It’s a fresh new year, and thus a fresh new round of A Round of Words in Eighty Days (aka ROW80)! I now give you, without further ado, The Stating Of the Goals:
Draft 1,000 Words/Day to keep the voices at bay. Every word I write over 1,000 will go into a Word Pool, and every word I lose below 1,000 will come of out the pool. When I have at least 1,000 words in my pool, I get a day off from drafting.
Finish Drafting Big Dang Projeckt by Jan 31. I’m reeeeeeeeally close on this one, so much so I can almost taste it. I’m ramping up for the big naval battle at the climax, which means I’m in the home stretch. If I keep up with my first goal, I should easily make it. Woo-hoo!
Finish a BETA-level Draft of Keepers #4. How this is going to be accomplished:
- Jan: Research & Development. This means character work, location scouts and research, plotting, and key scene work. This will largely take place in an Official Author’s Notebook ™ of the Spiral Variety. All this scribble-scrabble should eventually result in what is mostly a rough draft that just needs to be pieced together, Beautiful-Mind style.
- Feb: Drafting. This is when I’ll move from notebook to computer and begin drafting my “second”, or meditation, draft. This is usually when things I never considered, world-building or character or plot-wise, pop up like weasels in a writing box.
- Mar: Revisions. This will be my deepened, polished, now-get-it-out-of-my-face draft, which I will then send to BETA readers. It will when be in a “cooling off” period until my notes come back and it’s due for a final polish.
My biggest goal this year, besides getting The Minstrel’s Daughter (aka “Big Dang Projeckt”) into the query pool, is to be a more prolific writer. I have this goal every year. It never quite works out how I planned, largely because I start out strong and end up burning out.
So I’ve tweaked the process behind my Production Schedule somewhat, so that I am (a) never drafting more than one thing at a time, and (b) am given the chance to refill my energy pool, i.e. pacing myself. This will also mean I’m not rushing so submit things before they’re ready, just because of a self-imposed deadline I’m pushing to meet.
What I’ve done is arranged things in one of three quarterly “cycles”, so I’m drafting for two months and taking a month off. This does NOT mean I won’t be working on my writing during those months. These will be revision and development months, and if I’m drafting anything it will most likely either be something I’m self-publishing and offering for free (like my Origins series), or flash fiction, or I’m spending time doing chapter critiques on the Online Writing Workshop, which I really would love more time to do.
It’s like farming, I guess—two fields going, one resting. In this way I can become a better, more prolific writer without burning out (or so I dearly hope). I’ve also added dedicated submission months for my novellas (Jan, Apr, Jul, and Oct) to give myself room to work, but also so that I’m submitting a manuscript every three months—but not submitting a “current” manuscript, rather, one that was developed and drafted and rested and polished over a period of approximately six months instead of the three I’ve been shooting for and missing.
I managed to get a tentative project list/submission schedule in place spanning through 2016, so I should be able to get a respectable body of work out by then. It August of 2016, I will be 40 (yikes! o.O), and it is my overall goal to be writing full time during that year, which means queuing up a portfolio of paying work by then. By then I should have enough series in play and novels in the submission pool to make a go of it.
I have a plan. I have measurable, reachable goals to see it through. Now I just need to buckle down, but not overdo it. Discipline AND Balance, that’s my motto for 2014. 😀