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Posts Tagged ‘resolutions’

…for reflections.

I look back on this year with entirely mixed feelings. What a year of extremes it has been. Many blessings, with a healthy dose of curses, too.

I have a job I love, even if it doesn’t pay enough to cover rent. My boys are healthy and happy, which is just about the best thing I could ask for. I finally graduated, with honors I might add, which as a single mom was no easy feat. I had an article published in the newspaper, and several poems and a photograph published in a literary journal.

But months of stress took its toll on my health, which has had some serious repercussions. That can be (relatively) dealt with, but the collateral damage of the loss of a relationship has proven to be more difficult (difficult being a decided understatement). Love conquers all is a maxim that only applies if both parties are in agreement.  I have known couples that have broken up and gotten back together and gone on to have long, loving, and successful relationships. This, apparently, is not going to be my fate. I think I’ll just leave the pieces of my broken heart where they lay; it’s easier than trying to put it back together again. Plus, I’d probably just cut my fingers on the shards.

I have no idea what 2011 holds in store. I do hope that it’s a little more balanced than this past year. I wouldn’t mind if the pendulum slowed down just a bit.

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I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m a sucker for writing challenges, but I am definitely drawn to them. I gave some serious thought to participating in NaNoWriMo this year, but knew that it just would not have been feasible given all that was going on in my life (then, now, still, always…). But this is what I like about the ROW80 challenge. It’s a challenge that understands that not only do you have a life that can’t be put on hold for the duration of the challenge, it also understands that there is more to writing than just writing. There’s editing. And brainstorming. And research and character development and interviews and, and, and… This challenge is not about simple word counts. It’s quality over quantity. It’s about setting your own goals and then challenging yourself to reach those goals.

I like what this blogger at Challenge Corner has to say about making SMART goals. Goals should be:

Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Realistic
Timed

Since the first Round starts soon (Jan. 3rd), it’s probably about time for me to figure out what my goals will be. I need to pay particular attention to the Realistic part of my goals. I have a tendency to over-extend myself, and then get extremely discouraged when I don’t meet my expectations. I’ve had my share of disappointment and discouragement in my life lately, so I’d like very much to avoid that in my writing if at all possible.

So what shall my goals for this round be? Hmm…

1. Edit “The Adventures of Elliott and Emma.” Hopefully get it in shape to be sent out into the big bad world of potential publication.

2. Submit a poem to a journal or competition at least twice a month. For several months now my goal has been to submit something at least once a month, and I’ve been successful with this. I thought about making this goal to submit once a week. But I know me, and I know there will come a week that it won’t happen, and then I’ll feel like I’ve failed and just give up. So twice a month is my compromise. We’ll see how it goes.

3. Post to this blog on a more regular basis, in a non-poetic way. I’ve mostly been posting poetry, but if I’m going to try to submit said poetry, I need to stop posting them, as most (though not all) journals would consider poems posted here to be previously published.

UPDATE: I realized after publishing this post that “regular” isn’t exactly measurable. So, taking that into account, I’d like to post to this blog at least once a week, and preferrably twice. I think between this blog and the blog I have going for Hugo House and the Words of the Day – not to mention my other goals – this should keep me busy.

4. On a related note, I’d like to write a new poem at least once a week. As evidenced by my attempt in November, writing a new poem every day just won’t happen. But I think one a week is not too much to ask.

5. Read one short story per day. Yes, I said read. But I wholeheartedly believe that it is crucial to immerse yourself in your chosen genre, and in addition to poetry I really, really want to start writing these short stories that have been rolling around in my head. While this is not writing, per se, I view it as a crucial element in my writing life.

So there you have it. Those are my writing goals for Round One. This is probably the closest I will get to making any New Year’s resolutions, since I don’t really believe in those.

Wish me luck!

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