Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010: My Report Card

As I stated last year, I don't really believe in resolutions. They seem like they are meant to be broken, but I do think this time of the year is a great chance to reflect on the past and prepare for the future. Last year, on January 1st, I wrote a post that outlined my goals for 2010. Today, I am looking back on that list and seeing how well I did.

Goal 1: Finish my poetic sequence of poems about Edmon (the gay porn star in prison).

Accomplished. I completed this sequence early in the year. I submitted it to two chapbook contests. I was a finalist for one and I haven't heard back from the second yet. I also used these poems as a stepping off point for a new manuscript that I just submitted to a book contest. I'm proud of these poems and the places they took me.

Goal 2: Read more.

I should have been stricter about what this meant, but I left my goal pretty open, so I guess I accomplished it. I did read quite a bit of poetry (as always) and even a few novels throughout the year. This will be a more focused goal for 2011 (look for another post about that).

Goal 3: Keep up with my writing.

I have. I've continued to write new and exciting things throughout the year. My work scheduled has changed a bit and given me more time throughout the week, so I have loosened up about working on Sundays. I have hit a little slow patch the last month or two as the holidays were here and I travelled for Thanksgiving, etc. I plan to get back on track in January.

Goal 4: Write two blog posts a week.

I didn't quite meet this goal every month. I did seven of the twelve. I did, however, write over ten posts during three months of 2010, so it sort of works out. I am proud of the accomplishments of my blog and the fact that I've kept up with it as well as I have. I've enjoyed tackling a variety of topics and it has pushed my own thinking about poetry, pop culture, and gay issues. This is for sure a goal I will keep in 2011.

Goal 5: Make and post podcasts of my poetry on my blog.

Accomplished! This is a goal I began right away in 2010 and kept up with throughout the year. A few weeks ago, I posted my last podcast of the year and it was number 30. This went better than I ever imagined. I enjoyed doing it and plan to continue to use podcasts (perhaps in different ways) in the future.

Goal 6: Pay down my credit cards.

Well, we all have to fail at something. Not much has been added to my credit card debt, but I can't say I've been very good at paying them down. I only have two (that's for Dustin and me together). We could have done better, but decided to book our third gay cruise instead. We will be setting sail in just 39 days and it will be well worth it. If we had paid the cruise money on the cards, this goal would have been much easier to meet. It is all about choices and balances. I greatly value vacation, and I'm willing to remain in debt to have one.

Goal 7: Publish more.

Accomplished. 2010 has proved to be another great year for my poetry. I have gotten work published in a variety of magazines and journals. I also got my book manuscript The Hanky Code, which I co-wrote with Bryan Borland, accepted for publication by Lethe Press for release in 2011. I have quite a few poems coming out in the first few months of 2011 as well. I can't wait for what the next year will hold.

Those were my goals and I have to say I did pretty well. I might have to take a page from my friend Brian who writes the blog "Brian Knits," and make my list more ambitious for 2011. I give myself a B+ for 2010 and the goals I set.

This was the first year I truly set goals like this at New Year's and it felt good. For so much of my life I've had built in goals created by attending school, but since graduating from grad school, I find it useful to challenge and push myself in these ways. I will be posting my 2011 list in the coming days.

-Stephen (Accomplished)


  1. You know I love goals! You did a great job on this!

  2. That is so awesome. I feel the same as you about resolutions. I feel as if I am setting myself up to fail. I had thought about the goal thing once but didn't follow through. You have inspired me to give it another try. Thank you so much. I look forward to reading more of your work in the New Year and wish the best for you and yours.

  3. The debt one is still kicking me in the butt. One day at a time..

  4. It looks like you did quite well this year in pursuing your goals! I also like how you give yourself permission to not do all of them to completion - in fact, I would suspect some of your goals are elements of your continuous journey as poet, philosopher and evolving cultural icon.

    I'm looking forward to seeing your list of "pursuits" (I use that term instead of "resolutions" - resolutions feel finite to me, pursuits can keep going if we so choose). All the best to you in 2011! (P.S. Thanks for the shout out!)