Update on 2012 writing goals

Update on 2012 writing goals

Well, I had intended to do a section on character profiling this morning, but my book about it just arrived in the mail yesterday. So instead of simply using my conference notes, I think I’ll read the book Mark Mynheir recommended first. Then, I’ll do a larger series on profiles.

I woke up this morning completely at a loss because I have so much to do I don’t even know where to start. And, personally, when I start feeling overwhelmed, I start to shut down. When I have too much to do to ever accomplish, my first reaction is to stop even trying to get anything done and go watch a season of Stargate: Atlantis. But I’m not going to do that today. I did that last night. =)

So today, if you’ll bear with me, I need to clear my head and list out what I’ve accomplished already (merely to encourage myself that I’m not a failure) and I need to write down what I’m trying to get done (to keep myself accountable for the next six months). Because the best thing for me to do when I feel like I have too much to do is to put everything out on the table and see what can be finished right away. I don’t know if it’s because I’m an objective-focused person or what, but if I can see everything laid out at once and get the big picture in my head, I stand a much better chance of finishing something.

My goals for 2012 were really ambitious, but if you’re going to dream, I say you should dream big.

Short Stories

I had intended to write a new short story every month, and I started pretty strong. But it didn’t last. To anyone who is trying to get published and still working a 40-to-50 hour a week job, I commend you and empathize. (Some day I’ll do a post about juggling your professional life and your dream life in hopes that it will help me figure it out … because I haven’t yet.) I’m still aiming to finish some short stories by the end of the year.

Plays/Skits

I had also hoped to work on some skits and a full-length play. I got a good start on the full-length play, but it took a backseat to other projects. And due to some pretty major upsets at church, the drama team is somewhat scattered at the moment. Still united and interested and willing … but there’s nothing for us to do right now. I’m still hoping we can get something together by the end of the year, but suffice it to say that the playwriting scene is somewhat stagnated. At least for right now.

ePublishing

This is still on the docket, although it’s a little behind schedule. I’ve contacted a graphic designer to help me with a cover for a short story I did, and I’m working on formatting the content according to the submission guidelines. My plan is to start get it out on as many platforms as I can and then spread it around through social media. It’s a really cute little piece, so I’m excited to share it with people. I intend to have it available by the end of August. For those of you who care, the story is called “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and it’s a funny little romantic comedy based on the relationship of two very funny people I know.

Self-publishing

This is a goal I didn’t bring up earlier because it’s something of a special request. I maintain a devotional blog (AlwaysPeachy) that I update every Monday through Friday. I started it almost two years ago with the intention of keeping myself focused on the things that matter throughout a day. It was purely selfish and not intended to be shared with anyone, but a lot of people have started reading it. And some local people around me here at home requested that I put it in book format. So I’m working on self-publishing a version of it. I just have to complete the formatting, and I need help with a cover. But I have some ideas. Right now I will probably go with Lulu.com because I’ve used their service previously and was pleased with the results.

Novels

Okay. Well, I may have fallen down on some of the other goals, but the novel work has really gone well. I’ve gotten a lot done, but there’s still a lot to do.

The trilogy I’ve been working on for 11 years is nearing completion. I have finished drafts for part one (Nameless) and part two (Namesake) and am neck deep in part three (New Name), and I’m scrambling to finish it because once my beta readers finish part two they will want part three immediately. Seriously, they may kill me otherwise. =)

I made some good progress on the series I’ve been working on since I was 11 and have finished a draft of its first book that I’m actually somewhat proud of. Only one person has really seen it yet, so the next step is to distribute it to my betas and get their feedback. I took the first chapter to the writing workshop in Colorado Springs in June for a one-on-one manuscript critique, and it was well received. So that was encouraging.

I have also finished some new chapters for the novel I’m writing about Guatemala. I can’t say the second draft is finished yet, but it’s getting close.

And I haven’t given up on NaNoWriMo either. I still want to try it. But that means I have to get the rest of these things done before it gets here!

So that’s what I’ve accomplished so far. What I need to get done in the next few months:

  • I need to contact True Story Magazine again and ask about the status of my payment or at least the possibility of retaining the rights to the short story they published if they don’t pay me.
  • I need to work on getting a cover designed for the Single story and for the devotional book.
  • I need to continue to work on formatting the devotional book and the Single story for epublishing.
  • I need to send Part Two of my trilogy and Book One of my giant epic series to my betas.
  • I need to complete Part three of my trilogy draft.
  • I need to continue revisions on the Guatemala book.
  • I need to write a short story for July (because it’s important to step back from current projects and let my brain reboot).
  • I need to follow up with folks about possibly writing a Christmas skit for performance in December.

And now … I feel much better.

If you’re still reading this, you’re a nice person, especially since this blog post was mainly directed at me. So in a few months I can look back and see what I promised myself I would get done, and I’ll either feel really good about myself or I’ll go smash my head into a wall.

If you are still reading and you find yourself drowning, I do recommend taking a moment to lay everything out so you can see both what you’ve done and what you still have to do. Encourage yourself by focusing on what you’ve accomplished; challenge yourself by looking at what you still need to achieve. The artistic side of my brain fights having to make lists … but they really help … and you don’t have to share them with anybody or admit that you make them. So your reputation is safe. =)

I’ll aim for a post on character profiles next week!

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