It’s a new year, and people everywhere are taking the time to reflect back on the past year and think about what they want to achieve in the next twelve months. It’s a time to celebrate all you’ve done as well as a time to renew your motivation and be proactive with your goals.
For me, it’s also a time to be realistic with my aspirations. While many are signing up for gym memberships, I’m waiting for my contract to expire so I can get out of paying twenty dollars a month for a gym I just don’t go to. Realistically, I just don’t have the time or motivation or convenience to go to a gym. Realistically, if I ever do run out of excuses, I can work out at home…free of charge.
Of course, as a writer, my biggest aspiration isn’t to get in shape. It’s to finish my second book, a work that has been ‘in progress’ for way too long—my new year’s resolution last year was to finish the book. I can blame it on my day job making me work unsociable hours and screwing up my sleep schedule, but I think it’s more of an issue of how I plan my goals.
I’d already written hundreds and hundreds of pages of scenes that I had ideas for, but when I finally reviewed everything last year and decided to officially start the book…like, with chapter one…I didn’t know where or how to start. I’ve spent the majority of this past year figuring out the plot, fine tuning the little details, sorting through all my written scenes, writing, rewriting, stopping, starting again, until I’ve realized that a book as complicated as this one needs an outline. So, I’m working on that now. I thought I could finish that, at least, by the end of the year, but realistically, that looks like it’s not going to happen.
When setting your goals, be specific. Set deadlines. Make appointments. ‘Finish book’ is not a plan. This year, I plan to finish my outline by the second week of January, because I’ve already done a basic outline and I just need to break it down into chapters, really. Depending on how many chapters I come up with, I’ll create an accountability journal and attempt to finish my first draft by springtime. Then, the rest of the year will be spent rewriting, editing, and getting beta readers to provide feedback (good I hope!)
My last book, The Lerewood, sat on my computer for an idle eight years before I actually sent it to Kellan Publishing, and it only took me a manner of months, I think, of actual writing time to finish it. I don’t want to repeat that! I want to write so many books and I have so many ideas, I have to learn how to be more productive with my free time during the day and if finishing a book in one year is just realistically too difficult a task, I’ll start small. I’ll write 1,000 words a day. Or write for one hour a day.
Wish me luck!
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Welcome to Andrea's blog!
Here you can find news on The Lerewood and what I'm up to.