Looking backward, looking forward

We’re closing in on the end of another year. I know this comes as no surprised to anyone. We’re probably all busy thinking back over the year and deciding on resolutions for 2016.

So, while we’re being retrospective, what did you accomplish in your writing this past year? Did you have any specific goals? Did you have any successes you can take satisfaction from? What went well this year? What could have been better?

I had the goal of finishing my fifth novel, which I did. I also went back and revised my fourth, giving it a deeper edit than I’ve ever done before. So while I’m still not particularly great at revision, I made some positive strides there. I also submitted a short story for publication, and though it was not chosen, that was also a positive step forward for me.

What bothers me, however, is how I fell flat as a writer over the past month. I’ve been prepping for my next novel for a couple months, and that’s evidently too long. I’m finding I’ve lost a lot of momentum and enthusiasm, and I’m struggling to even complete my pre-writing. The exercise has been fruitful, but the cost has been high.

So what are your goals for the next year? What one single improvement do you feel would help you most in the coming year? What things do you want to try? What would make you stretch most as a writer?

I’ve got a couple of goals for 2016. First of all, I want to write novel #6. That means I’m going to have to pick myself up, dust myself off, and make myself get excited about writing again. And the sooner the better.

I want to focus on characterization this year. My characters have always felt a little thin to me. I need to figure out how to give them depth, how to make them feel more real.

I also want to submit more stories. I’ve got to get used to submitting my work and taking feedback, even if it’s in the form of rejection. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

What successes would you like to trumpet from this past year? What things do you still need to work on? What are your writing goals for 2016? Leave a comment and let us know!

Thom Stratton

About Thom Stratton

Thom is a Utah transplant, works for a regional bank, and spends his lunch hours working on his latest novel. His wife, three kids, and four pets find him amusing and somewhat useful, so they keep him around.