Captain’s Quarters: January Writing Update

+J.M.J.+

Well, here I am. It’s 2017, and we’re already halfway through January. But I still wanted to post my goals for this month, and some annual goals that I’ve come up with. Maybe you have similar goals, or have goals of your own that you’d like to share. Feel free to share in the comments below!

MONTHLY GOALS

  •  I’m part of a wonderful group of writers called the 365 Club. It’s all about forming a habit of writing every. single. day. during the year. My daily word count I want to try to hit each day is around 300, which is relatively easy provided I buckle down and do it. That’s a little over a page, so very much doable, even if I don’t have much time to write. So far, I’ve had a couple of off days, but I’ve also had some great days that will make my daily average pretty high if I keep going steady.
  • I’m also participating in Writing.com’s 30-Day Blogging Challenge this month. The challenge is to write a blog post, every day, on time, in response to the daily prompts that are mailed out through the site’s email system. So far, the prompts have been pretty fun to respond to. Some days I only write a paragraph or two, but other days, I feel like I’ve typed my hands off and come up with several hundred words of a response. Today, we get to talk about music: whether or not we play an instrument and what our favorite song is. I’m rather excited about that, being a musician and all. ^_^
  • A sub-goal for this month, along with my general writing goals, is to write at least a couple pages on my outline for “Sun of Truth,” which is the second in an epic fantasy trilogy called “The Mending” that I’ve been working on for a decade now.

After releasing “Kingdom of the New Moon,” I’ve been debating on whether or not I should go ahead and make myself write its sequel, “Kingdom of the Blue Sun.” I know what the general storyline is, but world-building and character arcs are nowhere in sight at this point in the creative process. And since I’m an indie author, I thought, “Well, it makes more sense to release the next one I’ve got ready.” Which is the first in “The Mending.” I had a good heart-to-heart with my alpha reader, who told me these wise words: “If you force yourself to write a book you’re not ready to write, you’ll lose your passion for writing. I guarantee it.”

So, I’m deciding to listen. “Kingdom” is a good novel in its own right and can stand on its own without causing too much stress for its readers. The sequel is going to focus on secondary characters, anyway, so the first is a complete story of a complete character arc in and of itself. That’s why I’m not so worried now about letting it sit for a while as I work on other projects that are much closer to being ready. I left no cliff-hangers, and the story wraps up quite definitively for the main character. So I’m not too worried that readers will hate me for keeping them waiting. It doesn’t technically “need” a sequel to finish it, but the story came to me, and it wants to be written. Just not right this second.

YEARLY GOALS

I won’t post all of them, because I’ve got several, some of which are not writing-related.

*Finish the draft and first round of edits of a book

This might end up being my first non-fiction offering, which I’m tentatively calling “Journey by Journal.” It’s going to help novelists power through writer’s blocks and keep tabs on their writing journey by journaling. The edits might be on “Queen’s Daughter,” the first book in “The Mending” series. (I’ve seriously got to get some info pages up on all these projects so you good people can keep up!)

*Set up email freebie and monthly newsletter

I’m not so consistent with blogging (as you, my dear, patient reader, know well). So I’m going to try to fix that by creating something AWESOME to give away, and then curating content and updates once a month for all my faithful readers. I want to include helpful writing articles, updates on my progress, and maybe even answer some questions or feature a reader’s blog/book. ^_^

*Guest post twice

I have not done a single guest post, and I really need to fix that.

*Be posting weekly to my blog

CONSISTENCY. I need to work on this. I’ve failed so far this year, but I wanna fix that going into next month.

*Win a contest on Writing.com

I’ve been entering tons of contests these past couple of months, and I’m determined to win at least one of them this year.

*Set up author fan page and get 100 likes

I haven’t done this yet. Why have I not done this yet?

*Read two books a month (24 total) NOT COUNTING spiritual reading.

I do daily spiritual reading as a matter of course, so I naturally get through quite a few spiritual books in a year. Which is GREAT. But I also need to start getting back into reading fiction. That’s how I learned in the very beginning, and it’s how I will continue to learn. Audiobooks are my new best friend, so I can listen while I’m folding laundry/walking on the treadmill/otherwise incapacitated but with nothing for my brain to do. In fact, I might post an accountability update each month to let you guys know what I’m reading and how I’m progressing. I read a new trilogy in November and December of last year via audiobook, and now I’m revisiting a favorite author, as he’s released a ton of new books since I last read his stuff back in high school. So this month, I’ve got “Forbidden” by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee, and then I’ll have to find another, maybe “Tales of Earthsea” by Ursula LeGuin. I’ve been wanting to read that one for a while.

I’m also thinking of maybe splitting it up by one fiction book, one writing how-to a month. That might also be a good balance. I’ve got lots of how-tos in my to-be-read pile.

Well, there they are. All my goals for this month, and for this year. Hopefully I can make good progress on them. But I’m not going to beat myself up too badly. After all, I now have a bundle of joy due in September. ^_^

Thanks for stopping by, and as always, I’ll see you on the next ship in!

Chat with me: What are your goals and resolutions for this year as far as writing goes? What’s your plan to reach those goals? Tell me in the comments below; I’d love to chat!

 

January 2017 Writing Goals

3 Comments

  1. Yes, why HAVEN’T you set up a Facebook page? Tsk tsk!

    Anyway, I think it’s wise to turn toward “The Mending,” especially if the sequel to your recent novel isn’t quite developed yet in the planning stage.

    It all sounds very exciting though. =3 I’m working on Margaret Graham’s “Liminality” series right now, but I have a little tab open in the back of my head to check out your novel afterward. ^^

    As for myself, I want to finish the draft of my “Whitemaiden” novel in May. It’s already been going on too long, mostly because of self-doubt and self-invented creative blocks. I had someone checking in on me and motivating me for a while, but he’s sort of slipped off the grid. Bummer. It’s nice to have someone pushing you!

    I still need to set some goals for my “artist” blog. Guest posting, yeah, need to look into that once I’ve got my head screwed on straight. And the email list. I have an opt-in idea, but I’ve been so lazy about actually putting it together! It’s a story, and I’m not sure what to do to revise it. Maybe that should be a priority this month?

    • Aly

      I know, I know. *hangs head* Awww, thanks! I hope you’ll enjoy it! (And if you wait until next week, I *might* be getting ready to do a free promotion…) It sounds like you’ve got some good ideas and goals for this year! I’d be happy to beta-read “Whitemaiden” for you when it’s finished!

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