Monthly and Yearly Goals: January 2016

Happy New Year!

It’s 2016 now. I think the whole New Year’s Resolution thing is a tad overblown. That sentiment is obviously shared by my distant friend on the other side of this website. Still, I like setting goals for myself. It’s a challenge. And I’ve recently started publicizing my writing goals because I feel like I need to be held accountable to… whoever you are. So here are my goals for this month, as well as for 2016 in total.

1. “Jaed and Aston” – I am finishing this damn novel this year. I did not even come close to my end-of-year goal for 2015, but damn it, I’m trying! As stated previously, I’m aiming for a final word count of about 170,000. If I can average 20,000 words per month, I can have the first draft completed sometime in April. Then, I can revise, send to alpha readers, revise some more, probably have a real editor look at it, revise a thousand more times, and hopefully be totally finished before NaNo 2016. I guess that means I need to come up with a real title soon…

Goal: 20,000 words by January 31; Completed first draft by April 30

2. “Jaed and Aston” Part 2 – Yes, I am officially prepared to write a follow-up to my current novel — not a sequel, mind you. If I finish book #1 on as planned, I should be right on time to jump into book #2 for NaNo 2016. The follow-up will take some of the peripheral characters introduced in “Jaed and Aston” and continue their story arcs in a tangentially related context. And that’s all I got to say about that.

Goal: Outline completed by October 31, 2015; 50,000 words+ for NaNo 2016

3. Fully Functioning Website – I feel like I’ve talked about this before, but I don’t remember specifically. We – as in, Jessie and I – have grander plans for this blog beyond its current state. I’m not ready to give details yet, since we are still in brainstorming mode, but the first step of these plans is to design and build a website through WordPress.org, rather than WordPress.com. We already own the domain, so now all I need to do is learn HTML and CSS and build a website from scratch.

Okay, so learning HTML and CSS is not a simple process. I have very basic knowledge of both, and was using online tutorials to learn more around spring-summer of 2015. Those tutorials fell by the wayside as vacations and NaNo approached, but I want to dive back in headfirst, especially once my first draft of “Jaed and Aston” is complete in the next few months. Hopefully, we’ll have further exciting announcements later this year.

Goal: Become more familiar with HTML and CSS, build redstringpapercuts.com into independent website.

4. Read 26 Books this Year – This does not sound like a lot, but reading (unfortunately) tends to take a backseat to my other pastimes. I also do not read at a fast pace (unlike Future Wife, who can polish off 2-3 full-length novels in a single evening), so I’d also like to start training myself to read just a bit faster. I’ll keep my GoodReads profile updated with my reading list.

Goal: Read at least 26 books in 2016, averaging 1 every 2 weeks; actually use and update GoodReads

5. Start engaging more with other writers – This is a more general goal. I have interacted with some very interesting people through this site, but seldom in a more meaningful way than swapping follows or posting a few comments. There are literally thousands of blogs out there dedicated to writing in some form, and I’d like to start spreading my work around. I already know of some websites/blogs that host guest posts, but I’m always on the lookout for more. My goal is to begin participating in these. If/when I do, I’ll share the link on RSPC.

I’d also like to start meeting other writers in the Baltimore/Central MD area, so if you happen to live nearby, message me!

Goal: Meet/engage with more writers

Most of the above goals are several months long, so here’s one for January.

6. Kidnap Alice –  I haven’t written an album review in quite some time, so next up is a piece about a fantastic bluegrass band I saw while I was in Exeter, England. Trust me, you’ll want to check this one out.

Goal: Publish album review of Kidnap Alice by January 31

So Many Things!

Despite everything I’ve just written, I’m tempering my expectations for achieving these personal goals. Come the latter half of 2016, I will be über busy and probably stressed out about Future Wife becoming Current Wife. Maybe at that point I should just call her Wife… See? I already have a potential dilemma on my hands.

Steve D

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