The 4 Year Plan

4 years ago, on August 23 2006, I started blogging. It was a way of telling the universe that I was committed to writing – for real this time.

I started on blogger, and you can read from the beginning up until August 2008 (when I moved to WordPress) @ http://dustandstrangerthings.blogspot.com/ – but only until the end of January when I’ll finally be taking it down.

That first post was anything but elegant, but it made it’s point:

So why start a blog?

I know people who have blogs. Many people who have them say they are a good release for what goes on in their lives. Others, who I’m sure I’ll relate to more, say it’s a good excuse to not write.

You see I’m an author. No, I’m not published yet, but stranger things have happened. I’m part of a writing group, I try to write part of my novel everyday, and I’m serious about what I’m writing… doesn’t that make me an author?

When I started blogging I was on Chapter 5 of my very 1st novel, a science fiction novel that took place on another world and tackled issues like genetic alteration, racism, and coming of age. It didn’t have a title but I called it Mikayla’s Story. It turned out to be a very bad first novel, but I learnt from it and my writing grew.

More importantly, 2006 was the year I started to make plans and goals about my future. On my birthday of that year (which is in January) I wrote down 4 goals that I wanted to have accomplished in four years – by the end of 2009 or by January of 2010. They weren’t all writing goals, in fact only one was, but it was a good starting place.

These were the goals: By the end of 2009 I will…

1) …Be Published (once, and on my way to #2)

2) …Have gone on a warm-local vacation (Several if at all possible)

3) …Have bought a house/ condo

4) …Be engaged

So this is how I did:

1) I have been published 5 times, all in 2009 (in my timezone). All of them were short stories.

2) I went to Cuba. Only one warm-local vacation in the last 4 years but it was good.

3) I bought a house with my (at the time) common-law boyfriend in April of 2008. We also bought two dogs from an animal rescue society. It’s not part of the goal but they are very happy additions to the house.

4) I got engaged to my long time boyfriend in September of 2009.

I accomplished all of my goals. Now to set some new ones.

By the end of 2013 (four years from now) I will…

1) … Have two novels published.

2) … Have several smaller works (short stories, novellas, etc) published.

3) … Be married.

4) … Have quite my day job.

#1 & #2 are what being a writer is all about, gotta get my work out there.#3 will be easy (the date is already picked) and #4 will be very hard but I think do-able.

The Digest Version of “2009 in review”:

Projects Started/ Finished: FINISHED – the novel “Ice Debt”, my first script for a short animation film, several short stories.
STARTED – the novel “Riot Girl” will be finished by the end of January.

Event Highlights: – I was interviewed on CityTV news in April for the book launch of “Seven Deadly Sins”.
– I attended Con-Version 25 in Calgary and was on a panel called “Women who don’t kick butt: can they still win hearts and minds.”
– Live interview on Absolute Xpress’ BlogTalkRadio Show for Creatures of the Night Chart Rush

Submissions: ACCEPTED – I submitted to the first and second Flash Fiction Challenge’s  by Absolute Xpress, and I submitted to the first ever Chinese Whisperings Anthology.
REJECTED – Submitted 2 stories to OnSpec and Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, I also submitted a Novella to Writers of the Future.

Personal Events: I got engaged, I think that’s the biggest highlight of the year.

Click here to see my “2008 in review” post!

For some smaller goals, just this year (2010)…

– I want to submit 12 short stories (1 per month).

– I want to submit my 1st novel to a publisher.

– I want to write more things to give away for free on this blog 🙂

Wish me luck!

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4 Responses to The 4 Year Plan

  1. Emeri Gent [Em] January 18, 2010 at 5:33 am #

    Is there an alternative to goal setting where the result is a mere bonus to the journey? That is the kind of question I am asking myself. I do know one thing, which is that people who set goals do accomplish more out of life than those who do not, but I am not sure in my own mind whether goals are the primary objective.

    Goals are like horses jumping over hurdles. Then I think if life is a marathon then it is merely a starting and ending point. What I take away from your post Tina is not actually about the goal orientation but the aspect of “finishing” – or knowing how to start and then how to finish.

    Thxs.
    [Em]

  2. Tina Hunter January 18, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    Hi Em, Thanks for stopping by.

    I think I know what you mean. For me, my goals are a way to help me achieve what I really want. I don't care if I get rich from it or become a best seller author, but I do want people to read my stories because telling them is my calling. I can't think of doing anything else that makes me happy.

    So I make these goals because I know that by achieving them I will get what I really want. The best accomplishment is living the life you want to live, but you are right… those who set goals get there faster.

    Thanks again for the comments. I hope you “finish” the kinds of things that will help you get what you want out of life.

    Cheers.

    • Emeri Gent [Em] January 18, 2010 at 9:22 am #

      And thank you also Tina for your gracious response.

      To know how to finish is one intelligence but the other is interacting with people who are setting their lives up for success. The way I use Disqus, we are ships that pass in the night but our journey has much more clarity when we simply sit back and appreciate the other for who they are.

      What shall I discover further in the uncharted Disqus Ocean of value creation?

      That sense of discovery is what I most enjoy, without setting a goal myself what will be discovered, other than I know it will relate to diversity. If you did not share that part of your journey, then I am only left to my own imagination. So thank you for your contribution.

      So there is no right or wrong answer, there is only a way. Your way is good, but IMHO we share principally here is thinking about ways. That (like music) sits at the heart of diversity.

      I will be off now, thank you for your good wishes and so I wish you all the best in return and may life always be a journey of the good. As you can see I have a rather terrible habit of thinking out aloud as I type 🙂

      [Em]

  3. New sport January 27, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    I definitely like this blog post. I gotta say it is very interesting, I will follow your thoughts.
    Talk soon.

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