Two Simple, Daily Goals
My writing goals for 2022
OH HEY! I’ll be reading with a lineup of amazingly talented writers on January 13th at 8pm EST. It’s online, so you can join from wherever and BYOB! I might read something from the novel, and I would LOVE to see you there.
Happy first birthday to this little newsletter, which I hoped would document the course of a complete novel draft during its inaugural year but which instead is evidence of how meandering, how cyclical, and how slow the writer’s life can be. I have little to show for all the writing I did in 2021 — not yet anyway. Novel writing is a long game, friends.
2021 was the year I got into and attended the Tin House Summer Workshop. It was the year I shelved my second novel after it didn’t sell. It was the year I wrote my first nonfiction manuscript. I had one story published and another accepted, and I just sent a third out on submission.
I spent the year chasing this novel and finally found the voice of the narrator, and yes it took a whole year and 80,000 words to do that, but now comes the fun part.
We were talking about 2022 goals at work and I jokingly said I wanted to sell a novel. It’s a joke because I have basically zero control over that part of the process. Better goals are ones I can more easily influence, and mine for this year are simple:
Read every day. Specifically short stories, novels, essays, memoirs, biographies. The news doesn’t count. Reading for work doesn’t count. I mean read the words that will energize me to write.
Write every day. New words, at least a handful. Doesn’t matter which project they’re for. Tinkering with old words doesn’t count. Writing for work doesn’t count. I know some writers bristle at the idea of writing every day, but it’s what makes me happiest.
I’m optimistic about my writing life in 2022. We are, as of yesterday, back in our apartment. I am in my own home, at my own desk, with my own books, which are still in boxes, but they’re here somewhere! Still, I’m making no predictions about what I will or won’t be able to get done in 2022. Just taking it one day at a time.
Thank you for reading these weekly notes! When I began The Next Novel, it was mostly for myself, and I wasn’t sure that anyone would be interested. But there are more of you all the time! I don’t know where you’re coming from or how you’re finding this place, but I’m glad you’re here and I hope 2022 brings good energy for you, too. ✨