Goals for 2017 by Brad Windhauser
2016 turned out to be a surprise of a year for me. Personal and political issues aside, I was unprepared for the wonderful surprise of having my second novel accepted and published. Promoting The Intersection upon its release was both challenging and fun. This year I plan to continue promoting my work by attending various book festivals, giving readings in a few more cities, as well as organizing and participating in various reading groups who have graciously chosen my book to discuss.
I also plan to stick to my now-yearly tradition of reading at least 50 books. Last year I finished 60, and although that number is great, I don’t plan to top it. Actually, I think sticking to 50 is better for me, in part because it will give me a little extra time for my writing projects (some of which get lost when I get wrapped up in a novel). You can follow my progress on Goodreads.
As far as writing goes, my first project is to complete a short story collection. Most of these stories I have written already—and a number of them have already been published. I have three more stories to finish in order to round out the various themes I want to address in this story set. I’m hoping this collection will be a nice addition to my published work, and it will also give me some breathing room before I resume working on another book.
That next book is my third novel. Although I have completed the first draft, I’m not sure about the tone of the piece or about the third person point of view. Because I want the book to be a tad lighter in tone than previous work of mine, I don’t know if the current draft reflects that. I also don’t know if the use of third person limited will be best suited for this story and its characters—first person, and perhaps even present tense might be the way to go. I look forward to getting to this in May, once my teaching schedule frees up and I have more time to devote to those pages.
Normally I add a number of other goals, but this year I’m hoping to restrict my ambition to what I can actually finish. That way I stand a better chance of focusing my energies on a few projects instead of spreading my mental energies thin. If anything, this goal might be the best one to keep, and the best one to keep me focused throughout 2017. Besides, at this point, I have too many other real-world concerns (about the incoming administration at its attack on art, like the NEA) that should require my voice.