Goals for 2015

Now that my traditional New Year’s Day Hangover has come and gone, it’s time to set goals and plans for the future. What do I think I should be working toward in 2015?

  1. Submit my NaNoWriMo novel to agents: This is actually several goals in one. I'll need to finish the first draft of the novel, then do a revision or two, then get feedback from beta readers, do a few more revisions, and do another round of reader reviews and revisions before it'll be ready to submit. It might take me the rest of the year to get it ready, so there's also the patience I'll need to cultivate to see it through.
  2. Write another novel: Because you can't stop with just one.
  3. Sell one short story: This one's been on my lists for several years now, but I'm not giving up on it just yet. I am broadening its scope, though: I'll count the goal as met if I make a sale for a story as a self-published ebook. I've got a good backlog of unsold stories that I think there's a market for, if I put in the time to find it.
  4. Open retirement account: I'm getting too old to not have one of these. Unfortunately, between doing freelance work and working for small companies for the last few years, I don't have a 401K or IRA setup to stash money in for the day that I (maybe) retire.
  5. Double meetup group regular attendance: I've been running the San Diego Functional Programming Group for 4 years now, and we've never gotten above half a dozen or so regular attendees. For 2015, we're narrowing the group's focus from functional programming in general to specifically programming in Clojure. I think it'll give the group a cohesion it hasn't had previously, and I'm lining up talks months in advance so more people can plan to attend the ones they're interested in.
  6. Build a machine-learning tool worth talking about: Could be a toy system, or a little open-source library, or even a production-ready deployed demo, but it needs to be something that applies machine learning techniques to a real problem, and solves it. Something I wouldn't be embarrassed about giving a talk on at the local meetup.
Ron Toland @mindbat