By Travis Richardson
So here we are in 2015 and I didn’t get all that I wanted to get done in 2014. Nope. I set up some high goals. I was going to read and review the 201 Anton Chekhov short stories that were translated by Constance Garnett. It was a project that a friend and I set out to start on Chekhov’s 154th birthday. My friend made it to about 100 when he dropped out. (He has a good excuses as he started a new business venture in the middle of the year and has two kids.) Also, after the hundred mark, the stories got longer, some becoming 30 and 40 thousand word novellas. I have ten days to go to finish before the short story and playwriting master’s 155 birthday. I’m at 182, so maybe I can pull it off, but with work and other distractions it might wrap up in February. http://www.chekhovshorts.com/
I also posted in January that I was going to read 29 books. https://writingwranglersandwarriors.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/reading-challenge/ That didn’t happen. I only hit 23 (that doesn’t include the Chekhov stories.) I followed some of the things on my list, but I didn’t hit five like reading an author’s biography or after 13 books switching up the gender of the dominant authors. I started the year reading two female authors but then read mostly male authors thereafter. I own several books by women, but my reading skewed male last year. I hope to open it up this year. I also, noticed that I hadn’t read hardcover books in quite a while.
Either paperback or e-reader. Something about the size and weight of the hardcover I care for anymore. Carrying it to the gym, traveling with it (my wife and I travelled a lot – this post is being written from a motel in Palm Springs), setting it on my bedside table that is full electronic gadgets and water, etc. I forced myself to open up the hardcover of Matt Coyle‘s Yesterday’s Echo and I’m glad I did.
This year I made a spread sheet that tracks writing, reading, story and agent submissions. I put a 700 words a day goal on it along with 2 books, 20 short stories, 2 story submissions, and 3 agent submissions a month. You can find it here: http://goo.gl/jRTB66
Feel free to download it and manipulate it however you’d like. It’s nothing as complex as Erin Farwell’s post last month with a writing tracking spreadsheet. I’m quite certain that I won’t hit all my goals as my wife and I are expecting a little one in May, but I don’t want to stop writing and reading either, so hopefully this will keep me on track.
So farewell 2014 and hello 2015. I’m wishing all of you more success this year than last. Do you have any goals for this year?
Travis Richardson is fortunate to have been nominated for both the Anthony and Macavity short story awards for “Incident on the 405,” featured in MALFEASANCE OCCASIONAL: GIRL TROUBLE. His novella LOST IN CLOVER was listed in Spinetingler Magazine’s Best Crime Fiction of 2012. He has published stories in several online zines and anthologies. He edits the Sisters-In-Crime LA newsletter, reviews Chekhov shorts at www.chekhovshorts.com and sometimes shoots a short movie. His latest novella is KEEPING THE RECORD. www.tsrichardson.com