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2007 Goals: Thrilling Conclusion

by Rob Friesel

Personal goals for 2007: after last quarter, let’s see where we landed for 2007 overall:

  1. Write approx. 80,000 40,000 new words of fiction. This goal morphed so many times over the year. First it was focused on 80k words in my novel project; then it was 80k new words on any project; then 40k new words and even some alternate calculations based on “hours spent”… No matter how I twisted the specifics of it, the heart of the goal remained the same: I needed to get myself to adopt some better writing habits. And to some extent it worked; I had a few good runs of outline building, a few good runs of novel drafting, I cooked up some drafts of a couple short stories (and other “starters”) and I got involved in a writing group. Certainly this was more the case toward the end of the year than at the beginning. But I’m pleased with this year’s output overall — if not with respect to quantity then at least with respect to quality1:
    2007 Goal: Writing
    Total words written: 56,119. Average words per month: 4,677. Fewest words written in a month: 0 (January2). Most words written in a month: 19,396 (October).
  2. Run or walk at least 10 miles every week. In short? Did well in the warmer months and tended to flake out a bit during the colder months. And who was I kidding about running? I hate running. I did (however) discover that I enjoy rock climbing. So if the heart of the goal was to go for an increase in exercise then I hit that one. Overall:
    2007 Goal: Walking/Running
    Total miles: 549.09 miles. Average miles per month: 45.17 miles. Fewest miles in a month: 19.4 miles (November). Most miles in a month: 80.65 miles (September).
  3. Hike 10 new trails/mountains in 2007. One trail shy of the goal. Nine trails counted as “new” this year; some of them were pretty challenging, some were easy ones “snuck in” to get credit.
    2007 Goal: Hiking
  4. Mix at least 1 hour every week. Well… It was worth trying:
    2007 Goal: Mixing
    I meant to mix more, I really did. There’s always next year?3
  5. Read 12 new books this year. Perhaps I set the bar too low; 30 completed books:
    2007 Goal: Reading
    Enumerated: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; three Dashiell Hammett mysteries4; Kelly Link’s Magic for Beginners collection; David Brin’s The Postman; Siddhartha and Demian, both by Hermann Hesse; The No Asshole Rule by Robert I. Sutton; Peter Watts’ Blindsight; John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War; the Italo Calvino classic, Invisible Cities; River of Gods by Ian McDonald; Margaret Atwood’s Oryx & Crake and Cat’s Eye; Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job; Year’s Best Science Fiction (17th edition), compiled and edited by Gardner Dozois; two Raymond Chandler mysteries5; a Douglas Coupland triple-threat consisting of Generation X, Microserfs, and All Families Are Psychotic; The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont; Davy Rothbart’s short story collection, The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas; Galatea 2.2 by Richard Powers; J. Kelly Beatty’s The Solar System (for National Geographic); Accelerando by Charlie Stross; Slant by Greg Bear; Warren Ellis’ twisted Crooked Little Vein; a Penguin collection of H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories; Rock Climbing by Don Mellor; and Stephen Colbert’s I Am America (And So Can You). Plus a couple partials: Sussman, Fitzpatrick, & Pilato’s Version Control with Subversion; Shooting Digital by Mikkel Aaland; Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; and a collection of Hemingway short stories. And one (and only one) re-read: Michael Crichton’s Andromeda Strain.
  6. Master CSS. Never was able to quantify this one. But I did devote quite a bit of fruitful energy to digging into some of its more esoteric subject matter. That was good enough for me.

Up next?  2008’s Resolutions Goals!

  1. Not to mention some (shall we say?) risks taken. []
  2. Shame! []
  3. There’s always admitting to yourself that you’re “just a casual DJ” as well. []
  4. In one binding, so we’ll count them as one book. []
  5. Another “bound as one so we’ll count as one” read. []

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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