Goals and Sub-Goals

I sat down to write a blarg post tonight, and all I wanted to do was work on my capital “W” Writing projects.

So I did.

And it got me to thinking, for all the time I’ve spent working on those projects, it’s about time I did something with them. Publication is the sort of over-arching goal for the foreseeable future — of my novel, of course, but really of anything — so I need to start finding out whether anything I’ve written is worth, you know, actual money to somebody. Which means it’s time to get over my big fear and start sending some work out.

And if I’m going to send work out, it damn sure needs to be my best, or at least my best for right now. But as I know from oh, the past 34 years of my life, if I don’t have a deadline, it won’t get done.

So, some new goals:

Existing already: first draft of second novel completed by September.

Nebulous at present: get some more feedback on edited version of Accidentally Inspired over the summer.

New goal: Brush up and extend at least 3 short stories to about 3k words in length in preparation for submission by the end of June. That’s about 1 per week, which should be easy, given the number of old flash fiction ditties I have kicking around the cellar here.

Tonight I added about 500 words and spruced up the wording a bit in one of my favorites. Not a bad job on my day off from working on the novel.

So: for anybody reading, are any of you published, including novels or short fiction? What advice do you have for a guy taking his tentative first steps? What works, what doesn’t? How should I focus my time? What steps should I be taking?