January 2nd, 2007


I see that I have missed the blogging bandwagon: I should days ago have written up my 2007 goals to share with the fraction of the world that reads my blog.


I’m very big on goal-establishing. It comes along with being a chronic list-maker and pretending that I control my universe. (Both my universe and I know that that is completely untrue, but we perpetuate the charade.)


I like to divide my goals into different arenas: work, health, fun (hey, it wouldn’t really be fun if I didn’t write it down and plan it first), mental/ spiritual/ etc (things like “meditation” fall into this category. Also “learn Hungarian.” I very rarely check off any goals in this category).


I also like to do periodic reviews of my goals. Since my birthday falls in the middle of the year, it’s a very convenient time for stock-taking and rearranging. And of course I do another review at the end of the year, in preparation for making new goals (which is, some years, more like re-writing the previous year’s list than it is writing a new one).


I already knew I’d blown a lot of my writing goals for this year. Turned out I blew a lot of my goals in various categories (although, oddly, I crossed off everything in Health. How’s that for balance?). But I didn’t just rewrite my 2006 goals—I rethought and reshaped them.


And then, perhaps because I thought more effort now would mean an increased dedication to achieving these goals later, I divided them across the first six months of the year (my calendar goes August – August, which drives me crazy, and I could so go buy a January - December calendar right now and be like normal people, but I hate the thought of wasting all those pages in the calendar I already bought, which basically leaves me stuck) and wrote on each page precisely what I have to achieve in order to make the various deadlines I established for myself. (June 1: complete nonfiction book proposal that has been in the works for oh, two years or so. July 1: query agents about juvenile fantasy manuscript, which will by then be brilliant and complete.)


Today, January 2, the month’s goals sound totally do-able:

· Mail 12 magazine queries

· Write one short story

· Read and revise horrible draft of rewrite of juvenile fantasy novel (completing the horrible draft of the rewrite was the last goal I achieved in 2006. Originally the goal had been to submit the MS to agents by the end of the year, but then I became convinced of the value of a from-scratch rewrite. I was DETERMINED to finish it before the new year. At about 12:57 PM Jan. 31, I did just that. With 11 hours to spare!)

· Write essays about schoolhouses in two counties so schoolhouse book MS will be finished before I die (ancillary goal: drive more carefully so as not to speed the onset of death)

· Set up interviews for nonfiction book proposal (I’ve done several already, but these are the ones that were on my list for just about all 2006, which I have obviously not yet done)


Will they still sound do-able long about Jan. 30 at 9:45 PM? Time will tell.

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