For the full version, see my January 16th, 2022 blog https://dennisamadorcherry.com/writing/2022-goals/
- POLISH OFF MY FIRST STEAMPUNK NOVEL: I plan to have this done by Presidents’ Day. Well… yes and no. It wasn’t by Presidents’ Day, but I did polish off my novel. The last step was to have Kris read it out loud and I would make notes on a hard copy. We caught a lot of misspellings that way and awkwardly worded sentences. But then…at a writer’s conference, an agent, as part of his panel, offered to review our query letters. He noted that my novel was 72,200 words long. He said he would like to see it more like 80,000 words. Now I had spent the last couple of edits chopping it down and getting rid of unnecessary words and making it more concise. So, the trick was to add 8,000 meaningful words. I managed to get it up to 73,600 words. I still have time, at least until I can afford an editor. Or maybe an editor can suggest what I can add. It’s like what the President of GLAWS says, “The book isn’t done until the press starts to run.
- POLISH OFF MY FIRST STEAMPUNK SCREENPLAY: I’m also still trying to shave down the 143 pages. Optimally, a script should be about 120 pages. I expect to be able to do this by the end of February. Since I don’t feel I’m done with the book, I haven’t tackled this, but I could at least keep up with the changes I’ve made.
- SAVE UP FOR A PROFESSIONAL EDITOR: If I can do this by the end of the year, I’ll be happy. Still working on it. Lots of financial challenges this year.
- SUBMIT MY NOVEL TO A PROFESSIONAL EDITOR: Again, if I can do it by the end of the year, I’ll be happy. If things get better, I can always add new goals. It all depends on the above. At least some financial things have improved at the end of this year.
- OUTLINE MY THIRD STEAMPUNK SCRIPT: I’m thinking maybe an outline will help me write the script faster. That doesn’t mean that I won’t stop and write a scene that really catches me, though. I’ll set this goal for the end of March. Nope, still working on script two.
- WRITE MY THIRD STEAMPUNK SCRIPT: I’ll break this down further once I start doing it. Something like, if I can write ten pages a week, and I assume my first draft will be 180 pages, then I should be able to write it in eighteen weeks. Still in the future. Haven’t gotten there yet.
- EDIT MY THIRD STEAMPUNK SCRIPT AND SUBMIT IT TO ONE OF MY CRITIQUE GROUPS: Which will lead to more edits. I’ll break this down as I get closer. Same as above.
- WRITE MY SECOND STEAMPUNK NOVEL: So, let’s break this down into manageable sub-goals: Still in the future, but getting closer as I finish my second steampunk script.
- READ TWELVE BOOKS THIS YEAR.
A: Read a book in January: 1/28/22 finished. “What Jane Auston Ate and Charles Dickens Knew”.
B: Read a book in February: 3/3/33, three days late, finished, “Art for God’s Sake”.
C: Read a book in March: No book finished, but I am reading Brandy June’s, “Gold Spun”. As if didn’t already have enough to read this year, I also bought Steve Kaplan’s, “The Comic Hero’s Journey”, serious story structure for fabulously funny films. Sci-Fi comedies are hard to find. I want to write one someday.
D: Read a book in April: Nope.
E: Read a book in May: Still not another one.
F: Read a book in June: I haven’t even kept up with my comic books.
G: Read a book in June: Forgetaboutit!
H: Read a book in August:
I: Read a book in September:
J: Read a book in October:
K: Read a book in November:
L: Read a book in December:
- READ MY BIBLE: Every year my church, Calvary Bible Church in Burbank has a plan to read the entire Bible in a year. This year I’m dedicating myself to keeping up and writing this down as a goal as a part of my accountability.
A: Keep up with January’s reading: I’m about a week behind.
B: Keep up with February’s reading: I’m about three weeks behind. Don’t want to make excuses, but having kidney stones, Covid and a Writer’s Conference didn’t help.
C: Keep up with March’s reading: I’m now four weeks behind.
D: Keep up with April’s reading: I don’t even know how far behind I am now.
E: Keep up with May’s reading:
F: Keep up with June’s reading:
G: Keep up with July’s reading:
H: Keep up with August’s reading:
I: Keep up with September’s reading:
J: Keep up with October’s reading:
K: Keep up with November’s Reading:
L: Keep up with December’s reading:
- TRY A NEW RECIPE EACH MONTH: This was a goal of mine last year and it worked out very well. I ended up trying out 15 new recipes, so let’s do it again: At least here I’m keeping up.
A: New recipe for January: On 01/30/22 made: https://getpocket.com/explore/item/brioche-bread?utm_source=pocket-newtab
B: New recipe for February:
On 2/26/22 made: https://www.chilipeppermadness.com/recipes/mango-habanero-bbq-chicken/
C: New recipe for March: On 3/13/22 made: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/279239/deep-fried-tilapia/ And on 3/14/22 made: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/16311/simple-beef-stroganoff/ At least here I’m way ahead of my goals.
D: New recipe for April: On 4/30/22, Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken https://www.persnicketyplates.com/crock-pot-honey-bourbon-chicken/?fbclid=IwAR3Jvpbj2CvepWb8q8aulOODbQAR-Sf53daf2tpUiM6CECFvZAchJ0OcSgY
E: New recipe for May: None this month, but made up for it in June.
F: New recipe for June: On 6/25/22 made Habanero and Goat Cheese Meat Loaf https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/187799/habanero-and-goat-cheese-meat-loaf/ and as a side dish, Pepperoni Pizza Macaroni and Cheese https://happyhomeschoolnest.com/pepperoni-pizza-macaroni-and-cheese/?fbclid=IwAR3gNhXRltoNi2IPnqLWv00_5yIZITTSiFBX6jyLppJQN9O1v4TnL4jaUzk
G: New recipe for July: On 7/31/22 tried three new recipes: Silver Dollar Pancakes https://www.cookist.com/silver-dollar-pancakes/ , Chunky Chocolate Cheesecake Dip. https://happyhomeschoolnest.com/chunky-chocolate-cheesecake-dip/?fbclid=IwAR3o6CudN4mnXazXgBvzFrLGsy-pX8ax-QPXdxvYPid8gxK2BKHrb2u1AWs and Sweet Bread Amish Style Recipe. https://happyhomeschoolnest.com/sweet-bread-amish-style-recipe/?fbclid=IwAR1da7wWZSaoxxoo0gzxEzuwAGopDv0td3TddK7n51hb4qQu8KeOy_Cn-Kg
H: New recipe for August: On 8/21/22 made Mom’s Goulash
https://www.readowding.com/moms-goulash/?fbclid=IwAR3QOXN4UB9SVnvuXIv6YYzBG1Qqn9-Q7p7L8eGbmMnVOkCPAzbEJJlFnwY And on 8/28/22 made Impossible Cheeseburger Pie
I: New recipe for September: None, but I’m way ahead anyway.
J: New recipe for October: On 10/2/22 made Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Dip https://www.foodtalkdaily.com/recipes/dips–sauces-dressings/dip/peanut-butter-cookie-dough-dip-44487978 Stove Top Stuffing Meatloaf https://kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com/stove-top-stuffing-meatloaf/?fbclid=IwAR0kzBeNAReABLCQ_eiGzGQikjYw-Rww0oG2vYbhS1NhLTCIWE653y94nsw and Good old fashioned Mac and Cheese https://www.readowding.com/good-old-fashioned-mac-and-cheese/?fbclid=IwAR0QVwhD2EIs1vbo3nPMTCeioe3FB9h2ejt28v2Yky2Z7z3i1GNKfh63094 And on 10/16/22 made Cheesy Hamburger Casserole. https://www.jugglingactmama.com/cheesy-hamburger-casserole/?fbclid=IwAR0b6FMqDr-nK5ICwxw77CFcAbKN3yn3EmCDXTkk6d4Axd5a6egCFLVqBJk
K: New recipe for November: On 11/20/22 made Potato Soup https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/22861/slow-cooker-creamy-potato-soup/
L: New recipe for December: On 12/19/22 made Christmas Shortbread Cookies https://spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com/christmas-shortbread-cookies/?fbclid=IwAR35v9UU0Czf15YBZwNObYQDTYXiBctrxBCuvsIP5faddl6hygPuStvAH6k and Eggnog Cookies https://dessertsonadime.com/eggnog-cookies-recipe/
WAY OUT DID MYSELF ON THIS ONE!
- Ever since my company moved its offices, my job has been more sedentary. I know I can lose two pounds a month if I stick to it, so here’s me making myself accountable:
A: Down to 208 by end of January: On 1/31/22 weighed 208. Right on schedule.
B: Down to 206 by end of February: On 2/25/22 weighed 202. That’s three times as much as I expected to lose in February. And all it took was a kidney stone and Covid…I’m not sure I can recommend that diet plan.
C: Down to 204 by end of March. On 3/31/22 weighed 200. That’s halfway to my goal for the year!
D: Down to 202 by end of April. On 4/30/22 weighed 198. Four pounds ahead of schedule!
E: Down to 200 by end of May. On 5/31/22 weighed 202. Oops, I back slid four pounds.
F: Down to 198 by end of June. On 6/30/22 weighed 199. Okay, back on track. I can still lose nine more pounds and reach my year-end goal of 190.
G: Down to 196 by end of July. On 7/29 weighed 203. I’m backtracking. I can still reach my goal for the year, but I’ll have to really work at it.
H: Down to 194 by end of August. On 8/31 weighed 200. Still behind, but catching up.
I: Down to 193 by end of September. On 9/30 weighed 202. Oops, slid back a bit.
J: Down to 192 by end of October. On 10/31 weighed 203. Oops again.
K: Down to 191 by end of November. On 11/30 weighed 203. At least maintaining.
L: Down to 190 by end of December. On 12/31 weighed 205. Darn holidays!
13: Finally, I want to keep up my blood donations with the American Red Cross. Either six whole blood donations or three power reds – that’s where they take out twice the red blood cells, but give you back half of your plasma. Up until now, I have been giving whole blood because I’m CMV negative, which means my blood can be given to infants. But with my last donation, they found I have rare antigens and asked me to consider power red donations. On 3/26/22 I gave Power Red. If my calculations are correct, that should complete my thirteenth gallon. I will be able to donate double reds again on 07/16/22. On 7/23 I gave another Power Red donation. On 11/26 gave a whole blood donation. I didn’t want to do a power red donation because it was at a blood drive I was running and I didn’t want to wear myself out. DID ACHIEVE 13 GALLONS AND AM HALFWAY TO 14.
WHAT I LEARNED FROM THIS YEAR:
Things change and goals change. I thought I was done with my novel, and then, I was not, and that affected all my other writing goals. I spent more time rewriting my novel than anticipated, which gave me less time to work on my screenplay. But overall, I continued to work on my writing. I continued to make progress in my writing career.
So, 1) POLISH OFF MY FIRST STEAMPUNK NOVEL: Did I succeed? YES. In fact, I polished it twice. Doesn’t mean there won’t be more polishing.
2) POLISH OFF MY FIRST STEAMPUNK SCREENPLAY: I chose not to, but I should. It wouldn’t take that much to keep up with the changes to my novel. And not all the changes in the novel will be reflected in the script. The novel has added scenes that are not in the screenplay, and scenes that are extended. That’s the nature of the two different mediums. You can go further in-depth into a character’s motives and emotions in a novel than in a screenplay.
3) SAVE UP FOR A PROFESSIONAL EDITOR and 4) SUBMIT MY NOVEL TO A PROFESSIONAL EDITOR: Turns out my novel wasn’t ready for a professional editor. I still need to add over 6,000 words, but maybe an editor can help me with that. Now, more than ever, these are my goals for 2023.
5) OUTLINE MY THIRD STEAMPUNK SCRIPT AND 6) WRITE MY THIRD STEAMPUNK SCRIPT: What I’ve learned from this year – and from last year – is that while holding a full-time job, I can reasonably expect to finish one script and one novel per year. I can do this NOW because I have gotten better and faster at my craft. And that’s all due to the Writer’s Conferences I attend and my critique groups. With that said, I intend to write my second steampunk novel, based on my second steampunk script and write my third steampunk script.
7) EDIT MY THIRD STEAMPUNK SCRIPT AND SUBMIT IT TO ONE OF MY CRITIQUE GROUPS: I’ll be giving my second steampunk novel to my novel critique group and my third steampunk script to my screenplay critique group.
8) WRITE MY SECOND STEAMPUNK NOVEL: Didn’t do it last year, but will definitely do it this year.
9) READ TWELVE BOOKS THIS YEAR: Well, definitely failed on that one. I only read three. But I do keep hearing that as a writer, I need to be reading. I need to read books in my genre, books on writing to improve my craft and other books I’m generally interested in. I find it hard to read with the time I have, but I’ll have to try again. Maybe 12 books is not a good metric. There are books that are quick to read, and others that are long. I’m also behind on my comic books – and those are quick reads. And now, “The Orville” is coming out with a comic book. I’ll have to find a better way to make time.
10) READ MY BIBLE: I was good for the first three months, then it fell apart. My Church, Calvary Bible Church in Burbank, is starting up their Bible-in-a-Year program again. I’m not going to start over, I’m going to pick up where I left off. It’ll take me two years to read through the Bible – but I’ll read through it. That’s the goal.
11) TRY A NEW RECIPE EACH MONTH: DONE. IN FACT, MORE THAN DONE! I tried 18 new recipes. Of course it helps that I have to eat, I don’t have to write or read. But I love cooking, so it’s easy. I don’t know if I’ll include this as a goal next year, I do it so naturally, but I do love sharing the recipes I find and getting my cast iron fly, Vincent, involved.
12) I wanted to lose 20 pounds this year, from 210 to 190. I ended up at 205. But by the end of April, I was down to 198. That’s 12 pounds in four months. What I’ve learned from this is that I can do it, but I have to stay disciplined. I can’t slack off. From 205 this year, I’m going to try for 190 again in 2023.
Out of 12 goals, I didn’t have that many wins. But the wins I did have – especially in writing – were important. I’ve learned that things change, and sometimes my goals will have to change. My one big goal in life is to become a professional writer. I want people to pay me to play with my imaginary friends all day. And to that goal, I’m making progress.
I’ve also learned that I can achieve other goals, read a book each month, keep up on my Bible reading, lose weight, if I stay disciplined. So, staying disciplined is going to be a goal for next year.
This year, I’ve learned to set more realistic goals, be ready to adjust those goals, and stay disciplined. And I count those as wins as well.
Nest week: Goals for 2023.
143rd blog completed.
First Steampunk novel: 73643 words. ß Short of 80,000 words, but the best I can do right now.
First Steampunk screenplay: Need to update with notes from the novelization.
Second Steampunk screenplay: 162 pages. ß now need to work on shorting this.
Second Steampunk novel: 0 words.
Third Steampunk screenplay: 38 pages.