Looking forward, looking back: 2011/12
One of the advantages of a long-running blog (or a diary, for that matter) is that you get to look back on previous years’ New Year resolutions and laugh – or cry.
Now, this main blog of mine has only been going for about fifteen months, but my writing journal goes way, way back to the summer of 2005, so I have quite a few resolutions to look back on. For the first few years, my only – and perpetual – goal was to finish a novel and get it submitted, but in 2010 I finally achieved that – yay! – and was able to move on. I still post minor progress reports to my writing journal, but I’ve decided that my annual goals are hopefully interesting enough to the wider world to make it onto this main blog now.
So, what did I aim for in 2010? Obviously I achieved my lifetime ambition of getting picked up by a publisher, but as Dean Wesley Smith says in his recent post, that’s not a goal, it’s a dream. Goals should be something within your control, otherwise you’ll be overly discouraged by failure. My real goal was to write a sequel as good as the first book (the one that had already attracted the interest of Angry Robot) – something that is surely within my control. The question is, have I achieved it?
Right now that’s hard to say. I’m still working on the second draft of The Merchant of Dreams, and I’m pretty pleased with it so far. The plot is sufficiently intricate, I think; there’s even more swashbuckling action than in The Alchemist of Souls; and once more I’m putting my characters through the emotional as well as the physical wringer. The proof of this pudding, though, will be in the reading, so I’ll just have to wait to find out what my editor and beta-readers think.
As for 2012, my goal is pretty much the same as last year, funnily enough. I have one further book under contract, and I’d like to tie up this trilogy with a climax worthy of its predecessors. After that it’ll be time to think about my next writing project in earnest, but I don’t have any solid goals related to that right now. Maybe next year!
What about you? Do you set goals – and have you achieved any of them?