Challenges, Goals, and Other Literary Objectives

I’ve just finished a VERY big life project and now feel like I’m going to have a lot of extra time on my hands, at least until college starts (I’m thinking of September as a possibility). I’d like to take advantage of this new time surplus by setting some goals.

1. Writing Goal: 500 words a day

I know I can write more than 500 words a day, but I want there to be less pressure. I feel like high expectations scare me away. The cool thing about this challenge in particular is that, its host, Inkygirl.com, has a “Weekly Word Check-In” pit stop where all the challengers are encouraged to post their progress. I’m not sure I can do this yet, but I’m going to go ahead and recommend this as an efficient motivator.

2. Reading Challenge: A Story a Week

Just a story? That’s no challenge. Ah, but it is a challenge. First of all, I haven’t been reading at all lately. So, jumping into full length books might be asking too much of myself. But, giving myself an entire week for each story has quite a few benefits. Its regular pace will keep me reading, even if its only a little at a time. And, beecause the expectations are so low in terms of quantity read, there’s no pressure, and thus, there’s a greater likelihood that I will meet my goals. The bounty of time I’ll be giving myself to read will mean plenty of time to dissect, analyze, and review the stories. I find that when I take the time to delve into what I read, the lessons I learn from picking apart the writing of others leads to improvements in my own writing.

3. Submissions!!

I want to start sending out my short stories. I want to make it an annual event. I read somewhere (Writer’s Digest?) that September is the best time to submit to literary magazines. My goal is to have 10 completed shorts by September. With the remaining 4 months and 3 weeks, I’d like to finish 5 shorts, one of which I’ve already begun. Then, I’ll send them all out to different lit magazines and hope for the best.

I’m not too good with goals and I’m definitely not too good with commitment. But my optimism never fails me, and so, once again, I will set these goals for myself.

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