2019 Goal Review – Good & Not-So-Good

One thing I’ve learned in the last few years is that the whole review-your-process isn’t just some corporate way to hold more meetings and generate more memos. It really does help me be intentional with my time and energy.

The goals, I couldn’t control. The steps I took? I can and did. It’s important to be aware of those differences.

Failure is a weighted and emotional word for some. I don’t mind it. If something didn’t work out or go as planned, that’s a failure – no drama attached. I like to examine why and see how I can do better. This year I had three main outcomes that didn’t quite reach the goal:

Goal – 30 Patrons


I got SO CLOSE! 25 patrons is pretty damn good. I do have over 30 followers on Patreon, so I can sort of squint and count it, right? I’ve found a rhythm and a focus with my posts, and all the feedback from patrons has been positive and encouraging.

Things I want to try:

  • Change my header to be more specific about what I do.


  • Some kind of public in-real-life outreach – possibly poetry cards at local shops.
  • Keep producing quality content: postcards, tinybooks, audio, and chapbooks.
  • New chapbook – I have the idea for the next one!
  • Sell tinybooks, illustrated short stories, and postcards in my Etsy shop.


GOAL – SFWA Eligible Sale

Well. I tried! I had 38 submissions. It felt like more? I would have guessed much higher which just goes to show you how emotions cloud perception. Of those 38, one is shortlisted, and four are acceptances slated for 2020.

Clearly, 38 submissions is not even close to being enough for an entire year of trying to break into the pro-market. Part of that is not using the simultaneous submission feature enough, and part of that is not having enough pieces. This is literally a game of numbers, and mine are still way too low to get me there.

Things I want to try:

  • Have 30 stories in constant submission rotation. I’m currently at twelve. I have one more in first draft form, and another I just started, so I’m getting closer.
  • Morning writing, right after my poetry work, on 4thewords.com. This is how I wrote the last four pieces, so I should stick with what works.
  • Continue gathering story prompts.
  • Write for anthology calls.


GOAL – Query Language of the Spirit

This one fizzled hard, but for good reasons. The feedback showed me I needed to revise the book to be longer and in first-person narration. I started doing this, and it felt insurmountable. Not the revision – I can do that – but the idea of hours & hours of writing time with such a slim chance of finding an agent. I just couldn’t do it.

While I love and believe in this story (and in my abilities), I’m wobbly on the goal. I’m deeply covetous of authors with agents. I love the entire idea of that relationship and the fierce game of writing hard with a team. Writing to get an agent is the opposite of that. It is lonely and discouraging. In some ways, it was starting to feel like self-harm, and so I stopped. No crying in baseball.

Things I want to try:

  • Start this revision after I’ve finished those 30 stories for the other goal. Trying to do all the writing things at once overwhelms me.
  • Journal hard about what I’m feeling and why.


On a positive end note:

A new chapbook!

Beak, Full of Tongue3
My new chapbook!

Paneled as a pro at a writing convention!


Created 12 tinybooks by hand!

tinybooks 2019

Learned to use Procreate and am illustrating!

slippered mouse

12 months of poetry postcards!

Postcards with pens

Read and analyzed 170+ short stories!

The 300

4 acceptances!



Want to see what I’ve got planned for 2020? There’s a free post up!






4 thoughts on “2019 Goal Review – Good & Not-So-Good

  1. i quit agent querying when i got to my (low) number goal before self-publishing. but i’ve got to get back to it. the ones i follow on the wretched social mediaz all appear to be calling for clients. surely ONE will have the excellent taste to pick me up!
    i’m in awe of how wide is your array of talents.
    congrats on the four for 2020 and what’s in the pipeline!

    1. It’s such a difficult, almost self-punishing way to do things, isn’t it? I see the numbers of how long it takes, how many books, how many queries, etc., and I cringe.
      I’ve loved seeing photos of you at your book events! And your book is so good! Surely, someone will see that spark and talent and want to snatch it up.
      Thanks for the congrats and support! <333

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