Last year, I made a list of five things I wanted to accomplish in 2012 when it came to writing. I feel like this was a very productive year for me in that area. I wrote more than 138,000 words, completed a fairly detailed outline for a future project, and am close to finishing the novella project that turned into a full-fledged novel. I read several great books on writing, listened to writing podcasts and exchanged chapters with my critique partner. I feel like I learned a ton of technique from all of that.
But how did I do on the specific tasks I listed last January? Not as good as I'd like.
1. Write. Every day.
I kept a spreadsheet and recorded daily totals and which projects I wrote on. I didn’t write every day, but I did write a lot more than last year and more consistently, too. A check of my spreadsheet shows that I wrote on 162 days. OK, that’s not as good as I’d estimated, but I’m a pretty easy grader, so I’m sticking with a B on this. Plus, I found that writing 500 words a day every day was better than writing 3,500 words over a weekend when it came to quality, probably because I remained engaged with my story on a daily basis.
2. Finish You, Again.
Well, there’s more of You, Again written and I do now have an ending. The book grew by 30,000 words over the past 12 months and I feel like it’s a solid romantic suspense story. I’m not sure what’s holding me up on this one, but I didn’t accomplish this goal.
3. Finish first novella in the trilogy.
This turned from a novella to a novel and I have more than 75,000 words written. Unfortunately, the simple mystery subplot grew quite complicated and it’s now a messy tangle of plot that I need to unravel. I have some great scenes, characters I love and a vague idea of an ending. I just have to get these fun characters through this winding plot to The End. Fortunately, they're very close.
4. Outline second and third novellas in the trilogy.
I have added to these projects, but don’t have full outlines for these. However, I did finish an outline for the novel I started during the 2011 NaNoWriMo. It’s pretty much ready to write and I can’t wait to start on that WIP.
5. Submit something.
Grade: Incomplete. As in, I didn’t complete anything so I had nothing to submit.
My 2013 resolutions are nearly complete and I will post those soon. While I work on those goals, I am thinking about how this exercise can be more productive. Intermediate deadlines for the tasks? More concrete steps? Fewer items? More items?