Last summer, when I did a more realistic second-half-of-2013 goal list, it turned out to be more helpful than I anticipated. I have three writing-adverse traits: I’m disorganized, I’m more excited about starting projects than finishing them, and I’m easily overwhelmed. Having a list reins these tendencies in all at once, plus you get that little thrill of crossing things off as you finish them. And I am nothing if not in it for the kicks.
At the same time, the list has to be plausible. I know now that as long as I’ve got the day job, a story a month is not possible, not with the novel(s) on my plate at the same time. So Write 1 Sub 1 is not happening in either its weekly or monthly incarnations . . . bimonthly, however?
An external deadline is a thing of beauty, and they bring out both the best and worst in me.
(Isn’t it odd how bimonthly can mean “every two weeks” or “every two months”? There is an acre of difference between those two definitions. I absolutely mean the latter here.)
I also need to start drilling down on my research. I’ve read a lot of broader history, I’ve done some specific research as scenes demand . . . but now that I’m adding in a London segment I need to follow up on that, plus there’s a lot of stuff that still feels thin in terms of detail. I don’t need a laundry list of what’s on stage at any given moment, but as a reader I like to know when and where I am. Having a specific term for a weapon or a piece of clothing, a bit of sensory detail such as what kind of smoke is in the air . . . it all does wonders for making me feel there. Some scenes feel done in this respect, but not all, and especially not these London scenes I’m writing now.
So without further ado: Goals, 2014
- finish this revision of Talassio by end of February
- finish revision of The Hounds by December (and perhaps dip toes back into the Malcolm waters—? but let’s not get ahead of ourselves)
- rework “Julie” this spring
- have at least one Saturday a month be Library Day
- crit 1–2 stories per month for workshop
- write 6 new short stories by December
A pretty good list. I want to add in a line about monthly reading but I need to quantify my research more. I’m not sure how to do that just yet . . . but I’ll start with seeing what’s unread on my shelves, and come up with a plan to polish that off before I return to the stacks.
I would also actually like to work in a little sewing/drawing/cooking/gardening time this year . . . hrmm. More to plan.
Because PLANS. PLANS and LISTS.