Now that my beady-eyed inner beastie (i.e. The Critic) is laying low, I can celebrate my successes and outline new goals without any badgering before I even begin. My two biggest goals for 2011 are a) to get published in a magazine, and b) to write for a living at least half-time. Looking at last year's goals, I've accomplished quite a lot on my list:
- published my first newspaper travel article in the Los Angeles Times!
- received an honorable mention from the SOLAS awards for "Carnival Queen"
- updated my blog 2x/week & said good-bye to beijos do brasil -- my old travel blog
- applied/got accepted to 3 graduate schools (including merit scholarship)
- formed a writing group (and continue now in my M.F.A. critique workshops)
- joined writing associations (Redwood Writers & Bay Area Travel Writers)
- attended several author readings and one conference (Redwood Writers)
- researched, collected, bookmarked and organized writers' guidelines
- cross-referenced story ideas and drafts with possible publications
- created a story submissions database to track responses
- completed a final version of "OLK" and submitted it to 13 publications (all rejected)
- wrote several memoir essays with material adapted from The Journal Project
- interviewed Nels and Pearl and wrote a journalistic essay on farming families
- started writing a profile of Jess, a wildlife biologist working in Alaska
- several times revised and workshopped South Korean temple piece (not done yet!)
In addition, I accomplished things that weren't on the list:
- a nonfiction essay nominated by my MFA program for the AWP intro/journals national literary competition
- paid to blog twice a week for aha!Chinese
- hired as a freelance reporter with Petaluma Patch
- internship with literary agency
- two interviews for TAships in English dept. (I turned down this semester)
There are many writing projects left on the list. I still want to pursue children's book ideas, fiction (YA novels?) and poetry, but I am realizing it'll most likely not all be during this year! And there are plenty of travel, education and profile articles I want to complete and submit. I've just re-organized my old writing folders in the file cabinet donated from a friend. Then it's a matter of dedicating the extra time (during a 70+ hour week) and breaking down the goals into manageable and realistic chunks.
What have you accomplished in 2010? What remains on your to do list? What writing aspirations do you have for 2011? How do you set goals and what steps do you take to reach them?