To a New Year of Writing

You may have heard that I took a big leap in December. After eight and a half years working in the publishing industry full-time, I’m now focusing on my writing. This kind of chance doesn’t come around every day, and I’m lucky that my husband is such an outspoken advocate for my writing career. So a new path needs a new plan. Here’s what I hope you’ll find me doing in the coming year.

January: I’ve given myself a no-excuses deadline for finishing the current draft of my novel-in-progress, and am hoping to get it to my critique group and a few beta readers at the end of January.

That means that February and March will be spent on other projects. On deck are my steampunk horror-ish “monster” story (clue: “Thank you very much”) and the second draft of my novella about a not-so-super super (hint: cheese) as well as some other ideas still coalescing.

April through June will be all about revisions to the novel. If I can’t get it done in that time frame, it’s likely that I need some space.

It’s still quite a ways out, but I’m hoping to spend June through December on other projects. I’m keeping that space gray for now, but I hope I’ll be querying the novel, researching the sequel (?!), and churning through whatever projects are keeping me up at night and glued to the computer during the day.

I still have my work cut out for me. Not working 9-to-5 means I’ve got ELF most days. And I have freelance contracts with deadlines. And I still need to adult most days and keep the house relatively clean (if you know me, you know this is the hardest of the three aforementioned tasks). So I’m still carving out time to write and time management could make or break these goals.

That brings me to what I feel I’ve been learning since picking my writing back up in earnest, and what I likely keep learning until the day I reach the pearly gates. I need to be strict with myself, but I need to be good to myself. I need to take charge of the things in my control (e.g., managing my time, getting words on paper, and submitting them when I’m done), and I need to not focus on the things that will never be in my control (e.g., actually getting published). I need to be accountable for the things I promise (e.g., telling my husband I’ll actually do the dishes, meeting freelance deadlines), but I need to forgive myself if things don’t work the way I intended them to (e.g., getting rejections, setting something aside for a while). And if I put everything I have into everything I have to do, I know I’ll come out on the other side proud of myself.

To paraphrase Miss Stacy, “Tomorrow is a fresh year, with no mistakes in it.” May 2016 be our best yet!