Since I started this site a few years back, I’ve posted my goals for the new year and gone back through them to update my progress as the year progresses. Here are my goals and updates for 2020, 2021, and 2022 for interested people.
As always, I hope this provides any writer a roadmap and inspiration to design their careers. It also bears noting that I am a full-time writer with no other job but writing and editing!
2023 Intention: Build community and strengthen craft
- Apply to MFA program
- All I want to do is deepen my craft and strengthen my writing. All I do feeds into this, which is why for the past couple of years, I’ve been prepping to apply to MFA programs with the hope of landing a spot in one and spending 2-3 years becoming a writer that terrifies and breaks hearts. I have my schools picked out, references picked, and my samples all written and edited. I’ll be spending most of the year writing and editing my personal essays for each of the schools.
- Study history, science, and psychology
- I like to study subjects outside of my regular writing-related work to help influence my stories and for general interest. This year, I’ve picked history, science, and psychology as my broad fields of study. I’ll be reading books, articles, papers, reports, studies, watching movies, documentaries, series, shows, and doing anything else I can to learn the ways of the world, both soft and hard.
- Study world-building and description
- Last year, I spent my dedicated craft learning time studying voice and syntax, which was so amazing for my craft and writing! This year, I’m focusing on world-building and description. Like last year, I’ll read books, take classes, participate in workshops, and perform a lot of deliberate practice.
- Write 2 new stories a month
- It’s been a very long time since I’ve done a slow write of a short story that I wanted to dedicate this year to crafting some stories that aren’t a part of my August story-a-day challenge but have a bit more foresight and planning. I’ll also be basing each story on a personal memory or experience and blending it with a larger theme. I hope to make these stories top-tier literary speculative fiction of the kind you’d hold dear, no matter how dark.
- Apply for or approach a publisher about editing an anthology
- I’ve been an editor for a few years now and have had stories on award recommend lists and getting reviewed in places like Tor.com and Locus Magazine. While I’ve guest-edited whole issues and been with Strange Horizons for a few years, I’d love to break into the anthology game and work on a themed anthology with a publisher.
- Query and send my horror novella out till September
- Last year I wrote and edited a horror novella that’s been out on query and with some publishers since October 2022. I plan to keep sending it out to publishers and agents until September. Then I’ll take another look at it and serialize it on this blog or make another blog for it. There’s a small chance I’ll self-publish it like my other books.
- Rough draft horror thriller novel
- I have been working on my next novel and plan to draft it in the fall after much research, planning, and preparation. I won’t be editing or querying it this year but will save that for 2024 to give the manuscript room to breathe. I’ve mapped out my research and reading materials and even have some loos plans for road trips to the desert to do some real-world research.
- Get more involved in speculative fiction writing community
- Community is so important, and I feel that even though I write reviews, edit for a prominent magazine, teach classes, offer free advice, and moderate a speculative fiction writing group in my community, there are more ways I can help out. Instead of trying to spread myself too thin by adding more to my plate, I’ll just deepen my intentions and efforts in those areas throughout the year.