Saturday, January 10, 2015

Karen's Writing Goals: 2015 version

For whatever reason, I'm dreading this post. I'm having trouble staying motivated as a writer. It's been a hard slog the last few years and writing down what I want to do is sometimes demoralizing, if I compare it to the list of things I wanted to do last year and realize it's 50% the same, for example.

But I've also made a pretty good run of doing New Year's Resolutions related to writing (it was a NY Resolution that initially got me into writing, in 2007.) So time for a new batch. What's on your list of things to do for 2015? Any places where we can overlap or share resources?
Photo credit: Flikr user: Dafne Cholet

Straight out writing goals:

  • Finish Jak the AI killer short story, send to F&SF via CC Findlay's e-submissions
  • Finish Guide Me Through the Deep Space Night, 2014's nano project and the sequel to a prior Nano project, A Star to Lead Me (which is actually complete!) These books are very fun space-set SF and in Guide Me I've introduced aliens for the first time (even though I write a lot of SF, I have avoided aliens because so much of their treatment in SF is cliche. Let's hope I can avoid the traps.) 
  • Finish False Magic (another unfinished Nano project.) This is my only fantasy novel and has a really interesting magic system and I'm very excited about it. At World Fantasy Con 2014 I had a conversation with a researcher/lecturer in warfare and I got several ideas for how to manage the final conflict in this one. The book is 90% done, I stopped right before the final conflict. My thinking at the time was something like, "Oh, I know what will happen now. Plus this is such an exciting spot. No WAY I won't get right back to this project." Um. er. (this was my 2012 Nano project, I believe…) 
  • Finish Abnormals. What, another Nano project that isn't quite complete? How *strange*! This is my superhero story from 2013. A writer/artist friend has a great piece of art that I was planning to license to use as a cover, so the motivation here would be to finish this book and then publish it myself. 
  • One more pass on Adrift. This is the only novel I wrote at a time OTHER than National Novel Writing Month aka Nano. I wrote it one summer a couple of years ago. It's a middle grade SF novel and takes place in the same "universe" as my other space-set SF novels (Convergence, A Star to Lead Me, Guide Me, etc.) It's a cute story, it's finished but I keep going back to it because I know it could be stronger than it is. I have shopped this around traditional publishing and received some encouraging rejects, but rejects all the same. I'm not sure what I hope to achieve with another pass on this, but I'm midway through it so I might as well complete the pass. Afterwards I need to decide if I want to try submitting it again or if I should just publish it myself. My awesome cover designer has a cover about 80% of the way finished for it that I *adore.* 

Whew. I'm exhausted already. ;) Each of these projects alone isn't a huge amount of work. They need 5,000-10,000 new words, but I will have to re-read the books to get to where I'm ready to write the new words. While I'm re-reading I might as well do my first pass mark-up edit (I edit on paper, so this is an amusing phase where I carry a binder around with me everywhere for a month or two, mostly not reading the novel but just carrying it with me like a boat anchor. The ways we torture ourselves as writers are many and sundry.) 

In addition to all those goals, which I'm having difficulty sorting into an appropriate order of which comes first, I also need/want to be doing more to sharpen my writing and keep myself in a creative mindset. 

To that end, some "sharpen the saw" (if you don't know about Steven Covey's 7 Habits stuff, go check it out at the link. Hugely supportive and positive life coachy stuff from way before there were people whose job titles were Life Coach.) goals and activities for 2015:
  • Maintain my involvement in my online writing group. Get back into the saddle w/my in person writing group (I've missed our meetings for several months due to incredibly bad overlaps in schedule. February I should be able to get back into these twice monthly meetings.)
  • At least one writing-related thing each day. Options include:
    • New words
    • New story ideas (sketched out roughly)
    • Reading about writing (I have several very good books about writing that I should be reading and am not…like for instance:)
    • Listening to podcasts about writing
    • Watching videos of writing (particularly the Write About Dragons stuff of Sanderson's. He seems to have outlining down to a science and that's my kryptonite, so I'd like to get through more of this material and see what I can pull into my own process.) 
    • Journaling, with some eye toward documenting progress on writing goals or other meta-writing
  • Another writing class, probably a virtual class. I don't anticipate traveling for writing workshops or conferences this year but that may change as the second half of the year takes shape. I'm most strongly considering a Dave Farland class, but there are many others. If I were to go to an in-person workshop, I'd probably consider the Superstars Writing Seminars first. The Writing Excuses cruise sounds great, but I can't take that much time away from my family. 

1 comment:

  1. That's quite a list Karen! I'm especially intrigued with the Writing About Dragons stuff. That looks really promising.

    On staying motivated as a know, you and I have been on very similar writing curves. I believe we both started around the same time, and at the same time in our lives, and we both fell in love with Nanowrimo, and now we're both having trouble with staying motivated as writers. It makes me think this is a natural part of the whole author lifecycle, since we're both dealing with it. And with a little hard work, we'll get through it. Let's call it a chrysalis kind of event, and we're going to emerge totally transformed. :) Good luck!


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