My list of goals for the year included:
- Read six classic novels
- Read The American Short Story (edited by Thomas K. Parkes), an anthology of about 60 stories written by American authors from Washington Irving to Joyce Carol Oates
- Finish writing my YA novel (Generation Peace)
- Expand one of my short stories into a chapter book and submit it for publication
- Study my two books about creative writing and do three exercises per chapter
By the end of 2008, I had accomplished most of my goals:
- I read 20 classic novels
- I read my book of short stories, discovering O. Henry in the process (more on that later)
- I finished writing Part I of my YA novel (it ended up being longer than I had planned)
- I expanded my short story into a chapter book, submitted it once, and received a rejection letter (which I expected, but I was happy to have gone through the whole cycle at least once)
- I studied my two books and did writing exercises. Five of these exercises became short stories
I read a lot more than I wrote, which wasn't part of my plan, but reading classics and short stories exposed me to many writing styles, which is always good.
As a bonus, in November, I discover two great websites which helped me tremendously in my writing endeavors for the following year:
I also found out about NaNoWriMo, but it was too late to start and I was absolutely not prepared to write 50,000 words in a month. I'm still not ready. Maybe next year.