A couple of weeks ago I posted here about some of my writing goals for the year. I thought I’d check in and see how the year has started. I have added some progress bars over on the sidebar of the blog to give a sense of where I am.
My first goal for 2017 is to finish my NaNoWriMo book from 2016. #NaNoFinMo in December was a colossal failure, so I declared January as #NaNoFinMo2 (the Quickening) and set forth. Then, of course, I didn’t touch the story at all this month until a couple of days ago, when I sat down and added a little over 1,700 words. That puts me just over 88,000 words total. I have set an arbitrary goal of 100,000, but there’s no real sense yet of whether that actually means anything. I can see the end beginning to warm up (and wander a bit away from my outline. As stories do.) but I have no idea if I have 12,000 words of story left. Might be less. Might be more. It doesn’t matter, I suppose; the story will be as long as it needs to be. I just think it would be cool to have a draft of over 100K. I’ve never come close to that length before. I hope to get some work in on it this weekend.
My second goal is to write more short stories this year and post them to the blog for everyone to read. So far, I have fulfilled the first two 2017 editions of the Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction Challenge. If you haven’t read them yet, please go check them out! The third challenge was just announced today, so that story will be a project for the weekend or early next week. I put up two progress bars for Chuck, one that shows the total percentage of challenges I have completed this year, and the other that reveals whether I have done the most recent one or not.
I have put up two similar bars for The First Line. The First Line is a literary journal that publishes quarterly. The prompt each quarter is a line that serves as the first line for every story in that quarter’s issue. I have submitted to TFL several times without being published. I plan to submit all four prompts this year, and if the stories are not accepted I will share them here. The stories are due 2/1, 5/1, 8/1, and 11/1. That is why the YTD bar for TFL currently says 0/4. It will not be at 100% until sometime in October.
My third goal is to blog more often with non-fiction posts. Updates such as this one don’t count. I haven’t done this yet. There’s no progress bar for this one. Just look for different kinds of posts and you’ll know I’m doing better. My problem with this is as it has always been for me as a writer: I need to get better at creating time to write and working it into my daily/nightly routine and being disciplined and motivated about doing it. I want to write, but I don’t want my wife to feel like I am neglecting her to go sit in front of the laptop. That’s a hard balance to figure out. Does anyone out there have any advice? How do you do it?
I want to write more often this year, and I am hoping these goals will motivate me to do it. I’m not going to do these check-ins very often; that’s what the progress bars are for. Keep coming back and see how I do. Wish me luck, and as always, please support your local blogger.