2012 Writing Goals
Posted by Nathan Major on Monday, January 2, 2012 at 10:55 PM
First things first: I don't do New Years Resolutions. They are trendy, encouraging, and everybody forgets they exist by the time February rolls around. In my never-ending quest to Be Awesome, should I find a particular character flaw in myself, I immediately set about trying to fix it. I don't need some arbitrary measurement of time for me to start bettering myself.
And now that I've sufficiently made myself look like a pretentious ass, I'm going to give you my writing goals for 2012. Because it's the cool thing to do.
This year is going to be the year I either acquire and agent, sell a book, or both. It's gonna happen. I'm not going to let 2013 show up until it does. But seeing as that's not entirely in my control, my best bet is to work my butt off in every aspect that I do have control over, which means I'm going to be doing a lot of writing this year.
Goal #1: Write every single day in 2012
I've been taking Sundays off. I'm not doing that anymore. 2012 is the year that I write something new every single day. My ultimate minimum is 250, but that is only excusable when I'm doing something else writing related on the side (planning, submitting, editing). I will put 250 words of new fiction into a Word document every single day of 2012. They might be great, they might be crap, who knows. All I know is I'm not going to stop for nothin. My "real" word count goal is back to 2,000 (I bumped it up to 2,500, but recently I've only been doing 1,500), in case anybody was wondering.
Goal #2: Submit 2+ books to agents and editors in 2012
This requires that I actually have two books that I'm confident enough to send out. This has actually been a big problem for me, mostly because I never feel like a work (especially after leaving it for a while) is good enough for anyone to want to pick it up. Currently Steelgods 1 is out, and Death's Aria will probably go out in 2012 as well. That leaves one other book (either an edited Effulgent Corruption or Where Gods and Mortals Dance or something new) to be sent out into the rejection ether. I've been really reluctant to send stuff out, and it's time to get over that. I produce new material so fast that I'm wasting potential sales because I jump to the next project too quickly. So NO MORE. Going to submit like mad this year, whether anybody wants my stuff or not.
Goal #3: Love writing like I used to
I still love to write. If I didn't, I would have stopped and just played Xbox or Super Nintendo instead of forcing myself to write. But recently it's become more of a chore, like work rather than a fun hobby. This shouldn't be the case. I started writing way back when I was a kid because I thought I had fun stories to tell. I picked it back up in 2006 because I thought those stories would be interesting enough that other people would want to read them, and I would go crazy if I kept them in my brain. I'm going to bring that back. The only books I end up writing are the ones I care a lot about. So, I'm going to write those books. If I end up writing a year of just crappy urban vampire fantasy, so be it (though the odds are low). If I end up writing some dark, emo, melodramatic crap about dead teenagers, then so be it. It's what I want to write, so I'm writing it. I'm pretty sure that if I write every day, I'm going to eventually get so burnt out that I'm going to write an awful book (or short story) that I'll never want to show anybody. But I don't care. As long as I'm having a good time, that's what matters.
Goal #4: Try writing some short stories
I don't even know how to plan short stories, so this is going to actually be pretty tough. That being said, it's something I've always wanted to try, so I'm going to give it a go. I might churn a few out in-between novels as a sort of "warmdown."
Goal #5: Write a middle-grade book
Years ago when I was a middle-grade aged person, I wrote a book called Welcome to Riverville. It was a collection of short stories about a normal kid named James and his best friend Billy, who thought he was a cowboy. Such adventures included blasting a burglar with super-soaker guns, getting out of babysitting using porcupines and some ingenuity, and rescuing a dog that had fallen off a cliff by super-gluing Billy's collection of toy rattlesnakes together to make a rope (since all the rope in the city had been used by Ms. Timpernickle in the "worlds longest ball of stuff" competition. She was off competing in the nationals when the dog incident happened).
The point is that we actually printed this thing out and bound it, and apparently my mother (who is part of a supervising group of teachers who overlook the homeschooling of disabled kids) uses the book all the time when helping her kids learn to read or reading aloud to them. Apparently it's a huge hit.
The point of this story (besides tooting my own horn) is that my mother is constantly telling me I should rewrite it and try and sell that instead of all my fantasy crap. So...why shouldn't I try writing middle-grade? I've had some ideas bouncing around for a while, and maybe I could produce something entertaining. Let's give it a shot.
Goal #6: Be Awesome