I write because I am a storyteller and it is what I do best. I love writing, but sometimes even the ones we love the most are the ones we are first to neglect for no other reason than that we are human.
TIME TO SET A GOAL
Having read the blogposts of other writers such as JA Konrath, Nathan Bransford, and the Dead Robots, I realise that my own goals in the past have been very vague. Finish this, write that, publish some. So this year I am taking my writing goals a little more seriously. I want to be able to check at the end of the year to see whether I have a achieved what I set out to do. In order to do that I realise that the first thing I need to do is to treat my writing life as a part time job. This means no slacking off. It means getting my word count in every day. Not every other day. Not tomorrow. Like now. It means using my limited time and not wasting it.
TIME TO READ
To be able to write you must study your art. An builder does not build a house without having learned the craft by studying others. My aim is to read wide and varied this year. I plan to read at least two books a month. Ideally three. Four if possible. This will not be a problem since I usually get through more than that. Especially since I started reading on my ipod touch. But last year I did have a run where I came across a couple of books that I just could not connect with and I just ended up stopping dead. This year if that happens I will abandon the book and take up another. Easy.
TIME TO WRITE TO THE END
Since I plan to treat my writing like a part time job. I must not only carve out the time to write, but I also have to finish what I start. Who employs a builder who leaves the tiles half done because he is not inspired to mix the cement? Not me that's for sure. So I will write until it's finished. I will take responsibility for my characters and guide them to the end of the story. No more characters hanging off the edgeof the pier waiting for me to be inspired to either save them or drown them.
EDIT TO THE END
I said it last year and then got sidetracked with other projects. I said it the year before and the year before that. But this time I mean it. 2012 will be the year I finish editing "Whaling the Multiverse" and prepare it for submission. What good is a car stuck in the garage with its wheels off? Damn, editing is the hardest part of writing, but it is enjoyable if I can just stop thinking about that shiny new idea. Now I have to face up to my responsibility this year and get the work done.
Complete and submit at least one short story a month and when the rejections come in find a suitable market and send it back out as soon as possible. Terry Mixon at the Dead Robot's Society suggested a points system to encourage you to reach your goal. My goal is 100 points.
1 short story written and submitted: 5 points
1 novella written and submitted: 10 points
1 first draft novel written: 15 points
1 novel edited and submitted: 25 points
So, for example, if I write 12 short stories, a novella, and submit my novel this year I have made my goal. Of course I plan to do more. I will participate in NaNoWriMo. And I would also like to finish another novel I have in progress too. 100 points is the bare minimum. I plan to exceed that goal by a long shot. I will keep track on my progress here throughout the year. Kick my butt if you feel the need. I will be.
2012 PROGRESS: 2 short stories written and submitted 10 points.