agent by this time next year, I'll be happy if I have an agent who has requested a full manuscript to read. These things take time and I will have patience.

3) Improve my writing skills. In particular I want to work on description. I can get realistic DL but my characters look like talking heads half the time. I want to get to the point where I can write description of the characters movements natuarlly.

4) Keep reading both fiction and nonfiction. I like to pick up articles on scientific advancments and discoveries. It gives me new ideas to play with in my sci-fi worlds and it's good to learn new things. :o)


  1. You have some fantastic goals! And just by writing them down, you're worlds ahead of the populations! Written goals - they are the key. Now take each one and list the steps you need to do, and you'll be 90% of the way there!
    And you know the other great thing about these goals. You didn't wait until January 1st to do them!
    Good luck!

  2. Pfft, you aren't OLD. :P Stop shortchanging yourself. ;)

    The goals sound good, though. Which short are you planning to send out?


  3. I was thinking of sending out Published Author at the end of the month. The story about a best-selling novelist who doesn't want to see another book :o)

    And I want to write something and send it in for the Federations Anthology. I've started it but I haven't finished or started editing it yet....

  4. I liked "Published Author". %-) Sounds like a plan!

  5. I agree. You can do this. Heck, you already /are/.

    And you are NOT old \:|

    Great post, girlie :)

  6. Hey, happy upcoming birthday. One always wonders how another defines old. I'm probably ancient by many definitions.

    That's nice about the Ezine offer. If you have a moment, email me privately if you want some totally unsolicited advice. *g* If not, no problemo. jlareeves @ sbcglobal.net.