Writerly Goals for 2018

Well, there she is! My next book will be out any day now. This book has been a few years in the making, and I'm incredibly grateful that it's finally coming to fruition. And will you look at those amazing blurbs?

Before I declare my goals for next year, let's take a peek back and see how I did to keep myself accountable:

1. Find direction for new poetry manuscript in the works. I don't need to complete it, but I'd like to have an idea before the end of the year as to how it's going to all come together.

Well, I DID complete my "next" poetry collection, An Iliad of Bones. I mean, it's ready to go. So I blew this one to smithereens. I didn't submit it anywhere because I didn't want to have two books coming out so close together, so it's just sitting on laptop now. 

2. Stop being afraid to try new writerly things. I'm a poet, but I'd like to try writing fiction, criticism, memoir, children's lit, SOMETHING ELSE to diversify. Let's make this a goal -- publish something this year other than poetry and book reviews.


Ok, this is a little sobering. I continued to let my fear and discomfort keep me from venturing into a new genre. I worked on a few things (I have a shitty memoir about a year I spent in the Middle East in the 90's  in scraps and I wrote a new short story), but I haven't put them out there, taken them seriously. I need to work on this.

3. Thrive in my transition. Change is coming in 2017 in one form or another, and I'm genuinely excited about it. There are so many unknowns, but may this fill me with joy rather than anxiety in the coming months. So far, I've been able to keep that attitude. Change is good. Change is growth. That's my mantra.

I did this! Yes! I handled with the "unknowns" of a new job, a new town, a new life. I dealt with the anxiety and the stress, and I was able to write and continue to create in the face of all this change. 

4. Maintain a writing routine, even in busy times. I'm a writer, dammit, first and foremost. So why is that not the first and foremost thing I do when the going gets a little tough, as it oft does? Here it is, in black and white. Every. Damn. Day. Katie. Write. This doesn't mean I have to write a poem a day, but it does mean I have to sit down in front of this keyboard everyday and get something down.

While I didn't write everyday, I did keep a pretty consistent writing routine going. I'm not perfect, but I think I'm disciplined enough. 

5. Keep what's good -- keep going to readings and networking, keep submitting, keep my positive attitude, keep good friendships, keep health a priority. B always says, don't fix what's not broken. So, the things that are working in my life, let's keep those up.

I went to readings, just about once a month.
I networked.
I submitted semi-regularly
I kept a positive attitude moving forward
I made NEW friends
I stayed healthy and strong!

So, I give myself a B+ on my 2017 goals. So what do I want to accomplish this year?

1. PUBLISH A DAMN SHORT STORY. I'm putting this as #1 because it's been there as a goal for so long and I never do it. This year, I want to do it. I need to do it. I can do it. Why don't I do it? I want to write new short stories, too. I want to write prose. I want to read more prose. I want to understand it and then apply it to my own writing. This is doable and I don't know why I'm not letting myself do this.

2. Finish Borderland Mujeres project, at least my part of it. 2017 was a great year for collaboration, really. I put some real love and effort into this project, and that heart was multiplied with my partners' collaborations. I want to wrap this project up and keep exploring ways I can collaborate with other artists, writers, and creatives.

3. Play and experiment with my own poetry. I want this to be a year of "play" because I don't let myself do that enough. Right now, I really don't have much pressure to create new poetry because I have a lot in the chamber already, which means it's the perfect time to try something new.

4. Submit. I'm ready for this step again. It's been awhile since I've done this, but I'm going to go for 100 rejection letters this year! I have only 1 right now. I need to submit twice per week for this to work, at least.

5. Again, keep what's good: keep going to readings monthly, keep writing consistently, keep a routine, keep being healthy.

2018, here's to another great year! I know I'm a little late in articulating these goals, but I look forward to a productive, inspiring, and joyful year. Here we go!