2023 Goal Update #1

It’s been 4 months…

I write goal and goal update posts for transparency. Many writers don’t want to share how much they are or are not writing, submitting, querying, etc. I strongly suggest you find yourelf a small writing group with goals similar to yours – whether it be short fiction or novels, indie publishing or traditional routes – because these groups will be more vocal about their goals, activities, and struggles than the average social media or blog writer.
I give an update after four (4) months because it’s long enough for movement in some direction.
Picture: an out-of-focus haworthia in foreground and a block that says Write without fear. Edit without mercy.

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

Short Stories

Submission Goals
By the publication of this blog post, my goal was to submit thirty (30) stories to reach my goal of ninety (90) by the end of this year. As of today, I have submitted thirty-nine (39) stories. I’m quite ahead of my goal. This also means I’ve been a little lax in keeping my submission routine, well, routine. But I’m already nearly 1/3 of the way to my next update goal.
Giving this an On Course 🏃🏻‍♀️
Rejections and Acceptances
I have seven (7) submissions out at this time. I have one acceptance announced earlier this year. Manawalker Studios will be producing “Submerged” on their Flash Fiction Podcast! Earlier this week, I received another acceptance, which I’ll announce after I have contract and information on announcement.
My goal is always 100% rejection because I win if I make my goal and I win if I don’t because I’ll have acceptances. Additionally, I’m a member of a group who sends rewards for rejection accruals in stickers. It’s highly motivating to get stories submitted and rejections collected, which will also increase acceptances.
Giving this an On Course 🏃🏻‍♀️
Short Fiction Writing Goals
See the next section about what writing I have been doing, but my goal to write or polish a short story most weeks of 2023 is not going well. I’ve polished three (3) stories and either put them on a submission path or they appeared in my newsletter.
I’ve started another few stories, but my totals are nowhere near the seventeen (17) that a story-a-week would have gotten me.
Giving this a In the Weeds 🌿


Querying News
I have requests out for the novel I queried April 2021 – December 2022, otherwise, I have CNR’d all remaining queries and basically trunked that novel pending any news on those requests. Rejection should come any day, good news could take five or eight or more months.
I finished revising a novel minutes before midnight on New Years Eve. I took a couple months to get and process feedback, and sent the full request I had from pitching the novel. Other than that, I’m not quite ready to dive into the query trenches with it. Should all of the above come back rejected, then I’ll begin querying this novel, a YA SF tragedy, in earnest. I’ve started a query list and have my letter ready. But I have no firm goals other than wait until I hear back.
Here’s hoping it’s good news back well before my update at the end of August.
Writing Update
Why didn’t I get my short fiction goals met? Well, I spent January and February writing about 22.8k words in a backburner novel I hadn’t opened since August of 2020. At first it was more in that novel, and then a whole new set of characters came and I thought I was writing a short story I could pull out of the backburner novel. But, nope. Not sure what I’m going to do with that 22.8k right now. Let it sit for about six months and then look at it again. The last thing I need is another novelette or novella to find a home for.
On April 8, I woke up and came up with a novel idea. Normally, novels require some marinating. However, I wrote a general idea of it in my ideas spreadsheet and 100 words on a piece of paper while out at dinner with my family. The next day, I woke up and wrote about 4k words. I started my draft the way I’ve always drafted, in a Word doc. But I’ve been testing out a Mac after a decade of using Windows and I decided to see how drafting in Scrivener is. On April 10, I moved everything into Scrivener and all my words have been going into this new novel. 
As of this update, I have 31k written in this novel. When I started 2023, I had no idea I had any expansions or new novels in me. I had a lot of ideas marinating. One of the oft-given pieces of advice while querying is to “Write the Wait” in whatever form you can. I’d expected to write short fiction, instead I’ve gotten another novel going – another novel that should be query-able if I finish it per my word count goal, 850 words per day for about 85k total, give it time to rest, feedback, revisions, in about a year. 
For my novel writing update in August, I should have an update on revision status on that 22.8k and if I’m going to pull it out and work on another too long to sell story, and I should have an update on if and when I finished drafting this novel. It will be in the middle of my “let it rest” phase. 

Unexpected Goals Achieved!

In the crumbling of Twitter, some of the writers I follow and admire suggested joining Codex as a way to find the community we were losing. So I applied and qualified! That’s pretty cool. I haven’t even introduced myself over there yet, but I look forward to being more active in that community.

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