Happy New Year - 2013
ROW80-1 check in -01/09 - first one of the year!

ROW80-1 - 2013 - goals and objectives

Time now to think about long term goals, and short term SMART objectives to get there - possible in this Round. That would be objectives that are:

  • Specific - clear, we know exactly what has to be accomplished, 
  • Measurable - can measure it's completion, 
  • Achievable - a stretch, but something you have time and resources to reach, 
  • Relevant - supports the overall goal, and
  • Time-bound - with a specific target date.

In other words, writing lots is too vague, writing 500 words a day is better.

My goals in life are varied, the writerly ones are to become a better writer and to become a successful (income earning) author. I'm targeting that for this year. Becoming a better writer means write regularly, get feedback on my writing, learn from that, and also learn from various books - fiction or non - and courses. Becoming a successful author means improving my writing so not only I like it better, but others do, and  are so amazed that they will actually pay me for it. That means not just putting a few Flash Fictions on line, and stuffing each year'S NaNoWriMo novel in a drawer, it means polishing my writing until it squeaks, then sending it in to publishers.  Repeatedly if necessary.

I also have a goal to enjoy the above process, and life in general, so will include some health and social goals under "Other". 

I started ROW80 a year ago, and had a long list of objectives, more like a to-do list. I also tried using some non-SMART objectives for a cycle. Neither worked that well, so this time I'll try for a balance, as follows:

  • Writing
    • Two Flash Fiction a week - 800 word average. I'll use the Flash Fiction Friday and Terrible Minds sites for inspiration - say Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
    • ROW80 check in's - Sunday and Wednesday morning
    • Critique a story on Critters.org - Monday Morning
    • Book clubs - have two a month, to read and critique
  • Publishing
    • Edit first novel, Due North, an hour a day. More would be better, I'll start small 
    • Send a story a week in to critters.org
    • Submit a story a week on line. Sites found via Duotrope - I bought a subscription
  • Other
    • Daily yoga and core strengthening exercises - have a set routine for each.
    • Band - rehearsal Tuesday nights, practice 1/2 hr a day. 
    • Have a few more vague objectives too. Writerly things, such as keeping up to date with writer/editor/publisher blogs I follow, reading how-to books, reading fiction (with a writer's eye) - but they will all fill in the day as needed, AFTER I do the two main writing/publishing items above. I also plan to drop in a few days a week at the coffee shop on the corner, to my local for beer, music, and conversation, and visit my grandkids. 
    • Travel - Newfoundland? A vague idea so far - bring pen, camera, and beer mug, get a B&B in St. John's for a few weeks. Or rent a room? 


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Janet Parfitt

Ooh you're in a band! What instrument do you play? The goals look great so far.

Eden Mabee

Your goals are great, Mike, and it'll be great to follow your progress through the stages to achieving these goals.

The only piece of advice I will give you is to read the Critters piece you choose to critique once a day or two before you actually write your critique. It's system that I used after I heard from other Critters about how well it works for keeping the critique balanced and helpful.

As for travel, if you ever feel interested in exploring the NY Capital District, there's a spare mattress at our house and several ROWers live local. Not only would we love to hear you play, we'd love to share some great coffee and conversation. (Plus, with Albany, Schenectady and Troy, plus several railroads nearby, we have plenty of urban art for you to photograph.)

Emily Jean Roche

I think traveling is a great goal for a writer. Making new experiences helps shape the craft. Great, specific goals. Good luck.

alberta ross

good goals and do-able - travel? the best and Newfoundland sounds great - all the best with this round:)

Shan Jeniah Burton


I've been following you all year, and I can say that these goals seem perfect for you.

I will be applying SMART to my goals at my first assessment.

I'd love to have goals that concisely scheduled, even though I know that that wouldn't work in my life, or likely even my nature.

I also love the way you've built in other passions,social time, exercise, and leisure.

As my kids (who are also my travel buddies, since Jim is a chef, and works weekends) get bigger, I too am anticipated traveling a little further afield.

may your round be productive and fulfilling!

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