Big Goal for This Year

I don't know about you, but my goals as a writer have tended to evolve over the years. And this being a brand-spankin' new one (2015!), I figure it's as good a time as any to review those writerly goals and have you weigh in with a few of your own in the comments below.

As a kid, I wrote just for fun, entertaining myself, my family, and some of our friends who moved out of state. In the back of my mind, I always had the idea that I'd try to get my work published at some point, maybe when I was retired. As a young teen, I assumed that would be in my forties or fifties.

College & career didn't leave much time for writing. Unfortunately, I allowed myself to get sucked into playing video games and watching TV when I wasn't studying or working. Here's something I noticed about playing those old PC games: they squashed any desire I had to write. Why work at creating new worlds and characters when you can just shoot 'em and blow 'em up? Why work to create a scene in the mind of a reader when you can just sit back and enjoy those freakin' awesome graphics?

When I first met my wife and learned that she shared an interest in writing, something was magically rekindled inside me. While we were dating, I shared some of my older work with her to see what she thought. I was worried she might think it was crap. She didn't. And she encouraged me not only to keep writing but to submit my stuff for publication. Once we were married, I started writing again like I hadn't since I was in high school. I wrote a novel a year and tried my hand at short stories.

My first published work greeted the world in January 2010. At that time, my goal was to earn SFWA membership: break into three top-tier, pro-paying publications. That took me three years of writing and submitting to achieve. Then I set a new goal for myself: 100 short stories sold to paying publications and a book deal before I turned 40. Well, I achieved that one last month with a year and a half to spare: "Captain Bartholomew Quasar and the Devious Powers of Persuasion" will appear in the Geminid Press space opera anthology later this year. It's kind of cool that both my 100th story sale and my first novel feature one of my favorite characters: Captain Quasar.

What's up next? Snagging an agent, of course. That's my big goal for this year: representation before I turn 40. I'll need to amp up my querying and target agents that might be a good fit for my quirky body of work. Land an agent. Sign a few book deals. Grace a bestseller list or two. You know, the usual.

Then maybe I'll retire...so I can write full-time.