I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, but the new year provides a good time to reflect on last year's accomplishments and shortcomings, as well as setting goals for the future. What did you successfully accomplish last year? For me, my wife and I finished our '50 States in 50 Weeks' motorcycle tour, and I completed the book, '50 States in 50 Weeks: Easy Rider Revisited.' It's a look at our culture, forty-five years after the movie, 'Easy Rider,' from a Baby Boomer's perspective, on a motorcycle. My agent has pitched it to publishers, and we've gotten a handful of rejections. Looking ahead, next year's goal is to get it published.
I also wrote fifty short stories, each taking place in one state of our journey. I'm currently rewriting and editing them, and just getting started on cover art. I'll offer five books of ten stories each ('USshorts'). 2014's goal is to get them published as e-books, using them as a portal for the '50 States' book.
What would I perceive as a shortcoming this year? I'm still looking for that breakout novel. Dozens of submissions, too many rejections.
Sometimes it's good to write goals down. "I'd like to finish my novel by February 1st, get it edited by February 28th and pitch it at the Breakout Novelist's Convention in March." It can help to be specific and setting target dates helps too. Print it up and put it next to your computer screen.
How did your year look? Are you happy with it? What could you have done better? What would you like next year to look like?