2023 Goal Wrap-up and 2024 Goal Setting

It is the last Friday of the year and time to assess my goals from this year and set new ones for next year.

Click my Goals category to read previous goal setting and updates. But I’ll review the previous year’s throughout.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Short Stories: Goal Review

Short Stories Written and Polished in 2023:
For 2023, I aimed high by participating in a group who were writing one short story every week – 52, and planned to polish one story per month -12.

I’ve lost track of how many stories I drafted this year. It was non-zero but it was far less than fifty-two. Plus, I fell well off my polishing goal.

The reason behind this is because I drafted some flash throughout the year (which I should have done a better job tracking, but did not), a novella in the early part of the year after finishing novel revisions, wrote a novel in the spring, wrote a novelette in the summer, worked on flash revisions, and then began revisions on the spring novel in the fall. I got no drafting or short fiction revision done once I set upon novel revisions. I’m not the fastest reviser when doing my own passes.

I spent the entire year in the weeds, but I’m content with what I have worked on and produced. I would like to have gotten more polished stories completed and out the door on their submission journey, but since I wrote several longer stories, such is how it goes.

This goal receives a thumbs up with weeds because even though I did not make my official goal, I did write and revise quite a lot.

Story Submissions in 2023:
In 2021, my goal was to submit 39 stories and I submitted 40.
In 2022, my goal became a stretch goal of sixty (60) submissions. I submitted sixty-six (66) times. 
In 2023, my goal was to submit ninety (90) stories, and I submitted ninety-five (95) as of the writing of this post. The year isn’t quite over and maybe I’ll submit over the weekend. But I’ve exceeded this goal and am happy.

This goal receives a success!

Rejections in 2023:
My goal, as before, is 100% rejection rate. That way, I’m successful whether I meet it or get acceptances.

According to my stats kept on  Submission Grinder, I had a total of 83 rejections AND two (2) acceptances.
​Even though there’s still ten (10) unaccounted for and, again, there’s an entire weekend ahead of us for both rejections and acceptances to come in (I had two withdrawals this year as well), I’m calling this one a success.

Acceptances in 2023:
While I don’t make acceptance goals (though in my heart I hope for 100%), I note them at the end of the year for completeness sake.

Submerged was a reprint published at Manawaker Flash Fiction podcast – my first audio story!

My flash piece, W.F.A. #31, was accepted at Worlds of Possibility and will be published in the future.


Goal: Short Stories Written and Polished in 2024
I don’t really know where to begin for this goal this year, for reasons that will become clear in my novel section.

Writing I’m going to take easy for production: Write 4 new stories this year.

I have six stories and a poem in my revision queue. Polished goal will be all of those done plus either history queue or newly written for a total of 12 polished stories on their submission journeys in 2024.

Goal: Short Story Submissions in 2024

Goal: Short Story Rejections in 2024

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile image of the sky
Photo by Raphael Nogueira on Unsplash


Goals for 2023
were generally vague. I finished that second novel to query and queried it. I have received all the responses I expect to get on both those first and second novels, and they are both on the shelf now.

I wrote another novel, out of the blue and unexpectedly.

Overall, I did not get an agent, so that was unsuccessful, but I wrote another whole novel and got it quite a bit revised and have quite a bit of feedback already and more to come.

Goals for 2024:
Currently, my immediate goal is to finish a revision pass on the unexpected novel and get more feedback on it, incorporate, then off to the query trenches yet again. Ideally, that will all happen before my next update. I’ll keep you posted.

While the novel is with another round of feedback readers and once this novel is on it’s query journey, I’ll be able to get back to writing and polishing shorts.

Happy New Year in scrabble tiles.
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

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