2016 Wrap-up

Imagine my surprise when I logged on to do some updating and realized my last post was in November of 2015.  That pretty much sums up how my writing has gone for the last year.  Non-existent.

It’s been a crazy year, in a good way.  we decided  in the fall of 2015 to sell our home and move out to the country on some acreage.  We closed on our sale in August of 2015 and then moved into a rental while we looked for a lot to purchase.  That only lasted a few weeks and we had to move yet again into another rental (because of problems with the first one).  We bought a lot and started construction in October.  We closed in March of 2016 and have been living here ever since.  We absolutely love it.  Going from the world’s smallest subdivision lot to almost 4 acres was quite the eye opener for our kids.  It’s a lot of work, but I love it.  We installed our own sprinkler system, planted our own lawn, grew a garden, brought my daughter’s horse over, and made lots of new friends.  In short, it has been awesome.

But, the downside with all that going on is my writing suffered.  I literally have not made a single keystroke on a story this whole year.  In the months leading up to November and NaNoWriMo, I debated with myself many times if I was going to do it.  I really wanted to, but my heart just wasn’t in it.  I was so busy, in fact, that the first couple days came and went without my even realizing it.  It finally dawned on me around day 4 or 5.  I debated again whether I would do it.  Even though I really wanted to, I didn’t have a plan.  I decided that I would at least sit down that night and punch out some words so that I wouldn’t keep digging myself into a hole.

However, it had been so long since I finished my previous book (Moonstones), that I couldn’t remember enough of the specifics to make a decent go of it.  After several hundred words, I realized it just wasn’t possible to work on Moonstones 2.  Not like that.  I briefly considered finishing Seconds, the novel I started for NaNo 2015.  But, that was in the same boat.  I literally hadn’t read a word of it for a year.  It just wasn’t possible.  At least with Moonstones, I had been in that world for so many years that I had a lot of the backstory banked.  Seconds was cranked out over several weeks in November of 2015 without any outlining or planning.  After I won NaNo, I had a memory dump and almost could remember nothing of the story.  Obviously, I had the gist, but not even close to enough to start writing.  I couldn’t even pick up where I had left off.

So, I gave up.  It was harder than I thought, actually.  I took a lot of pride in winning over the last several years, and it was sad to admit defeat. That was over a month ago.

But, something important happened.  A little spark ignited, a spark I hadn’t felt in a long time–the desire to write.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve fanned that little spark, slowly getting back into the writing mindset.  I’ve visited writing blogs of authors I follow.  I’ve figured out how I could rearrange my daily schedule to have dedicated writing time each day.  I updated the progress bars on the blog to show my current projects–there are others, of course, but those are the main ones for now.  And, I spent the last couple days re-reading my unfinished draft of Seconds so that I would be ready to start writing this coming week.

I’ve had many writing goals over the years.  Some I’ve met.  Some I haven’t.  But, either way, it’s time time to set some new ones.  I’m putting them here as a reminder to me. Hopefully it will make me more accountable as well.

GOAL NUMBER ONE is to just write.  Regularly.  I plan to finish the first draft of Seconds over the next couple months.  That will give me two fully completed first drafts.  Then come the re-writes with the ultimate goal of having both novels either submitted to publishers or e-published this year.  That’s GOAL NUMBER TWO.  Seconds is the shorter of the novels, and I’d like to have it ready to go by May 1.  GOAL NUMBER THREE is to get some short stories submitted to magazines or websites.  I just need to generate some words and get my name out there.  GOAL NUMBER FOUR is to get started on the sequel to Moonstones.  It’s a big epic fantasy, and it’s going to require a lot of time.  GOAL NUMBER FIVE is to make it to some Cons this year (at least one).

I know those goals are lofty and will take some tweaking and refining as we go along.  But, I’m never going to reach my ultimate goal of being a published author and full-time writer if I don’t start writing.

Wish me luck!

Scott

NaNoWriMo – Day 2

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Writing Goal: 1667 Words

Actual Written: 4033 Words

What an amazing day!  It’s funny how I could go from not hardly writing a single word for a year, and not even wanting to do NaNo, to suddenly craving the keyboard.  Yesterday afternoon I didn’t even have a story in mind.  Now I can’t wait to find out what happens.

I actually got up extra early today and worked hard all day so that I could wrap up early and start writing.  I haven’t felt this way in a LONG time.

For those of you who have never done NaNoWriMo, the idea is to write 50,000 words during the 30 days of November.  That works out to an average of 1667 words each day.

I don’t remember the last time I wrote 4033 words in a single day.  I’m at 6654 words in 2 days. That’s where I should be by day 4.  It feels good to have a bit of a cushion.

I’m also having a lot of fun with this story.  It’s a much different type of story than I’ve written before.  I’ve written epic fantasy and political thriller, both of which are written to an older audience and use a higher level of language.  This YA is being really fun because it’s written to a younger audience.  It lets me do things with my writing that I haven’t been able to do before.  I’m excited to see where this goes…