Mary K Gowdy
Updated: Jan 13, 2019
It’s a new year, and I'm ready to hit the ground running! There’s several things I wanted to accomplish including things I've been putting off and goals for old projects that I want to meet this year.
1. Begin Friday 10 minute Stories
From now on every Friday, I’ll be posting a short story on this blog. Most of them will have been inspired by the prompts I and my friends do in our creative writing club. Some will be longer and more polished than others, depending on the inspiration.
2. Recite my Poetry at Open Mic Nights
I’ve been putting this off because I’m terrified of reciting my poetry in front of people. It's hard for me to share it with anyone, and thinking about performing it just about kills me. But I want to do it because if I’m going to be successful as an artist and a poet, I need to put myself out there. I also think that my poetry would be incomplete if I don't speak it. When I step up to the mic, be sending me good vibes.
3. Receive 25 rejection letters from literary magazines
In 2017, I received eight rejection letters from literary magazines for my poetry, but I also had three poems and two haiku published by Better than Starbucks. I only started submitting halfway through the year, and I want to aim higher this year. Why am I aiming for rejection letters? I was inspired by the article Why You Should Aim For 100 Rejections A Year, which points out that if you work for tons of rejections, odds are that you will receive some acceptances too.
Another reason I’m shooting for so many rejection letters is because I want to:
4. Publish my first poetry chapbook
All the poems have been written, but I don’t plan on releasing the chapbook till late this year. I'm holding off because I want to give the poems the chance to be published individually by literary magazines. Once I self-publish them, literary magazines won’t consider them for publication anymore. If they are published, afterwards the rights return to me, so this chapbook is getting published no matter what. It’s just going to take a little while.
My most important goal concerns my WIP. I’m currently revising the first novel in my fantasy series called The One and the Other. The novel is separated into 10 episodes like a TV season. I finished revising the first two episodes, and I’m aiming to:
5. Finish Revisions of Episodes 3-10 by May 25th.
Why May 25th? Because for late May and all of June I'm going to be studying abroad in Spain. I’m extremely excited for this opportunity! I want to enjoy the experience as fully as possible and not be worrying about writing projects. I have no idea if I'll have any time to write in Spain--though I probably will write something since I have a hard time now NOT writing. And who knows what kind of inspiration Spain might give me.
Anyway, I want to reach a major stopping point on my WIP before I leave. And yes, it is stopping point. I won’t be finished. After these revisions, I need to let my critique partner, beta readers, and a professional editor critique it, and then I'll make some more edits. So, yeah. There’s still a lot of work to do. Sometimes it’s hard for me to be patient, but I remind myself that I want to write the best possible book even if it takes longer than I want it to.
So, those are my goals for 2018. Let’s hope I accomplish them. I’m really looking forward to this year. What are some of your goals and how do you try to keep yourself on track?