No, not the Mayan prophecy. I’m referring to making 2012 about finishing what I’ve started. Last year, I wrote just under 106,000 words. And finished nothing. This year, that is going to change.
I’m trying to keep my goals simple, so that I can knock a few items off this list and maybe even add others if time permits. This list is also for my writing goals, not personal ones. Of course, I’m making the annual “make healthier choices, exercise more, be more patient” resolutions. Here, though, are what I want to accomplish while wearing my writer hat (it’s a fedora, of course).
1. Write. Every day.
Even if it’s just a sentence, or a phrase. Write something that relates to the novel that I am working on at that time. An idea that wakes me up, a description, a potential title. That will work. Ideally, it will be many sentences or even a completed scene for the work in progress, but any fiction will count toward this.
2. Finish You, Again.
I want to finish this novel so very much. It feels like I’m wandering aimlessly around the middle third of the book, trying to figure out how to get to the end. I can see it from here, but I’m not sure how to get there. My primary goal for this year is to find that path. I’m currently at about 60,000 words.
3. Finish first novella in the trilogy.
This is a story that makes me happy to write. I just really like it. The characters make me laugh, it’s not overly complicated so I don’t have the same structure issues as the novel. Plus, I have an awesome title. I want to finish this one and get to my critique partner for her thoughts. I’m currently at just under 24,000 words.
4. Outline second and third novellas in the trilogy.
Not only does the first novella make me smile when I’m writing it, the plans for the second two in the series do also. I’m looking forward to writing the two stories that follow, but I’m settling for outlines in 2012.
5. Submit something.
Lower on the list because I need to have completed something first. This is here because I need to make that leap of faith and share my work with someone other than my critique partner (who is incredible, by the way). It could be a submission to a contest, an agent, or a publisher – but as soon as I have something done, I will be looking for places to submit.
So, that’s it. I have some reserve goals that I can move up the list, if I accomplish these, but I want to focus on one project at a time. If 2011 taught me anything, it’s that I am not capable of finishing anything if my attention is diverted to a half-dozen projects. This means that I’m mothballing a couple beloved stories – for now. But they will still be there when I finish this list.
I have my 2012 word-count spreadsheet ready to go, a fresh cup of coffee, and two days before I have to return to work. Let's get to writing.