I have never been one to make resolutions for the new year; however, working at an academic library means having the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day so I had some time to think about what I want to work on and to get organized going into the new year.
For the past several years, I have had personal writing and creative goals which, being personal, I have kept to myself.
Given that I want to use this blog to explore the creative parts of my midlife, I decided I should craft some goals that I can post and track here.
Last year–most years in fact–I had too many shifting writing goals which led me to flit from one project to another and to not get much of anything substantial accomplished. My over-arching goal for 2018 is to focus on fewer projects.
I see myself as having two main writing projects:
- Post consistently to this blog
- Get more short stories published
Post consistently to this blog
I have long wanted to blog consistently but have never been able to do so. One problem has been a lack of focus on what I want to blog about. I have often maintained multiple blogs (personal, work, food) thus spreading myself too thin. I have tried prioritizing my personal blog but that has always been so open-ended that I was not always sure what I wanted to post there.
I am hoping by concentrating on this blog, which has more or less a defined purpose, I’ll be able to consistently generate content. It also helps that the point of this blog is something I am genuinely interested in. I am curious about getting older. I am curious about how I can continue to grow creatively. Hopefully, I will be able to channel my curiosity into something worth chronicling and reading.
Get more short stories published
There are actually two parts to this goal.
The first is to engage more frequently in the slow, rejection-filled process of submitting to literary magazines. Last year, I submitted stories 35 times and got published once. Of those 35 submissions, I’m still waiting to hear back on 8 of them. Despite the high rejection-to-acceptance rate, submitting stories has yielded me five publications to date.
The second is to write more stories to support the first goal. I currently have 11 stories to send out. I’m not inclined to name a number of stories I want to finish in the year, but I want to commit to working on new ones.
I had some thoughts about other writing goals for 2018 but considering the bit of success I’ve had with my short stories, I would like to build on that momentum.
Other creative goals
Over the past few years, I’ve added other creative hobbies to my longstanding interest in writing. When we moved to Philadelphia in 2011, I purchased a good entry-level digital camera. Although I enjoyed using it ever since I first got it, I only began seriously studying photography in the past year or so.
Back in 2013, I decided I wanted to learn how to draw and started trying to teach myself. This has been done rather haltingly. Along the same lines, I’ve developed an interest in graphic design and started reading up on graphic design concepts and techniques and learning tools like Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and Lightroom. Because of my interest in photography, I have focused more on the latter two programs but would like to make more of an effort with the others.
I’m not sure what specific goals I want to set for my interest in photography, drawing, and graphic design. Writing will still be my main source of creative expression, but I want to continue to make time for and grow in these other areas.
Luckily, the Free Library of Philadelphia provides access to Lynda.com, and I have been taking advantage of the tutorials available there, mainly the ones for Adobe Creative Cloud. Over the winter break, I also bought a drawing course from The Great Courses. So I have some resources on hand to help keep me learning.
So those are my fairly modest goals for the year. I am hoping by making them public I will hold myself more accountable and not let my lazier inclinations take over.