So it’s all died down post holidays and in theory we are all back to our regular, and where I am, wintry lives for the next few weeks, and a new year ahead to fill with goals and speculation.
I have to focus on writing again this year, especially this winter, when obligations slow down for awhile. No holidays, not yet sports, I need to run more over the winter but not blasting out long runs to prepare for races. Here it is, the time to do it. And before it gets stale. Writing goals for 2019: (universe take note)
- Finish revising the novel I was working at last winter/spring. It’s half revised and I know what I need to do with the rest. I am experiencing some crippling doubt around it, afraid that if I dust it back off I will want to burn it all. My consolation is I had a teacher getting me through it and reading much of it, so it can’t be that bad. Right? I won’t look at it and see unfixable writing disasters…right? And then I am paying for a professional critique, fraught with the same anxiety that a new pair of eyes will be like, thanks for the three dollars a page but this sucks, I have nothing to say to un-suck this thing, you wasted all your time.
2. Revise the first novel I wrote that I also got some awesome ideas from my teacher on what to do with it. It’s not as complicated as the second novel I wrote, that one might be more fun and flow better to punch up. And I have had more time with it. Her comments are always energizing and I particularly liked the new breath she suggested I breathe into it.
3. Put something else out there to start getting traction as a writer. Whether I want to do wattpad, revise three shorts/novellas I have been working on and try my luck self publishing on kindle, get a Submittable account and look into my sources on getting published in literary magazines/journals, something. As you can see, I’m not entirely sure how I will go about getting my traction. It’s less about making money (hence wattpad or if I tried a little KDP it would be a dollar a story or something) and more about this is what else you can look at as I eventually do want to send out my novel(s). And my not being sure the details on this one yet is about focusing my emotional energy right now at facing goal #1. I can work on other places and pieces when I am waiting for it to come back from being critiqued and I can’t get sidetracked by those.
4. Do my third year of 12 Short Stories. If you don’t know what it is, it is a writing challenge where people submit a short story every month based on a prompt, hosted by Writer’s Write based out of South Africa. I have been experimenting, stretching my wings a little, and above all it keeps my cogs turning and keeps me writing. Like this blog keeps me writing and thinking about what I read and why. And because I did it from the very first prompt at the group’s inception back in 2016 when it was a Facebook page and not a wordpress site and I can’t stop now! I been there since the start. And I won their first writing contest, which got #1 on paper. It’s moved me closer to my goals than I ever anticipated.
So all these writing goals on a primarily reading blog. Of course. I can’t focus on binge reading all through this year, sadly. I already started falling back into binge reading in December, knocking out Christmas reads and the last two challenges on BookRiot. Similarly, there will be no Snow Read 2019 like there wasn’t one for 2018, and I will not pick a reading goal on Goodreads until later in the year, like I did this year when writing was on hold for everything else that had to happen. No 5 over 500.
I will go back to blogging one book a week, except next week, because I already noted that I got back into binge reading and the three books I tackled between Christmas and New Year deserve a post together. As a final binge read tribute before I go back to swimming around in my self doubt and puzzling through weird thoughts when I am not working or parenting. Or maybe when I am doing those things. I bet I could come up with some brilliant things while racing my son in Mario Kart. I found out I could reasonably follow a book in one ear too, as long as it wasn’t super complicated, while I play Mario with him.
But there will still be reading. I am going to do BookRiot 2019 and already did one category and started another. There still has to be reading or else I will perish. And maybe more reading than last year because I am not starting a project from a few jotted ideas and half of them turned out to be boring. Ironing out foibles is possibly easier, but it still requires getting into a head space, and someone else’s story can crowd that head space. Like my full time job does as well. Yeah, that thing that stands in the way of flooding the world with my writing.
Just another note about BookRiot: I will be trying to read what I already have if I have something that fits the category. Thankfully it’s happening pretty often as I am poking around the internets for the right choice: I still want to read Exit West and that’s a category fitter, as well as some NK Jemisin, totally late to the party on her I think, Still trying to read down the backlist. I looked on my Amazon account yesterday and I definitely have over a thousand ebooks, which doesn’t count the piles of physical books engulfing my spaces in the house. I still want to read down my TBR. Desperately. Maybe this also was why I didn’t pay attention to a lot of new releases in 2018 (I didn’t even read Circe or Less or Children of Blood and Bone or The Power or Milkman! But I have since procured Circe and I have the audio tagged on my library account). And as I am writing this post I see Charlie Holmberg has a Kindle First release this month and I totally bought it with the audio. I’m trying, I really am.
And if I can get in some short stories as challenge categories, I will shoot for that as well. I could get some more short stories in via podcasts too. If I stay away from the hilarity that is Literary Disco and let LeVar Burton read to this 80’s kid just a little bit more.
Wow, I was dreading this post a little because I was feeling unfocused for the new year, binge reading and learning how to crochet a granny square for like the third time while being perfectly aware I don’t need a new craft while I have a book to revise. It had more to say that I thought I did. It always helps to make your intentions known.
I intend to finish at least one novel. And by finish, I mean something I feel is ready to be sent out for consideration for publication.
I intend not to start dyeing yarn in a crockpot either even though that’s a pretty writer-friendly hobby.
Comments and likes? Encouragement? Happy 2019!