2016 Goals Update

I can’t believe 2016 is halfway over. Summer officially starts in a matter of days, though it feels like it’s already here. I probably mentioned this before, but it feels like time passes faster than what I’m used to. Having kids certainly makes it so. 

Having said that, it is time to update the goals I set this year. I set some lofty ones, which is good because I need the challenge. So, let’s look at what’s been done, or not done. 

  1. Write a Novel. In Progress. As I said earlier this year, this is the biggest I set for myself. For a long time, I had issues with even brainstorming ideas for a novel. Until about two months ago, as I was working, when this idea struck. And it lingered for a while. I created a Pinterest storyboard with setting and characters. I have a notebook on Evernote with a cast of characters so far. As it stands right now, it’s still in the idea stage. I think I made a mistake by telling too many people—five—about it. I heard there was a danger in telling people your ideas because it can take away from the creativity and set unhealthy expectations. I didn’t believe it then, but I feel there may be some truth to it. I think it’s showing because I haven’t begun writing it, not even an outline. But I think this goal will start to gain more steam when I focus more of my energy into it. 
  2. Post “The Cell Games” Stories. Cancelled, for now. This was another endeavor that I talked a lot about on Twitter and my blog. The main reason for cancelling this project is that I lost my zeal for this project. Getting into specifics, I felt there was no real storytelling; just a lot of info-dumping. And I didn’t feel my characters wanted to be in those situations. This also may be a case of telling too many people too many times. But it may be that it’s not time to write these stories. So there is a possibility that I might come back to this at a later time. 
  3. Enter a Short Story Contest. In Progress. I have doubts about submitting any short story into a writing contest. But the fact is that I haven’t sought contests to enter. Most stories I write fall into the genre of mainstream/literary fiction, and from what I have researched, the submissions are outside my comfort zone. But this is a goal I want to fulfill. Being a better writer means being flexible. So I am willing to give these genres a try.  Being a better writer also means dealing with adversity, and rejection letters. That is the one honor I’ve not had yet. Time is running out on this goal. I need to step it up. 
  4. Complete the 2016 A to Z Blogging Challenge. Done. This may sound like an easy one, but it was anything but easy. I decided to go without a theme this year, which made creating topics much more difficult. This year, though, I planned out my posts so that I wouldn’t feel the crunch of coming up with posts, which meant I could read more blogs. In the simplest sense, I accomplished this goal. But looking back on them, I feel like I could have done better. I rushed them so I could get them set to post and didn’t take the time to edit and revise. Granted, they were based on my opinions, but I felt like they could have been better. I guess that’s when you know you’re a writer. 
  5. Write for 15 Minutes a Day. In Progress. I say in progress for this goal because it’s something that can be expanded upon. The key is making writing a priority.  And while I don’t write every day, I make it a habit to set my timer for 15 minutes. I type or write as much as I can, as fast as I can.  It’s not easy. It’s those moments where I remember Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind. In it, she harks on not stopping; start statements with “I remember…” There have been few times where I implemented that strategy. And it helps.  

So, I must say that my writing goals have not progressed as well as I hoped. Last year, I accomplished most of the goals I set for myself. It’s easy to look at the lack of progress as a bad thing, but I’m trying to look at the glass half-full. Compared to last year, I feel like I am taking the right steps to be a better writer.

What about you? How are you doing in your goals? Have you made amendments to them?


    Author: G. R. McNeese

    I'm originally from Illinois, currently residing in Georgia. I graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing. I am blessed with a supportive wife and family.

    2 thoughts on “2016 Goals Update”

    1. I’m not doing too bad with my goals. I have changed four of the ten overall goals I had for this year. I think of those ten four of them are about writing. Looks like you are doing pretty well!


    2. You have more going on than I do so don’t sell yourself short.

      I started anew on an old writing project back in the middle of April. Then once again, flounding as if I might sink at any moment, I put aside what I had written so far and got busy flushing out characters and settings last week, letting my actual writing collect a little dust.

      The mere thought of entering a contest makes me quiver. The notion of having more than one project going on sends my brain bolts of lightning that numb me to the quick.

      You’re braver than I am.


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