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!


  1. Yay for writing workshops! I'm looking forward to reading more of your stories. You've got a lot more writing goals than I do right now. I'm just trying to get 10 minutes of free writing every morning. It usually turns into more than ten minutes, but I like then sound of ten minutes more than one hour. It's less intimidating.

    Tell excel I said hello; I haven't spent much time with him in the past five years, since Preston and I got married. He was very helpful with that whole process.

  2. I'm going to write up my August recap and September goals tomorrow, but I have to say that I am 100% with you on saying HELL YES!!! for September!!! I didn't drop the ball so much in August as punt it, but I think September is going to be much better!

    I can't wait to hear more about the writing workshop!

  3. I am so not a writer like you think of writing (I write technical docuementation in the work environment when my job calls for it), but dang lady... you make me want to get up and write! Wishing you the best in kicking your goals butts!!

  4. I am glad everyone is excited for September!

    Christie - thanks for the well wishes! If you want to be a writer, you can. It just takes discipline, which is a lot easier than it sounds. Trust me - I know! ;)