Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reading & Writing Goals Update

At the beginning of the year, I made a series of lofty resolutions. Now that a full month of 2012 is behind us, I thought I'd take the opportunity to share my progress towards these goals, particularly those involving reading and writing. To meet my goals, I'll have to complete roughly 8.5% of each goal per month (or, to put it another way, if I can get to 20% by the end of February, I'd only have to average 8% for the remaining ten months). So far, I'm feeling pretty good overall.

Resolution #1: Read the Bible
After finishing Genesis and Exodus in late 2011, I managed to get through Leviticus and part of Numbers this month. Decent pace, so far. I'm reading the English Standard Version, which is a very readable translation (planning to switch to the KJV for the Psalms, Proverbs, and New Testament).
Current Status: 12% complete - On Target

Resolution #2: Read the Complete Works of William Shakespeare
I didn't start until late in January. I'm beginning with the sonnets, and am steadily making my way through them. It's not the sort of thing that lends itself to fast reading.
Current Status: 1% complete - Way Behind

Resolution #3: Read the Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe
Started this in late 2011, and have finished five stories so far: "The Unparalleled Adventures of Hans Pfall," "The Gold-Bug," "Four Beasts in One--the Homo-Cameleopard," The Murders in the Rue Morgue," and "The Mystery of Marie Roget." I think the completion percentage refers to prose works only.
Current Status: 17% complete - On Target

Resolution #4: Read all 14 books of The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan
I've started Book 1, but haven't gotten too far yet... I'll probably focus more on it this month.
Current Status: 0% complete - Way Behind

Resolution #5: Read a fair sampling of contemporary short fantasy and science fiction
Have read the eleven stories in the January/February issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, which is probably the top venue in the world for short fantasy, and number two or three for short sci-fi. Next month I'll read some stories from other professional publications. Hopefully, I'll be reading my own work in one of them someday soon...which brings us to #6...
Current Status: On Target

Resolution #6: Get Published
Probably within days, I'll be submitting my work to a publisher for the first time. We'll see how it goes.
Current Status: ???

Resolution #7: Write 100,000 words
Currently at around 15,000, if you include: new fiction, blog posts, and my story "The Witch Hunt" (which I wrote the first draft of in 2011, but since I've put a ton of time into it, and made a couple of new drafts this year, I feel justified in counting it). Counting new fiction only: 2,049 words...not bad, given that it wasn't my focus this month.
Current Status: 15% complete - On Target (counting everything)
2% complete - Way Behind (counting only fiction and only first drafts)

Resolution #8: By end of year, start active novel writing again
So far, nothing to report.
Current Status: N/A

Resolutions #9-11: Blogging goals
Haven't posted new updates each week as I had promised, but I have worked on my sites at least weekly.
Current Status: Nearly On Target

Resolutions #12-13: Personal goals
I'll talk about these at some point in the future.

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