2015 is here, what about 2014?

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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.Chekhov Shorts in Color 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.


If it’s a hardcover, I may never read it. Sorry.

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

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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?




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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

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10 thoughts on “2015 is here, what about 2014?

  1. Wow, you must really like Chekhov. Good luck on reaching your goal.

    😦 I tried to download your spreadsheet but it didn’t work. Finally figured out that was probably because I don’t use google docs. Oh well.


  2. Love that you had ambitious goals, almost reached them and seemed to forgive yourself that you didn’t. I need that sort of mentality. Just reaching for them, I’m sure, brought you much further than my method–not setting them for fear of not attaining them! You inspire! Neva


  3. If one doesn’t aim high they will not reach the mountain top. Reading, writing, I admire that you are persistent in reaching your set goals.

    I also want to congratulate you on the coming addition to your family. Best of everything to you and your this 2015 and I’m impressed with what you accomplished in 2014. Now to bigger and better. Doris


  4. Very interesting post Travis. I like the fact that you revisit the past year’s goals to see how far you’ve come, and if you don’t meet all of them you forgive yourself as you start a new year. Good advice for any writer. Congrats on the new addition – bet you’re excited!


  5. Great goals and great spreadsheet, Travis. I love that the spreadsheet is to keep you on track–and not to beat yourself up over if you don’t meet the goals. I like the Notes/Excuses column. Good luck with meeting your goals, and congratulations on your coming little one!


  6. I need a spreadsheet, perhaps it will keep me on track. I get sidetracked easily. Congratulations on your new baby. How exciting! You do travel a lot, which probably makes reaching a goal much harder. Also congrats on reading all those, books. Interesting post. Cher’ley


  7. Travis-I’ve only read a couple of Chekhov’s plays but that was an incredible aim of yours. Congratulations on the May anticipation! I’m rubbish at spreadsheets though I know some authors can manage to use them wisely. The trick will be to make your aims but NOT be disappointed when life (babies/family) gets in the way. 🙂


  8. You may not have reached your goals in 2014, but you accomplished a lot. I am sure you will accomplish even more in 2015. You should keep in mind when your little one arrives in May those goals won’t really matter for a while. Your priorities will change dramatically and you will be adding a new goal, to get some sleep.


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