Setting those goals

January 5, 2014

I hate New Year’s Resolutions.  They’re just empty promises people make to feel self-righteous and make other people think that they’re really proactive, and able to face impossible odds.  The problem is, people follow them, a little bit, for a short while.  Then it’s back to the beginning, and more empty promises on December 31st again…

That is why I set goals.  Next to my desk, I have a list of “rules” to make my life more worthwhile.  One of my favorites is “Remember that you will have to deal with people you can’t stand.  Chances are, you are that person to someone else.”  But my absolute favorite is “Set one goal a day, one a week, one a month.”  Why?  Basically, so I have something to live for.

While I have many things worth living for–my lovely fiancee, my writing, my Riddler collection, and my family–it is quite easy to lose sight of these things.  Even if my daily goal is to go without complaining once about the weather or putting gas in my car (because let’s face it, I’m the type of person who drives on empty as long as I can), I know I’ve done something.  Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s has made me a victim of television, video games, comic books, all the good stuff.  All the vice that unfortunately becomes habit.

So I need to remain proactive.  I need to get off my fat ass and do something.  I feel like setting goals is a perfect way to do that–and publicly sharing them is even more perfect.  That way, when people see me or talk to me, they can ask how my goals are going.  While I’m a very good liar, I find it difficult to lie about this kind of stuff.  Especially when it comes to working out/losing weight–you honestly can’t tell someone you’re following your routine when it’s obvious you’ve put on weight.

To me, it’s the same thing with writing.  While my daily output isn’t public (and never will be, so don’t ask!), I feel like I’m a lot happier, a lot more satisfied and confident when I’ve been working diligently on my writing.  I might be tired and exhausted, but you can still see a difference.

So here it is, ladies and gentlemen.  What I hope to accomplish for this coming year.


  • Edit “In the Pale Moonlight” – This is my novel that I started way back in February of 2010.  I’ve taken so many breaks during the course of writing it, for various reasons, and I finally finished the first draft in December.  I’m hoping–HOPING–that editing won’t take almost four years!
  • Journal “The Third Tower” – My next book.  Had this idea for a long time, with lots of notes floating around my office.  I don’t think it’ll take too long, since I’ve gone over the plot a million times in my head.
  • Write “The Third Tower” – Yep, just need to sit down and write it!
  • Manage to afford professional editing for “In the Pale Moonlight” – Okay, so I hear a collective groan.  But let’s face it, I’m impatient.  I waited so long to write it, I don’t want to wait any longer to have it ready to go!  I doubt I’ll be able to afford this professionally, but it’s something I’m definitely looking into.
  • Get agented – ItPM will have to be finished for this to happen, but I’m really putting myself out there.  I need to make an agent realize that I’m worth representing.  Because I am, dammit!
  • Journal for another novel – I really don’t think “The Third Tower” is going to take that long to write.  Wishful thinking, of course, but if I have at least the first draft done by the end of the year, which I should, I should be able to at least start writing a journal for another novel.
  • Sell at least one short story per month – this isn’t up to me, but editors and publishers.  Still, I have to make sure I’m submitting quality stuff, and submitting it to the right places.
  • Fully develop Clay and Styg’s world – My adventurers, my babies!  A la Conan with Robert E. Howard, I write short stories with the same characters, and might collect them all some day.  I have a lot of stories with these guys, but I definitely need a finite world for them to live in.  So far, I’m cruising right along!
  • Lose this gut! – Everyone always says this.  I know it doesn’t have anything to do with writing, but I do spend a lot of time at the gym.  I love working out, eating healthy, and feeling good.  Losing a gut takes a long time, and I’ve been slowly chiseling away at it.  I can’t imagine this year it won’t happen, unless I give up completely on my exercise routines.  Since I want to reunite with my abs that I haven’t seen since I was 17 years old, I’m going to make it happen this year, no matter what!
  • Have a perfect wedding and honeymoon – September 14th.  It will go perfect, and no one is going to stop us from enjoying that.

I’m sure some of these are rather ridiculous, and all are self-serving.  But hey, why set goals for oneself if can’t serve yourself?  Regardless, I’m happy as hell right now, and looking forward to good things happening throughout the year.  I used to be angry and depressed about everything, and then I realized that it’s up to me and me alone to be happy.  So why put myself in a bad spot?  These goals can only further my happiness, and subsequently the people around me.

I’ll update this list throughout the year.  When things are finished, or if in the unfortunate circumstance that something has to be removed because it can’t be done.  Hey, you never know.  But I do know this–it’s going to be a great year.  2014, prepare to be my bitch!

I have a lot to say, but I feel like much of it belongs to separate blog posts.  However, I felt the need to have a cliché end of the year type thing, because let’s face it, 2013 was a good year for me.


–I had some better luck with publishing this year.  While I’ve been published before, I actually got paid for this stuff!  Three publications, in fact.  One will be out in 2014, but the money already came through.  Not that I’m all about the money, because I made a grand total of $40.  Still, it’s a good sign for things to come.


–I set up this blog, plus my Facebook page.  That’s good!  Like many people, I have a habit of talking about things in excess, and then never actually getting around to them.  Or, I’ll wait for a few years to finally do it, and it’s not nearly as grandiose as I had envisioned.  I never intended for anything to be grandiose or amazingly awesome, but I’m happy with the way these things are going for me.


–I’ve probably written more stories this year that I actually care about than any other time.  2008 was a great year short story-wise for me, but I can’t look at most of that stuff without cringing.  While more than a few of the 2013 fare is cringeworthy, a lot of it is pretty good too.  And that’s good because I can get them shaped up, and have more stuff under my belt.


–Editing was big, too.  I would go out on Saturday nights to coffee shops or restaurants, chugging multiple cups of coffee, chicken fingers, milkshakes, and various soups, while editing stories.  My fiancé has come with me many a time, and while she’s sitting there, reading her book and looking beautiful, I’d be focused on shaping up my stories.  I do give her plenty of time at home, and it’s great that she’s so supportive of me and doesn’t have a problem when I’m working on my stuff.


–My biggest achievement?  Finishing “In the Pale Moonlight” in December.  I have a lot to say about this, but let’s just get the nitty-gritty out of the way: it’s a novel.  As of now, 50 chapters.  435 pages.  Lots of words.  Oh, and the fact that I started it in February of 2010.  Now please don’t think I’ve been working on it that entire time.  I took breaks.  Many breaks.  Many months-long breaks.  Some were warranted.  Most weren’t.  It wasn’t laziness, and it wasn’t writer’s block.  It was life; adulthood, other jobs, other writing stuff that really drove me crazy, forcing me to write and edit it.  It’s okay, because I’m happy with the final product.  I have a lot of work ahead of me, and lot of editing to do.  But I’ll do it, because I want to.


–Clay and Styg, my seafaring adventurers, have been going on even more adventures and having even crazier experiences.  Lately, I’ve been writing a lot of stuff for them, but more importantly, researching a lot of stuff to make their adventures even cooler.  Big thanks to my good friend Josh for the new book on poisons, as that will help me with some really cool ideas I have.


I’m looking forward to a great 2014.  I hope everyone is ready for a fun ride, because it’s only going to get better.