Last year, I wrote a post in February where I talked about my writing goals for the upcoming year. If you fancy a trip down memory lane, hit up here. Before I write any more of this post, I’m going to go read that one and see how I stacked up.
*reads the post with a mixture of head nods and wincing*
Basically, I had three major goals and a couple of minor goals that I wanted to complete. Oddly enough, I accomplished (and surpassed) all of the major goals while not even attempting any of the minor ones. While I did edit the third book in Darryn’s trilogy, it didn’t make it to the querying stage, but instead, has a date with Major Revision and Madam Editing that I keep postponing because, quite frankly, the workload scares me a bit. I wanted to finish a draft of THE RESISTANCE, my science fiction novel adapted from a screenplay, which I did and it’s now in the hands of beta readers. The first book in Artemis’s saga was slotted to be halfway written by Christmas. I finished the first draft of that sucker three months ago. Not only that, but it’s also already in the hands of betas and I am itching for their feedback, so I can start editing away and getting this story query ready (because out of everything, Artemis’s story is the one I’m most excited about). Considering I met all my major goals three months earlier than my deadline, I then started working on a new story, which I’m about 60 pages into (and have hit roadblock after roadblock trying to continue).
Looking back at my goals and seeing how many of them I actually achieved, even amidst the ones I didn’t even touch (but still want to…eventually), is such a needed realization right now. Because I’m attempting to balance life again as I take on more commitments and writing has been shoved aside. Not to mention that I’ve felt horrible that sometimes, I don’t want to work on the story I have been writing, even though I am so excited about its premise. Or I get so stuck that I’m unsure whether or not I should be writing this story to begin with. You know, the typical doubting-my-stories-or-that-I’m-even-a-writer train.
Yet look what I accomplished. Despite being in a drought right now, look at what I’m able to do. Just because the words aren’t flowing and time isn’t agreeing with me now doesn’t mean that it is always going to be this way–exactly the lie my anxiety feeds me every day I don’t write. But that simply isn’t the case. This time of year, with the holidays, is always hectic and crazy. Adding on another job and being forced to work exhausting hours for the next month is obviously going to impact my writing output.
But that doesn’t mean that the future is going to hold the same truth.
So, next year, here is a list of writing goals I’d like to accomplish, on top of all of the other goals that I also plan to tackle.
(And yes, I am dead serious about these goals.)
Edit Like it’s my Mantra:
- I have a trilogy than needs revamping and potentially revisioning. I have two other books (one standalone with series potential and another the start to a massive nine book series) out with betas, whose feedback has been and will continue to trickle in with the new year. If I can ever finish a draft of BLOOD PRICE, that’ll also need some intense editing (I already have an entire Word doc with notes of what I want to edit). That’s six books, friends, that need some special attention, love and care. Out of those, Artemis’s story will be the first one I’m working on. Then Grayson’s. Then Darryn’s. And then Natanni’s. I have a new method of editing, I think, too, that I’m going to try (look out for a blog post detailing that in the coming weeks).
I could spend the entire year next year and dedicate it to editing and have plenty to fill up the time I dedicate to my stories. And while I enjoy editing sometimes, there is still the blessed fact that even when I’m in horrible writing slumps, my brain refuses to stop creating stories it wants me to struggle to tell. So while editing past books, I hope a couple hopes to write new ones.
Listening to the Voices Inside my Head:
- One is a standalone that is very, very rough at the moment, but it deals with ideas surrounding appearance, status, wealth, rank and forced routine in a steampunk, futuristic society. I have the vaguest inklings of what this story is about, but they are inklings that have stayed with me for a long time and I can’t wait to take an afternoon and map out exactly where this story goes. Because I can see flashes of that world inside my head. And I want to know more about it.
- Obviously, I’m itching to continue Artemis’s journey with book two. I have no idea which genre we’ll be slipping into or where the story will go from there, but I’m really freaking excited about wherever we end up.
- This other idea, which is actually the first of a trilogy, is coming from very left field, being a New Adult contemporary piece called THIS IS WHERE I LOSE YOU. I have this one pretty well mapped out in my head and while it is completely different from what I usually write (contemporary instead of fantasy, first person instead of third, NA instead of A, romance instead of adventure), this is the one that is speaking to me most at the moment. So I have to write it. I have to tell Savannah’s story.
- I also have a series of standalones that I want to write under a pen name. While I’m not sure if I will start on it this year or not, it is something that is sitting in the back of my mind. And that’s all I say about that. *evil laughter*
Here’s a very rough, very vague timeline of when I’d ideally like to accomplish all of these things.
- By March: Have ARTEMIS SMITH AND THE VIRTUOUS MARRIAGE QUEST edited and prepped to query.
- By April: First draft of THIS IS WHERE I LOSE YOU written.
- By June: Have THE RESISTANCE edited and prepped to query.
- By July: QUERY!
- By August: Have BLOOD PRICE edited and sent to betas.
- By September: Have first draft of book two (Artemis) written.
- By November: Have first draft of really rough idea (futuristic steampunk) written.
- By December: Form a game plan surrounding Darryn’s edits and make it through at least one round with all three books. Find betas after new direction edits.
- By December: Have first book by pen name written.
As you can see, there is no time to dedicate to simply editing. Look at all the stories vying for my attention (honestly, these voices are downright exhausting, at times)! And comparing these goals to the goals I had last year, I’m definitely upping the ante and setting high expectations for myself. But it is also giving me hope, even though I should be responding with complete and utter disbelief that any of this is possible; or perhaps groaning at how much work is ahead of me. Yet instead, I feel hope. A person who isn’t serious about their craft wouldn’t have goals like this. A person who couldn’t be a storyteller wouldn’t be bombarded with so many ideas and stories. A person who wasn’t a writer at heart wouldn’t get excited looking at all the worlds she’ll get to visit in the year ahead.
Yeah, I’m experiencing a drought right now. Yeah, I’m experiencing doubt. But that’s just temporary. There are stories to be told. And I’m the person to tell them. I see you, 2017. And I’m coming for you, pen wielded, fingers stained and fresh Word Docs begging to be filled.