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Goals four V.38!

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Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Gold Member
Posts: 993

A few years ago I posted a 4 in 35 thread that seemed to motivate folks to write/submit four stories in one WotF calendar year. Well, here's the sequel, Goals for 38!

With a caveat: Results are out of our control. So when I write of results as a goal, I mean it in a more abstract, gotta be in it to win it kind of way instead of a damn it I didn't hit my goal because I got an R instead of an HM... Remember, Goals four V.38 is the sequel and still has the same origin story as 4 in 35, which is to submit, submit, submit, submit!

So here are some goal ideas:

Win!
Yeah, yeah. Of course we all want to win. That goes without saying (but I said it anyway because it looks good on the screen). But we can't win if we don't submit. So:

Establish habits.
Habits can be mini goals like 500 words a day or 2000 a week, etc. Or to open your word processing software five times a week no matter what. I follow an exercise program that promotes these three words: Decide. Commit. Succeed. And it really is that simple. Habits form after the decision to make them, then it's up to us to commit to them.

Submit all 4 quarters.
Start with submitting in Q1. Q1 begins on October 1, 2020. You can dream up a cool idea or setting or character now. Take a drive, a long shower, or a walk and imagine!

If you're new(ish) to the contest, maybe your goal is to get that first HM. To get that certificate in the mail and hang it above your monitor or frame it and look at it every day (I totally did this). So, remembering what I wrote earlier about the actual results being out of our control, how can you aim for an HM? Well, by engaging! Stay involved on the forum, read some recent volumes, start threads about individual stories you liked, or didn't like and why. Find some critique partners. Trade those 450s! And enter every quarter to give yourself four chances.

Personal best.
So you've gotten some HMs, but you want that silver, or that semi. Can I tell you an extra special secret? Read books by David Farland. Seriously, immerse yourself in his writing and you'll see what he likes. Heck, check out the first few pages of Nightingale on Amazon and I bet you click the buy now button. Such description! He's showing you how its done.

And finally - finalist!
Yeah, this is a lofty goal, but it's thee goal. There are 32 finalist spots per volume and you have four chances to get one. Take advantage of all four chances or your odds (never tell me the odds) go way down. And I, too am gonna be in the mosh pit that is the throng of submissions reaching for one of those spots. But, want to know the greatest thing about this place? It's that we help each other, we lift each other up because there are 32 spots, and any one of us at any time can get that call. So while you can be sure I want that call, I also want YOU to get that call (Joni is so nice!).

So if you're ready to rock this thing, feel free to post your goals below. Whether it's results or submissions or maybe you just want to submit one story that you really love and then cheer on the rest of us. And when you're giving your speech on the stage in Hollywood, CA you can say thanks in part to my awesome friends at the WotF forum, I am a Writer of the Future. Look out world!

fistinair

2x Finalist
2x Semi
6x Silver
9x HM
1 of 6 SilverHM. 1 of 3 DSF: Short Stories. My Finalist #1 Finalist #2 coming soon in 4th & Starlight

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Topic starter Posted : September 1, 2020 12:24 am
Thegirlintheglasses
(@thegirlintheglasses)
Bronze Star Member Contributor
Posts: 171

Dustin I'm so happy to see this thread! Your four in thirty-five thread encouraged me to make and keep that goal--and I got my first finalist during that fourth quarter! I wouldn't have made it without the cheering, amazing mosh pit you reference 😉 I got a lot of writing done that year, and the practice set my habits to really amp up for the next year. I was moving!

Only...I've slowed way down. Things outside our control do that at times and while I'm trying to get back IN control, I need to get back to basics.

My goal? A fresh story a quarter.

Feels like wading through sludge after a slow bunch of months. I sent my first resub EVER last quarter (I can't let a quarter go without subbing). But I'm determined to get back in gear . My quarter 4's first draft still isn't done. Hopefully first quarter will be easier. And the next. And the next...

I'll raise my goals as I start meeting these again.

I am very happy to see this.

Brittany Rainsdon
R-SHM-HM-R-HM-R-F-F-HM-HM-SHM-HM-HM-SF-PF-2nd place!
Published Finalist Volume 37 Quarter 4
Second Place Volume 38 Quarter 1

First publication was "Perfectly Painted Lies" published in Deep Magic Spring 2021 and reprinted in the anthology, Best of Deep Magic Volume 2.
Learn more about me at rainsdonwrites.com

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Posted : September 3, 2020 7:14 pm
Retropianoplayer
(@retropianoplayer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 231

Hang in there, Girl In The Glasses!

I have every confidence you'll get back into your normal writing flow and rhythm.

How do I know?

Because you've done it before; you can do it again - especially you hit 'Finalist.'

Also, the fact I bet on you a while ago, and I don't like to lose a bet, lol.

Best,

Retro

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Posted : September 4, 2020 6:02 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1114

Personal goals: To submit to all four quarters, and to re-establish a stronger writing routine. (I had one for about three to four months and then the babies started dropping down to one naptime. Still working out how to make writing time work under the new schedule.)

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : September 4, 2020 5:12 pm
czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 194

I know all the logic of needing to be intrinsically motivated but sometimes public goals - especially those shared by others are the type of extrinsic tools that really help me.

Hoping that is what this will do for me.

Editing has been so much easier for me lately than fresh writing so I am going to commit to writing at least one completely new story. The other three are most likely to be me finally finishing ones that have lingered in my partly done folders forever. And I'll add that I won't do any re-submissions during the year. Although this quarter no promises Smile

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - P

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Posted : September 5, 2020 3:52 am
cabarrett
(@cabarrett)
Bronze Member
Posts: 56

Count me in for the goal of four submissions in 38 wotf009 and I am setting myself the additional challenge of playing Heinlein Hackysack and kicking my stories back out onto the market every time they come home.

Vol36 - HM
Vol 37 - Finalist (upcoming on Podcastle), HM (published by Mysterion)
Vol38 - Q1 SHM, Q2 HM, Q4 pending...

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Posted : September 8, 2020 1:19 pm
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 746

My goals remain the same: submit every quarter, consistently improve my results, hopefully get closer to winning. Keep my stories on the market until they sell or have to be trunked, write more books and work toward getting an agent. Keep on keepin’ on!

V34: R,HM,R
V35: HM,R,R,HM
V36: R,HM,HM,SHM
V37: HM,SF,SHM,SHM
V38: F, SHM, P, P
Available for critiques - PM for availability.
www.rebeccaetreasure.com

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Posted : September 8, 2020 11:48 pm
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 360

I think I'm game for this myself, too--four new stories next year sounds like just where I need to be going. I have some things that I'd like to work with for them, too--one story, and one new approach to brainstorming new short story ideas. Curious to see how it all pans out...

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : September 9, 2020 7:48 pm
scribblesatdusk
(@scribblesatdusk)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 106

I'm in!

V36:Q3 HM
V37: Q3 R, Q4 SHM
V38: R,HM, ?

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Posted : September 10, 2020 1:20 am
Agathon
(@agathon)
Bronze Member
Posts: 63

I'm in Portland, Oregon and all the various crises we're dealing with is not exactly bringing out the best in everyone. I work, help my friends as much as I can and do writerly things. Also, ants ate a giant hole in the side of my garage. Anyway, it's the stuff like formatting and submitting that's hard for me. Getting stories written and critiqued isn't much of a problem. I've been writing for years but I've only been submitting for about six months. My first submission was to a non-professional market and it's being published. My second was to Q2 and it won an Honorable Mention. I've submitted three stories at the moment (one of them to Q3) and I have three more ready, just looking for more markets. My goal is going to be: 1) Enter WotF every quarter. 2) Have at least three stories submitted to non-professional markets at any one time. 3) Turn around rejections in less than a week. Considering my writing "career" only, I'm feeling good about the next twelve months. wotf008

Agathon McGeachy
Figure Sculptor, Mechanical Designer, Reformed Rakehell, Writer
Vol 37, Q2: HM
Vol 37, Q3: HM
Vol 37, Q4: HM
Vol 38, Q1: R
Vol 38, Q2: the waiting is the hardest part
Now in print: NIWA 2020 Anthology 'Escape' available on Amazon
Coming soon: NIWA 2021 Anthology 'Forbidden'

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Posted : September 10, 2020 6:45 am
Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Gold Member
Posts: 993

Agathon,

That sounds totally do-able. Do you keep track online or in excel or whatnot?

I have a giant excel sheet going back to my first submission. I also keep track on the Grinder, but that's my backup and search engine. Some also have a bingo card. I have one, but stopped submitting, so the only one I can fill in is WotF. Smile

2x Finalist
2x Semi
6x Silver
9x HM
1 of 6 SilverHM. 1 of 3 DSF: Short Stories. My Finalist #1 Finalist #2 coming soon in 4th & Starlight

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Topic starter Posted : September 10, 2020 10:30 am
Agathon
(@agathon)
Bronze Member
Posts: 63

Do you keep track online or in excel or whatnot?

I use Duotrope. I'm still learning all the things it does but so far it's a real timesaver when researching markets.

Agathon McGeachy
Figure Sculptor, Mechanical Designer, Reformed Rakehell, Writer
Vol 37, Q2: HM
Vol 37, Q3: HM
Vol 37, Q4: HM
Vol 38, Q1: R
Vol 38, Q2: the waiting is the hardest part
Now in print: NIWA 2020 Anthology 'Escape' available on Amazon
Coming soon: NIWA 2021 Anthology 'Forbidden'

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Posted : September 10, 2020 11:38 am
Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Gold Member
Posts: 993

I may have posted this elsewhere, but to make it official...

My goals four 38:
Submit a co-authored story all four quarters.

Since I've never actually done a four-fer, I figure this may be the best way to accomplish that. Now I just need four people to put up with me over the course of one story and I'm good!

2x Finalist
2x Semi
6x Silver
9x HM
1 of 6 SilverHM. 1 of 3 DSF: Short Stories. My Finalist #1 Finalist #2 coming soon in 4th & Starlight

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Topic starter Posted : September 11, 2020 7:41 am
AlexH
(@alexh)
Silver Member
Posts: 250

Submit co-authored stories to WotF? That sounds interesting, especially with a different author each time. Are you aware of co-author winners? I don't remember any.

I haven't missed a WotF quarter since I first submitted, so my goal is to continue submitting each quarter until I win or pro-out and to level up in the meantime.

I've been sitting on two of my favourite stories since the first year I entered WotF, so I want to finally get around to polishing up those drafts ready to submit at least one to WotF.

And also, to continually learn and improve my short story writing!

35: - R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: HM HM HM SHM | 38: HM HM

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Posted : September 13, 2020 11:21 pm
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880

Are you aware of co-author winners?

Volume V- The Wallet and Maudie by Dan'l Danehy-Oakes and Alan Wexelblat.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1

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Posted : September 14, 2020 1:29 am
Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Gold Member
Posts: 993

^^ wow.

From the volume:

As has happened once before (see WOTF II), a collaborative team has won a Contest prize. It is in face a First Prize, for a story which was written electronically by passing it back and forth between California and Texas via modem. The authors had met only on a computer network and had never seen each other face-to-face until the story was nearly completed. That has never happened before. We are, indeed, living in the future.

wotf001
I will read this story tonight.

I'm on the prowl for a Q3 co.

Oh, and Alex, I hope to have your crit finished today or latest tomorrow. I'm sorry for the delay.

2x Finalist
2x Semi
6x Silver
9x HM
1 of 6 SilverHM. 1 of 3 DSF: Short Stories. My Finalist #1 Finalist #2 coming soon in 4th & Starlight

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Topic starter Posted : September 14, 2020 2:27 am
Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Gold Member
Posts: 993

I read The Wallet and Maudie. Interesting. There's two POVs, possibly each author wrote one, but I couldn't tell. Not sure this would place today. Not because the story was bad, but there's a sort of drift to it. Character growth was minimal, and one character was the inanimate wallet (even though the title warns us it will be, this seems out of fashion today).

I also spotted KD Wentworth's story in Volume 5. Excited, I read it in five minutes. Seriously, it was under 2k. Wow.

Both stories seemed to make an almost self-referential point. Again, this is a style that I feel is out of fashion, at least in WotF. Daily Sci-fi seems to love stories like this.

2x Finalist
2x Semi
6x Silver
9x HM
1 of 6 SilverHM. 1 of 3 DSF: Short Stories. My Finalist #1 Finalist #2 coming soon in 4th & Starlight

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Topic starter Posted : September 16, 2020 4:06 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 360

I'm trying to get mentally ahead for this, and have my fall-back plans for V.38 sketched out now -- completing one story that I took half-way for a WotF entry previously, one new story that I have the concept written for, and two possible stories that are essentially near complete rewrites of older stories that I now think I can do much better with the premises for.

However, that's just my first sweep for this, working with the ideas I've already got down. I'm also planning to run a full brainstorming idea session for myself, to start working up some new story ideas. One area where I've been a little lax of late is new ideas--I've been running through older thoughts and concepts, mining my old books, but not really spitting out many new pieces. (One or two, but mostly just out-of-the-blue thoughts, nothing by way of trying to specifically feed that process). I'm curious to see how that goes--maybe I'll have some great ideas, maybe none, but at least I'll find out if it's something that works for me.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : September 17, 2020 6:26 am
Eagerink
(@eagerink)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 118

My goals for this year are:

Receive a placement higher than HM
Submit every quarter
Write five days a week for whatever amount of time I can get in
Get 40 rejections

Good luck everyone else on your goals!

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Posted : September 18, 2020 9:26 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 360

Get 40 rejections

I love this goal--I set out, a long time ago, with the goal of getting a hundred rejections, because I noticed that I was taking individual rejections pretty hard (so that it kept squashing my enthusiasm for writing), and I knew that I needed to toughen my mental skin. I'm closer to 400 now.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : September 19, 2020 8:06 am
Eagerink
(@eagerink)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 118

Get 40 rejections

I love this goal--I set out, a long time ago, with the goal of getting a hundred rejections, because I noticed that I was taking individual rejections pretty hard (so that it kept squashing my enthusiasm for writing), and I knew that I needed to toughen my mental skin. I'm closer to 400 now.

I think I might have gotten it from you then Smile I was skimming through the forum and saw someone mention it. Don't remember the username though. But yeah it seems like a good idea - making into a game to get as many as possible rather than being disappointed wotf001

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Posted : September 19, 2020 9:03 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 360

Get 40 rejections

I love this goal--I set out, a long time ago, with the goal of getting a hundred rejections, because I noticed that I was taking individual rejections pretty hard (so that it kept squashing my enthusiasm for writing), and I knew that I needed to toughen my mental skin. I'm closer to 400 now.

I think I might have gotten it from you then Smile I was skimming through the forum and saw someone mention it. Don't remember the username though. But yeah it seems like a good idea - making into a game to get as many as possible rather than being disappointed wotf001

I think you'll find it fun, too. Some markets will give good feedback, which can help you get better as a writer--and although I continued to accumulate rejections, more of them became second or final rounds, and the feedback on the rejected stories got steadily better too. it's been a rewarding process, though not always a perfectly smooth one.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : September 19, 2020 9:23 am
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 746

I’ve had 100 rejections per year as my goal since 2018. I should be close again this year. I think I only hit 80 last year.

V34: R,HM,R
V35: HM,R,R,HM
V36: R,HM,HM,SHM
V37: HM,SF,SHM,SHM
V38: F, SHM, P, P
Available for critiques - PM for availability.
www.rebeccaetreasure.com

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Posted : September 19, 2020 9:34 am
Eagerink
(@eagerink)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 118

I’ve had 100 rejections per year as my goal since 2018. I should be close again this year. I think I only hit 80 last year.

Well maybe it was you then! No idea but it is a good idea.
I'm starting with 40 because I only had 10 this past year so 40 would be more real.

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Posted : September 19, 2020 10:20 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 360

My rejections were solidly on about 60-80 per year for four years (I only passed 100 rejections in one year, 2015), until my job situation crumbled and left us near-bankrupt, and I had to scramble. Since then, my job and finance situation got considerably better, but with it, my stress and hours went up too, and my writing and submissions both suffered. That said, while I've written less, at the same time I believe I've written to a higher standard, so I don't know how much that is a step backwards, versus a step forwards.

I have been learning to balance things a little better, but I'm still not as good at this as I once was.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : September 19, 2020 10:43 am
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 746

Only reason I get anywhere near 100 is with novel queries. 40 for story rejections is a great goal.

V34: R,HM,R
V35: HM,R,R,HM
V36: R,HM,HM,SHM
V37: HM,SF,SHM,SHM
V38: F, SHM, P, P
Available for critiques - PM for availability.
www.rebeccaetreasure.com

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Posted : September 19, 2020 2:04 pm
Eagerink
(@eagerink)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 118

Only reason I get anywhere near 100 is with novel queries. 40 for story rejections is a great goal.

Oh ok. Thanks wotf008

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Posted : September 28, 2020 2:52 pm
vjalrik
(@vjalrik)
Advanced Member
Posts: 49

My goals remain the same: submit every quarter, consistently improve my results, hopefully get closer to winning. Keep my stories on the market until they sell or have to be trunked, write more books and work toward getting an agent. Keep on keepin’ on!

This is about where I'm at. I've submitted every quarter since 2016, and I plan to keep submitting each quarter until I win or pro out. There have been a few trunk stories in there to keep me in during tough quarters, but for the most part I try to send in fresh stories. My main other goal is to get a first draft of my WIP novel done by the end of the year.

Van Alrik
V33 (-- HM SHM R), V34 (SF R R HM),
V35 (HM R R R), V36 (R HM F HM),
V37 (SF HM HM HM), V38 (HM HM, Q3-Pending)
Latest sold story (10 total):
"The Church of Raw," Thuggish Itch: Scientific, Oct. 5, 2018

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Posted : September 28, 2020 5:05 pm
PenMark
(@penmark)
Bronze Member
Posts: 53

Thanks for making this thread, Dustin. I think you've got the right idea to set goals that we can control, and this amazing community is a great place to get the support to do it!

I plan to:
- Submit a fresh story every quarter
- Write at least five hours a week
- Submit to other markets at least four times (I've never done this before, so I'm starting with a low number)

My hope is to snag at least one HM, but we'll see how it goes. I'll be plenty happy with just meeting these three goals, and I look forward to working through this volume with all of you. Smile

V37 Q3: R
V37 Q4: SHM
V38 Q1: R
V38 Q2: SHM
V38 Q3: Submitted
V38 Q4: Revising

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Posted : October 1, 2020 12:05 pm
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1114

Thanks for making this thread, Dustin. I think you've got the right idea to set goals that we can control, and this amazing community is a great place to get the support to do it!

I plan to:
- Submit a fresh story every quarter
- Write at least five hours a week
- Submit to other markets at least four times (I've never done this before, so I'm starting with a low number)

My hope is to snag at least one HM, but we'll see how it goes. I'll be plenty happy with just meeting these three goals, and I look forward to working through this volume with all of you. Smile
Those are good goals, Marcus. Smile Submitting to other markets is pretty simple once you get the hang of it--just be sure to check submission requirements before you send in a story, because while there is a standard manuscript format, some markets like to do things a little differently (half the time, it feels like they just want to make sure we're paying attention).

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : October 1, 2020 12:37 pm
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