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I ran across this blog today, in which the author looks back at her work over the year, and says what almost every author says (or at least feels): “I am, as always, disappointed with how far I’ve fallen short of the goals I set for myself.” No matter how productive we are, it seems it’s never enough.

Here’s my round-up of what I accomplished (and didn’t accomplish) this year:

35 pieces total, including half a dozen reprints
21 were erotica
4 were horror
3 were lit fict
6 were poetry
1 was sci-fi
34 pieces were rejected
10 were erotica
3 were horror
18 were poetry
I entered one contest, and won first place with a horror piece
43 pieces are currently out

So, at this point, my odds are about half-half for getting accepted/rejected. Poetry gets rejected the most, not surprisingly. The numbers say that I sent out 117 pieces so far this year, but of course, some of those are reprints or stories that I resent after a rejection. It’s a little hard to tell, but I think, looking at the numbers, that I wrote or finished around 60 pieces this year. That’s a lot, especially considering that almost all of them were written during my six months in Scotland.

Of course, the books are not done. I’m, as always, struggling with the longer works. I can’t seem to complete them, and I really have no idea why. It’s as though everyone, myself included, keeps wondering when I’ll do a longer work. And yet, I can’t seem to complete them. I’ve had two non-fiction books and at least three novels in progress for a couple of years now, and … well, they’re still in progress. That, to me, is the failure that haunts me. I feel good about my short work this year — I took on a lot of new challenges: sci-fi, horror, magical realism, non-narrative poetry, things that excited and challenged me. But. But. But. The book-length stuff eludes me still.

I’m going to set goals for this year, like I do every year. Of course, that doesn’t mean much — the rapidity with which my life changes often means that my goals change just as quickly, but I like going into the new year fresh and inspired and with a list of, if not tangible, at least see-able, goals.

How did you do on your goals this year? Do you feel good or bad? And what’s on your docket for 2010?

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.


It is a most mortifying reflection for a man to consider what he has done, compared to what he might have done.  ~Samuel Johnson, in Boswell’s Life of Johnson