Wednesday, September 01, 2010

september writing goals

Can I get a HELL YES for September? This August was pretty terrible, mostly because of the weather. The fact that I can type "September Writing Goals" somehow makes the continued 100 degree temperatures go down a little easier. Relief is right around the corner!

In addition to being so humid I could barely breathe, August wasn't a very productive month. Yes, my puppy is now housebroken and knows a number of semi-impressive tricks, but other than that? Most of my August writing goals didn't quite happen. Let's review.
  • Finalize my list of schools to which I will apply for an MFA in creative writing. I made great progress on this. I have a list of 10 schools that I feel fairly confident about, which I'll post in a few days. The list may change slightly by the time I actually submit, of course, but I've got a solid base to work with. Whew! 
  • Finish all unfinished drafts. I didn't touch any unfinished drafts. Bummer.
  • Send in contest submission. I successfully entered the Barthelme Prize for Short Prose, hosted by Gulf Coast Journal. It cost $18 to enter, but you get a year's subscription to the journal. Pretty nice deal! 
  • Reorganize home office. If moving stacks of papers from one surface to another counts as "reorganizing," then I was quite successful. What's that? It doesn't count? Double bummer. 
It's a good thing August is over. As for September, I'm excited for a lot of things and a lot of them are writing related. I have a feeling it's going to be a good month! Let's see what's on the agenda, shall we?

September Writing Goals  
  • Begin two writing workshops and submit stories for critiques. I'm enrolled in the Graduate Fiction Workshop at the university where I work. I actually took this class over a year ago, but I loved it so much and it's taught by my favorite professor. Since the school pays for one class a semester, why not take it again? Why not indeed. I'm also taking part in another workshop that a friend is organizing, which will be run much like a class. I am aiming to submit a story to both workshops by the end of the month - stories that have a good chance of making into my MFA application portfolio. 
  • Make a chart of deadlines, admission standards, and requirements. Speaking of MFA's, ten schools is a lot to keep straight. Excel will soon be my best friend.   
  • Continue spending a few hours each Sunday at the coffee shop. It really is a good habit - I can focus better without the distractions of my apartment, such as puppies and laundry, plus their coffee is like crack. Good stuff. 
  • Blog more about writing. I'm not going to turn this into a writing blog (just like I won't turn it into a running blog, or a foodie blog, or a photo blog) but writing about writing keeps me focused and holds me accountable. I want to visit this topic more than once a month, and I hope y'all don't mind. 
That may not seem like a lot of a goals, but it's not about a number. It's about spending quality time with writing and words, being an active practitioner of my craft, and living a life deeply devoted to improving my art. Here's to September, the month of fresh notebooks. academic daydreams, and more forgiving weather! Now get to writing!