Writing

Novel Update #11 – A Year of Writing and Next Year’s Goals

I had a vague goal of finishing a first draft in 2014. I knew that wasn’t likely, especially with graduation looming at the end of the year, but aim for the stars and all that. I’d love to have written more, but I think this is decent progress given all the stuff that happened last year and my previous failure to make much progress at all! Plus, I’m actually happy with what I’ve written. I think I’m about a third of the way to a first draft, but it’s hard to say. (I also posted two little pieces of writing on the blog. Can I interest you in a flash fiction about a dinosaur toddler or a masquerade-themed fantasy short story?)

Women of Marvel calendar

My new goal is to finish this first novel draft before grad school starts, probably next fall. (And hey, if I don’t start grad school in the fall, more time to complete my goal will be a consolation!) I shouldn’t be taking any more three-month breaks until then, so my goal for January is to (re)develop a consistent page-a-day writing habit. I’m still using my goal calendar method, but this year it’s an actual calendar — a “Women of Marvel” calendar my awesome sister gave me for Christmas! I’ll bestow a shiny new star sticker on each day in which I write. This will also let me write in things like goals and challenge/contest deadlines! The travails of daily life will go on an entirely separate planner, which helps me stay organized.

Here are my end-of-month word counts since I started these updates:

  • February – 1,333
  • March – 3,902
  • April – 7,605
  • May – 11,792
  • June – 13,590
  • July – 18,162
  • August – 23,716
  • September – paused
  • October – paused
  • November – paused
  • December – 25,846

If my math is right, not counting the three paused months (and fudging November’s little bit in with December’s), that makes an average of 3,230 words per month. On the one hand, that’s acceptable for my time constraints last year, but on the other hand, 3k isn’t very much. My second goal for January is to do better than 3,230, and keep going up thereafter.

What are your writing goals for the new year?

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13 thoughts on “Novel Update #11 – A Year of Writing and Next Year’s Goals

  1. My NaNoWriMo manuscript is going to be submitted to Chanticleer Reviews YA writing contest. I have a novel being published by PDMI Publishing who are remarkably small and remarkably slow. I want to generate more than $16 worth of sales with my novel Catch a Falling Star (available from I-Universe Publishing). I have two more completed manuscripts that I am trying to sell. I have something like 18 more novel ideas waiting for some love and attention. My biggest goal, however; stay alive long enough to write more.

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  2. You were fairly productive during the summer months, so hopefully you’ll be able to keep that pace now that you’re graduated. Also, I’m still considering tracking down the calendar you pictured – I just don’t have anywhere to put it at the moment.

    My writing goals for the year is to keep doing my write for a month, take a month off cycle, which seems to be working for me so far. This month I’m working on a book I haven’t touched since March of 2013. It’s the first book I wrote for my series (5th in continuity). So far it’s turning out to be a rather intensive edit. I’m right in the middle of a massive info dump section that I really need to trim down.

    So much has changed in this series since I last worked on this one; the mythos, the characterization, the continuity and even the writing style. Books 2-4 didn’t even exist in my head back then and now they all have at least their first draft completed. It’s been fun so far though; it feels like reuniting with an old friend and learning that even though times have changed, you still get along.

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    1. The calendar is amazing. After opening it I’ve discovered it’s much more of an art object than a usable schedule device, so keep that in mind when looking for a location!

      Your write-for-a-month technique is really interesting, I can totally see how that would work if one can write as quickly as you do! 🙂 That is really cool that you and book 5 still get along, metaphorically speaking.

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  3. Oooh I want that calendar! haha
    I pretty much don’t make goals for my writing, because then I’ll never be disappointed…I’m terrible at meeting word counts. Hence I’m also not progressing very fast lol.

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    1. Having now opened it, that calendar is even more amazing than I thought it was. It’s HUGE posters, with a cool little strip of dates along the bottom. I’ve changed my mind about using it as my goal calendar because it is just too gorgeous, and it doesn’t have the traditional box of days. So, highly recommended, but don’t plan on using it to chart anything. 🙂

      Totally know that feel about not being disappointed. I just really hit a point at the beginning of 2014 where I can’t NOT do this anymore. I’m incredibly slow, but it WILL happen, and the calendar method is what gets it done for me. Disappointment-management is a big part of it though, so I get that… I focus more on a “stats” approach rather than a “did I succeed or fail” approach, if that helps. Either way, you can do it! You can write the things!

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  4. I like the idea of a goal calendar! I may have to get myself one of those… thinking about my own writing goals, and being sure to remind myself of the accomplishments that happened this year as well.
    Looking forward to the ongoing journey!

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    1. I love the goal calendar. I LOVE it. Others have told me it sounds like a crushing guilt trip, so, don’t stress yourself out if you try it… But I love it! I have trouble remembering what I’ve actually done if I don’t keep track of it somehow, and this is a really nice visual way to organize things and motivate myself, and I imagine it’ll make for convenient blog pictures too. 😉

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  5. Well, I haven’t decided whether to self-publish or find an agent. Got a MS from NANOWRIMO that needs edits, so working on that. Local NANO meeting to review MSs on the 7th! 🙂 Good luck in your writing endeavors!

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