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It’s been a whirlwind three months! It’s amazing to think that only a few days after I posted the Quarterly Report, Andrew and I got engaged. I kind of wish I was reporting on progress in wedding planning: we’ve already figured out the guest list, set a date, booked the ceremony and reception sites, picked a pastor to officiate, picked bridesmaids, picked colors (more or less), started our registry, and scheduled tastings with local caterers. We are winning at wedding planning.

But this isn’t a wedding blog (yet :-P), and I had made myself some goals for the kind of writing work I had wanted to accomplish over the last three months. They were:

Submit 120 pieces

Write and revise 4 pieces

Okay. I have to admit I didn’t complete either of those goals as I had intended to. Here’s what I did do:

  1. Submitted about 10-12 pieces
  2. Began heavy revision of one story
  3. Started several stories that died after the 1st paragraph
  4. Wrote class material (Experimental Forms) that I ended up submitting to a contest
  5. Designed 2 completed book projects (Book Design) that definitely involved thoughtful revision
  6. Started full-time work in publishing
  7. Subscribed to Poets & Writers and The New Yorker
  8. Maintained reasonably regular blog postings and updated What I’m Reading and Home pages of my site

So while I didn’t turn into the warrior of submitting that I wanted to be, I haven’t been sitting on my butt for three months, either. What I think I’m doing well:

  1. With the new job, I’m simultaneously immersing myself in a word-driven atmosphere, improving my editing skills, and freeing up time to write (my commute’s two-thirds shorter now)
  2. I’m devoting significant time to creative work (design lately, analysis of experimental work and writing experiments of my own before that)
  3. I’m spending more of my reading time reading material that can help me with my writing

What I think I’m doing badly:

  1. I’m not actually writing
  2. I’m not submitting enough

Scheduling writing is a problem for me because, since so many of my day-to-day responsibilities are deadline-driven, anything that can be put off will be if I get into a crunch. I’m still struggling to make writing enough of a routine that I won’t drop it when academics or other deadlines need my immediate attention. I do still read every day, after all, so having that time in my schedule is possible.

Part of me really wants to give myself the same goals for the next three months (10 subs/week, 4 new polished stories gleaming on my desk), but I’m not sure that’s the best way to go. Instead, I’m going to try something tough, but hopefully more doable:

  1. Write and/or revise fiction at least five days a week, aiming for 500 words a day or 2 revised pages a day
  2. Submit at least five pieces a week (simultaneous submissions count)
  3. Keep doing the good things I’m doing (blogging, reading good stuff, working hard in class)

Hopefully I’ll have better luck achieving what I’ve set for myself in the next three months!

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