We’ve talked about how hard goal-setting is. Looking back on my 2019 Q4 goals, I was a little overly ambitious given all the HOLIDAY SEASON FAMILY stuff I ended up doing.
I did braindump ‘the croc thing’ and I did rough in a couple chapters, so that was great. I did not finish any first drafts, though I did end up iterating a few thumbnail sketches for my possible Silk and Steel sub. From a process perspective, things went much better: I read on DevOps, continued using Notion (which has been great), and reassessed my workflow (despite the chaotic energy, non-structured, routine-killing black hole that is December).
And on top of all that, I was diagnosed with ADHD, and am working on management strategies and treatment. That was a huge game-changer for me.
For 2020, I’m setting an attitude and intention: I am going to FINISH THINGS.
I stopped and stalled so much last year (not for nothing, but still), and I have too many projects in various stages of completion. It’s disheartening because it feels like I have nothing to show for my work, like it doesn’t exist, because those stories aren’t done.
One thing I realized at the tail end of last year is that I let myself get too distracted by random shiny deadlines. I’d see that subs were opening for a magazine I liked or I’d see a new contest or antho put out a sub call, and I’d try to haphazardly and somewhat halfheartedly work on something for that deadline. But instead, I should focus on the work and then, once the pieces are done, look and see if there’s somewhere I can place them.
The main thing I want to finish this year is the first draft of ‘the croc thing’ novel (which has less and less to do with crocs, but placeholder titles die hard).
So, here are my 2020 Q1 goals:
- Draft Silk and Steel short story — submission deadline is Feb 22 (last shiny deadline, I promise! Sort of.)
- The croc thing — I want to have the first half of the novel drafted by the end of March i.e. reach the midpoint of the story.
- I want to have chapters 1+2 drafted by the end of January.
- I’ll still need to work on outlining, but that can be alongside and not instead of writing the actual thing.
- Apply to workshops: Clarion (West), Odyssey, Viable Paradise. (Because why not? No self-rejecting, right?)
Originally, I was going to go to one or two SFF conferences this year, but I think I might hold off until 2021 since attending conferences doesn’t really align with my intention of FINISHING THINGS.
I’m a little nervous, even though I know that my context has changed now, that systems and processes and tools have changed. But I’m still anxious and fearful of a potential slump, of things falling apart.
I find that one of my most common coping mechanisms is avoidance. It’s a self-protective mechanism against the feeling of failure, which hits me particularly hard. I know that failure is arbitrary. That the real failure is not trying and not doing the thing. I know that. But I hold onto the pain of disappointment and rejection so. tightly. that it’s hard to remember.
I’m working on it, but there’s a lot of self-narrative that I have to unlearn, a lot of internalized messaging I need to unhear. I’m wary, but I’m also excited and motivated. I have to hold on to those latter feelings and remember why I’m doing this: for love and for joy.