2013 review, 2014 goals

Today is the last Saturday of the civil year; since I did my year-end retrospectives at the end of the liturgical year, before Advent (this is the relevant post today), it’s time to look forward to the civil year to come. But first I should look at the goals I set last year.

In last year’s goal-setting, I lumped everything but Strategic Primer into one post. In contrast, today I’m focusing on my poetry and the “miscellaneous” department. I plan to post similar “goal review/goal setting” posts for the areas of the Shine Cycle and Strategic Primer on Monday and Wednesday.

Poetry

As of yesterday, counting my “two fragments” post as one and only counting the (2012) poem I reposted in revised form a week after receiving (utterly warranted and correct) sharp critique once, I have posted 230 poems to this blog. (Which is 45 more than I counted last year; last year’s count might have been off by one, since a few months back I found a old poem misfiled in a different “category.”) My goal has been a poem a week, and by that count I only missed eight weeks—not as good as I would have liked, but not as bad as I had feared, or as I sometimes have been.

Last year, the goals I explicitly set had to do with my planned collection. I set a goal to

make all final decisions as to which nuance of the organization around the cycle of a year I’ll use and select and order all the poems the collection will include.

This is done—except that it’s been many months now since I selected poems to include, in which I’ve posted dozens more poems. (More about that in a subsequent post.)

My “stretch goal” was

To have the collection “all but ready” to publish (perhaps some “placeholder art,” and in need of third parties’ critical and editorial eyes, etc., but with everything basically complete and organized).

Failure. I have no art at all in the current draft, and only one piece to try to figure out (technically) how to include. And all the prose I plan to include—introduction, dedication, notes about the poems—is still at the “TODO: write this” stage.

Therefore, I’m making this past year’s “stretch goal” an ordinary goal for 2014:

Goal: To have all art and “editorial content” in place, at least in draft form, and the collection “all but ready” to publish, ready to go to critique partners.

Stretch Goal: Have the collection out before next Advent.

Miscellaneous

My first goal was to post

At least five “Best Books” reviews (which I never do more often than once every four weeks).

Close. I posted four (Pilgrim’s Progress, Interstellar Patrol, Foundation, and the Harper Hall trilogy—one short.

But I also posted a second, and extensive, review of “recent” books, and a review of Peter’s Angel.

My stretch goal was to post

A (reasonably) substantive post every Saturday.

I think (I hope) that all the posts I did make fit the “(reasonably) substantive” criterion. But I didn’t manage one every week. In fact, my performance here was worse than my poem-a-week goal; I “missed” 19 Saturdays, a little over a third, including every Saturday in June.

In light of those, and the additional recurring post-series, my first two goals in the “miscellaneous” category:

Goal: At least six “Best Books” reviews, or equivalent if two other book review posts count as one in this series.

Goal: At least six hymn posts.

Stretch Goal: A (reasonably) substantive post at least forty-five of the Saturdays in the year.

Last year’s next goals were to

Read the entire Bible through at least once.

and, as a stretch goal,

Get at least half-way through the first volume of the Institutes.

Utter failure on both, so they’ll both stand again for next year.

Goal: Read the entire Bible through at least once.

Stretch Goal: Get at least half-way through the first volume of the Institutes.

And my last goal was to

Be more prompt in keeping up with correspondence (including forum threads and such).

With which I’ve had decidedly mixed success. But I’ll let it, too, stand for next year:

Goal: Be more prompt in keeping up with correspondence.

While it didn’t make last year’s list, on Goodreads I set (based on my pace going through last year’s “Christmas books”) a goal of reading 120 books, partly in hopes of keeping up with Aubrey’s challenge. I’m up to over 150 so far. But I’m not going to make a similar (or at least so ambitious a) goal for next year, because time spent reading is time not spent writing, or developing, or doing anything else productive. (Nor is it time wasted in any less edifying way, admittedly, but still …)

And one item that should have made last year’s list (but which would probably still have been an utter failure):

Goal: Finish my intensive critique of Peter’s Angel.

Now, to try to live them.

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