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I've been writing for a little over three years now, and in the past I never really set writing goals (aside from finish the damn novel). I had writing related goals, like query my novel, get an agent, get published, etc., but those were all peripheral things that weren't fully in my control. And if I've learned anything over the past few years, it's that I like to be in control. Ahem.
For Along Came December, I made everything up as I went along. It was my first book, I was learning, yada yada yada, but it took forever and was pretty much the opposite of efficient the whole way through. It was also really the only project I was working on for those three years. Now I've got a whole list of projects I want to get done, and in order to write productively in 2017 I'll need to work a lot smarter. And the first step (literally, using the cleverly-named SMART acronym for goal-setting) is to be specific. So here's what I want to write in 2017.
If Along Came December was inefficient, this one's nothing short of a hot mess. I've restarted at least three times and have more than 100,000 words of (mostly) useless rough draft. I want to have the novel published by the end of 2017, so I need to figure shit out and quick. I'm trying this new concept right now called outlining, where you work out the problems before wasting your time writing yourself into a corner, or worse, down a never-ending road. My goal is to have the outline nailed down by the end of January, have the rough draft done by May, and then edit and rewrite from there.
Long Way Home
This is a short story I wrote back in 2013, before I started writing ACD. I think the concept is awesome, but the execution needs to be reworked. I'm hoping to have it done and available on Amazon (maybe even on Kindle Singles?) by March.
Untitled Horror Story That Was Supposed To Be Flash But Might Be A Novella By The Time I'm Done
The title says it all. I thought (hoped) it would be under 1,000 words, but I'm just shy of 9,000 right now and there's still a way to go. That said, it's evolved to be much cooler than I originally thought. I'm hoping to have it available sometime in February, and it will be a free download when you sign up for my (soon-to-be-created) mailing list. :)
Non-Fiction Book on Adult Acne
I've been struggling with my skin for going on 5 years now, and while there are plenty of great resources available online, there isn't really a central hub of information, at least not the kind of information I've found useful. Acne and skin care is really interesting to me, and I'd like to write the book I wish I'd had 5 years ago in the hope it will spare somebody else some grief. Because acne sucks.
Submit 10 Flash Fiction Pieces to Contests/Magazines
I've got a whole bunch of future stories waiting in the queue, and while some are longer projects, some can be done in a shorter form. I'd like to write and submit 10 of them this year, which will help clear off my plate, but also keep me writing when I need to take a break from some longer projects. January's flash piece will be submitted to Pulp Literature's Bumblebee Flash Fiction contest. But first I have to write it.
So those are my major writing goals for the coming year. I've also got a goal to write 75 blog posts, and read 75 books, and do some more peripheral-type things that go along with writing, but these are the top priorities. If I do everything listed above it should be a good year. Wish me luck.