2008 was the second year that we tracked some SMART goals here at F_D for its humble narrator. Our accomplishments during 2007 were excellent overall, so we decided to repeat the experiment. We mixed it up a bit for 2008, tweaking the individual goals, adding some new ones, removing other irrelevant ones… And 2008 mixed it up a bit on us, too. Let’s see where we landed, shall we?
- Write for at least 2 hours every week. At the end of September, if you had told me that I was going to take a nose dive in my writing momentum, I would have laughed in your face. But the proof is right there:
I went from averaging about 17-18 hours per month to “hardly at all” — I spent a total of 5.25 hours writing between November and December. Call it the anti-NaNoWriMo. Two big things contributed to this decline: our daily (nightly) rhythms with H. changed and I started a new job in November. Ultimately, any excuse is lame. It’s up to the writer to make the time, right? Still, I tallied up just shy of 176 hours worth of writing this year and I’ve got it figured that it accounts for somewhere around 236,000 words between the various drafts written and edited.
- Run or walk at least 10 miles every week. As if to preemptively defend myself: the spirit of this goal has always been to encourage myself to walk to-and-from work as much as possible. With the walk to work coming in at about 1.4 miles, that means about 3½ round trips. With 5 “work days” per week and the fact that we live (practically) downtown, this should be problem at all. And yet somehow I have a short-fall 8 of the 12 months this year:
The winter months are usually a wash — so cold, so often… A.’s pregnancy in the beginning of the year meant that we were carpooling quite a bit more often than in 2007. On top of that though, rock-climbing after work (vide infra) meant that I was getting a lift home 2 of 5 nights out of the work week. Oh well, 418 miles for the year still isn’t too shabby/ But let’s not talk about running. Previous attempts and statements to the contrary, I don’t run.
- Hike 10 new trails. Um… Uh… No.
- Go climbing (or bouldering) at least once each week. For all intents and purposes, win:
There were maybe two weeks all year where I didn’t climb at all. And every month I managed to get to the rock gym at least four times. Even made it outside a few times. All in all? 93 trips for just over 142 hours. No wonder my shoes are looking a little threadbare.
- Read at least 24 new books in 2008 (with at least 6 non-fiction titles). I kick reading’s ass:
A guide to the below list: Books marked with a dagger [†] are non-fiction (or a non-fiction equivalent — e.g., David Sedaris); an double-dagger [‡] marks books that I had previously read; and an asterisk [*] indicates a book that was unfinished. And now:
- Radio Free Albemuth
- The New Phrenology†
- World War Z
- Don’t Make Me Think†
- Consider the Lobster†
- The Algebraist
- Selected Stories of PKD
- Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World‡
- Jennifer Government
- Catcher in the Rye‡
- The Moral Animal†
- Powers of Ten†
- Writing Down the Bones†
- This Year You Write Your Novel†
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing†*
- Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skills†
- Dozois’ Year’s Best SciFi 24th
- DSLR Photography for Dummies†
- Soon I Will Be Invincible
- A Canticle for Liebowitz
- When You Are Engulfed In Flames†
- Sputnik Sweetheart
- Coyote Blue
- The Road
- Gun, With Occasional Music
- CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
- Look to Windward
- Year’s Best SciFi 22nd*
- Vermont Encyclopedia†*
- Where I’m Calling From*
- The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov*
- The New Space Opera
- How to Get Happily Published†*
- The Cold War: An Illustrated History†*
- Into Thin Air†
- Just After Sunset (Pending. I’m about halfway through the stories.)
- Snow Crash‡ (Pending. I love this book so much it hurts.)
- Dirty Wow Wow†
It’s over 18,000 pages. With only 5 re-reads — that’s pretty good for me, actually — and a total of 17 non-fiction titles in the year’s stack. I only regret that I slacked off so much in November and December.
Where to from here? I’ll see if I can’t get my ’09 goals rounded up (like some people) and posted here in the next couple of days. There are quite a few I want to keep and quite a few I’d like to swap for something different. Hmm… See you on the other side of the New Year!
About Rob FrieselSoftware 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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UPDATE 1/4/09: I fixed the text to correctly specify that the double-dagger was for previously read books and the asterisks were for unfinished books. Sorry for that little Oops.