At the middle of the year, some new goals.

I have discovered over the years that I need goals to keep me motivated. I’m also freaking out that tomorrow is the first day of July, the tipping point of 2011. Ye gads!

So here goes. These are the two writerly things I’ll be striving toward by the end of this year.

First, membership to the SFWA.

By the way, that acronym stands for Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. The membership itself is almost symbolic, meaningful primarily for what it represents. It would mean that I would have to have 3 short stories published in pro-paying markets. By SFWA guidelines, that means they pay at least $0.05 per word or $250 total for the three, no less than $50 for a story. Achieving membership would mean I’d been published 3 times! Even once would feel like a major accomplishment at this point. Of course, I could also publish a novel and be recognized for that. But we all know where I currently stand on that, don’t we. Or do we? See second goal.

Second, finish editing my novel.

I believe in the book I have written. I also believe that as it stands, it is deeply flawed. Enter Holly Lisle, creator of the How to Revise Your Novel online clinic for writers. Her process is just prescriptive enough for me to know what I need to do next, without seeming restrictive or insurmountable. Frankly, I love her advice and her tone. It’s a fantastic course. Give it a look-see.

So, toward the first goal, I have two stories making the rounds, and I’m rewriting a third. I have a new story to embark on, as well as a story that has been through my critique group and is awaiting revision. Four stories at submission quality does not represent fantastic odds, but at least it gives me a fighting chance.

Here’s the question I need to answer for myself now. After how many rejections do I take a fresh look at a story for possible revisions? Any ideas?

One thought on “At the middle of the year, some new goals.

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  1. SFWA’s a tough goal for a half-year, mainly because there are relatively few professional paying markets with very tough competition. With some of these markets looking for specific sorts of stories, the odds of three pro sales seem fairly long.

    As for how many rejections, I don’t know. A dozen? 20? Most people I’ve discussed it with report getting at least that many rejections for each acceptance.

    In any case, good luck, and I’ll see you at the meetup.

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