All right, I won one of Sarai's prizes and now it's my turn to run the contest. :) I'm making mine a bit more involved, just because I'm that sort of person. [duck]
Comment to this post between now and 15 March and list at least three goals you have. If you're a writer then writing goals would be fine, but anything else will work too. The goals need to be specific, achievable, and have some sort of a time deadline.
"Specific" means that something like "Become a better writer" wouldn't work because it's too vague, but "Learn how to use semicolons" would.
"Achievable" means that the goal has to be doable, and be something you control. Becoming an Olympic athlete isn't something most of us will ever be able to do, for example; it's just not realistic. Winning a writing award is posssible but it isn't within your control; entering the competition, however, is. Getting three stories published isn't within your control, but submitting three stories to at least ten different markets each (or until they sell) is.
The time deadline means that there has to be some sort of timeframe in which you'll do whatever it is. It can be by tomorrow, by the end of next week, by this coming New Year's, by 2012 -- whatever. Long term is fine, but there needs to be some sort of timeframe you can plan around.
You don't have to report back; I'm not interested in checking up on anyone. I just thought it'd be fun and maybe even useful to formulate some specific, achievable goals and a timeframe for getting them accomplished. What you do with them after that is completely up to you.
After the fifteenth, I'll write the name of everyone who commented to participate on a slip of paper and draw two of them out of a bowl or something. This isn't exactly a heavy-traffic blog, so the chances of winning should be pretty good. :)
Winners will pay it forward by running this contest on their own blogs. (Note that you don't have to make people do anything in particular if you don't want to -- letting people enter just by commenting is fine.)
The winners can select one of the following:
1. Support New Writers -- two books by new writers. That is, writers whose first commercially published book came out one year or less ago, as of 15 March 2008. Mass market paperbacks or equivalent only, please.
2. Support Electronic Publishing -- a $15 gift certificate to Fictionwise, one of the major sellers of electronic books.
3. Try Something New -- two books from two writers whose work you've never read before. Try to make at least one of them in a genre you've never read before. You're not paying, so experiment! Mass market paperbacks or equivalent only, please.
Looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with! :D