It’s All About Me in 2014

Yep, it’s all about me! Me, me, me…

A lot has happened over the last 5 years:

  • Writing 5 novels and 75 short stories
  • Winning a novel contest in 2009
  • Being published by a small press that went out of business
  • Running a number of social networks and groups for writers and horror lovers
  • Starting up a publishing cooperative

In the process I learned a number of lessons and have become a much better writer and editor. And, like my peers, I’ve been in the middle of the amazing and brutal transformation of the publishing industry. As 2013 has come to a close, I’ve celebrated my triumphs, but found myself retracting from publishing and many egomaniacs who call themselves indie authors. Don’t get me wrong. I have found most of my fellow writers to be amazing people and friends. It’s about 25% of them who need to pull their heads of of their asses.

Anyway, I just need a break from the industry’s insanity. I need to return to my roots and spend 2014 being a writer and only a writer. I realized this when I returned to my critique group back in October. All of my goals for next year are related to writing, editing (my own work) and reading. It’s a pretty strict schedule I’ve set for myself with lots of word count goals to meet.

I haven’t put publishing completely aside next year. It’s about time I re-release Call for Obstruction, so I do plan on self-publishing it early 2014, but I am taking my time re-writing the ending and am in no hurry. Quality over quantity is my motto. Will probably release a couple collections of my flash fiction next year as well. I won’t market until 2015 though. Again, it’s all about the writing.

So there it is. My picture of 2014. Fingers crossed I’ll meet all my goals next year and not all the ones that sneak in and distract me.

More Reading Time Please

I try to read at least 60 books a year and that hasn’t happened for a few years now. Another goal that has fallen short. This year I’ve only read 5 books and I usually read that many a month. It’s not that I’m not reading. I’ve spent most of time reading unpublished works, and no offense, I need some quality time with quality books.

This year I’d really like to catch up on some classic science fiction, especially considering I’m transitioning to writing this genre. My inspiration for selections is my hubby and 50 Essential Science Fiction Books. Here are my top 8 selections to read/reread first:

                                   

We already have all of these books except for The Left Hand of Darkness, and I’ve already read three of them: Contact, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and 2001: A Space Odyssey. I’m starting with A Wrinkle in Time because my son found the book in his closet a few days ago. After I found it on the essential Sci Fi list I kind of figured it’s essential I read it right away. I’ll review each of these books on the Minor Insanity Blog after I’ve read them.

Million Word Challenge

When I went out to find a graphic for this post I looked up the title and found that there actually are million word challenges for reading. Looks to be primarily in California, but we have one in Denver Public Schools too. Wouldn’t it be great if this went national? Or if authors and publishers got involved and donated 1,000,000 words annually to each public school library. Let’s just say that’s an average of 20 books and there are nearly 99,000 public schools in the U.S. That’s nearly 2 million new books in school libraries across the country each year.

Now that I’ve reassured myself I can still use a calculator . . . what is this post really about? One of my goals that I didn’t achieve was to write 1,000,000 words in 5 years and my deadline was January 1st, 2013. I only wrote 507,157 and whatever I wrote this morning that didn’t get added in yet. 🙁

Here’s what I had posted as a goal back on November 19th, 2010. As you can see, I like using the calculator.

1. Achieve 50% towards remainder of 1,000,000 words of written fiction.
This is a goal I set, in September of 2008 after listening to an early episode of Writing Excuses. Basically they mentioned that the first one or two novels you write are likely crap. I know my first two were both more personal stories I’ll probably never publish. They also mentioned that it takes writing one million words to begin mastering prose. These are all professionals’ opinions, and who am I to argue, right? Anyways, I set the goal back then to write a million words of fiction within a certain time frame that never happened. Actually I stopped tracking it and have since written over 120,000 new words, which really surprises me considering the writer’s block I went through this year.

Well, IT’S BACK for 2011 & 2012. I started a counter in the right column, but have the rest of the year’s writing, so I’m not exactly sure where the total count will be for 2011 and 2012 other than an estimated 300,000 per year which is less than the 480,000 I should be able to write if I stick to a 2000 words a day for 20 days a month. WOW! That’s 4-6 novels or who knows how many short stories a year . . . .

I’m over half way there, although barely. And I’ve extended this goal to January 1st, 2015. The counter is back in the right column and I’ve got my calculator in hand. There are 88 more weeks to achieve this goal, so I have to write 5600 words a week. So far this year I’m averaging 1000 a day. DOABLE!

To aid in my reaching this goal, I’m joining the 3-Day Novel Contest and NaNoWriMo this year. Combined they’re good for 75,000 words. That ups this years goals by 3.

When Goals Attack

This year I set goals like I do every year, only this year they were pretty pathetic. Let’s just say I’ve been in a foul mood most of 2013, unhappy and confused about much of the direction my life and career have taken over the past few years. We all go through rough patches and I’m more than ready for this spate of misfortunes to end.

The last few weeks have been particularly difficult. I’m really not able to do much other than new writing and editing. Yes, I’m complaining about being productive in what I do best. Unfortunately, I feel a bit of a block coming on. I also have a co-op to manage and a house to keep up, both starting to suffer and the later starting to smell a little too much like beagle.

I think it all started when I opened up my writing planner and took a long hard look at my past years achievements since 2010. Um, well, I haven’t achieved a lot of what I set out to do. At first I threw a fit, had my temper tantrum and got it over with. Then I reminded myself I haven’t been slacking off for 3 years and gave myself a little credit for the stuff I’ve achieved that’s not on the list. A WHOLE lot of other stuff.

And, so, I’m turning to my blog, where I hardly ever write anymore for support. I plan to spend a day or two sorting out the last three years. What are the good things that have happened and how do I continue on a positive path? What are the lessons learned and how do I avoid the same misfortune in the future? How do I get back on track and achieve the things I’d hoped to already accomplish? Three good places to start I think. Now I’m off to actually accomplish this goal. More later . . . .

Back to Blogging with a Goals Check-In

It’s time. My plan was to start blogging again June 1st and here I am. Considering we’re closing in on the 2011 halfway point, I thought I’d start with a goals check-in.

What have I been up to? Lots and lots of writing and editing, and I’m too excited to report that I’m over my target word count for both so far this year.

Rather than write another novel or two this year, I decided instead to focus on short stories. So far I’ve written 15+ new rough rough rough shorts, most still in my journal. Some of the stories are part of a whole vampire fairy tale series, just like I’d hoped to write this year. None of the stories will sit in my journal for too long. I’ve joined #fridayflash, a weekly Twitter group at http://fridayflash.org. This friday is week 4 for me, and I’m hooked. I might even write two a week, considering all the material I already have. I’ve been releasing the stories here and on the Vamplit Blog. Even submitted one of my stories to their second print volume. I also have plans to submit some of the others to online and print magazines and anthologies.

I’ve been pulling my hair out, trying to think of regular things to write here, but haven’t come up with much. Yesterday they opened registration for the 3-Day Novel Contest, which is another goal for this year. So I’ve added a once a week post about preparing for the challenge to the agenda and will blog through the contest like I did last year. I also enjoy writing wine reviews, so I’m kicking around the ideas of sharing our favorite varietals once a week. All my other blogging will be posted on the Vamplit Blog. In fact, I’ve already started over there with #fridayflash, and Vamplit’s #humpday #horrorchat, a weekly chat about all things horror we do every Wednesday on Twitter. All the directions you’ll need to join us available from the link. We’ve got a whole bunch of other stuff planned over there and will let you know as we implement it.

Oh, and I’m still ripping through The Courier. It’s gotten tricky because I’ve moved it to Scrivener to track the entire series. Much better than my old system, but *heavy sigh* the series is getting more and more complicated, so maintaining all the background information is pretty time consuming. The entire plot for the 5th book is figured out and I’ve even found a way to entwine it with another novel series I created years ago. Oh, and I got tons of editing done during NaNoEdMo, although I fell off the blogging during the challenge and never mentioned the final result. It’s only getting better and is still on target to complete editing before the start of the 3-Day. That and I’ve done a ton of work on a couple versions of the synopsis, which you may have seen me complaining about.

We haven’t done much work on Bloodlegger’s 🙁 R. J. and I have been off doing our own thing but we’re writing book 1 together for NaNoWriMo this year, so we’ll get back on the outline wagon soon.

Now that I’ve sufficiently bored you about novel progress, I’m off to make some meatballs for dinner.

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