Yeah, yeah. It’s only December, which is pretty early to be making a goals post for the new year. But I’m a rebel or something. And I’ve been looking back on this year and then looking ahead and figuring out what I want to accomplish. So this post will be purely the numbers without specifics. I’ll do another post on the specifics (things to work on, etc) at a more traditional time (like say, January 1st?).
This last year was all about building up my magic bakery and figuring out a lot of things about my writing style and working modes. I’ll do a full summary post about how this year went sometime this month. But the short version is that by February I’ll have four novels out to traditional publishers in four different genres. That’s a decent start to my bakery. I’ll also have about 25-35 short stories out to markets (depending on many factors like hopefully sales). That’s a good start, too.
2011 is going to be all about taking it up a notch and all about dipping my feet (and legs and body) into the e-publishing world. I’m going to be writing novels and novellas almost exclusively for e-publishing next year while I continue to shop around those four novels with trad publishers. I’m not ruling out writing a novel or two for trad publishing next year, but it won’t be my focus (unless I get a contract and have to write a sequel or something. But that’s the sort of hiccup in a plan you hope for, not count on).
Besides getting my feet wet with e-publishing, my main goal this year is to get more consistent with my writing. I’m a bit of a binge writer and I’d like to stop being so all or nothing and work more on just getting *something* done most days of the week. I’m a generally competitive person, so to further this goal I’ve undertaken a couple of challenges that will hopefully (and are so far) spur me to get just more done in general.
The first challenge is with a friend of mine and the goal is to write 100,000 words a month. That’s about 5k words a day, 5 days a week. So about 4-6 hours of work, 5 days a week. I tried this in November but got derailed at the halfway mark due to wrist pain and some other health issues, but I’ve adjusted my workspace and am working on the other things, so hopefully that will no longer stand in my way. However, I’m still not sure that, as a naturally shorter length writer, I can quite manage 100k words a month. So I’ll probably just owe her a lot of dinners since I’m setting my goal at about 75,000 words, which works out to 2500 words a day, 30 days out of the month, or 3750 words if I only work 5 days a week. Which is 2-4 hours of writing a day, and completely doable even with wrist issues because I can break it down with lots of rest periods.
The second challenge is the story a week challenge. Ray Bradbury did this, writing one story and submitting it each week. We all know how well that worked out for him. Some other writers I know have started the challenge and are calling it the “Write 1 Sub 1” challenge. The title there will link to the website detailing the challenge. With short stories I’ll be sending them to all the pro-paying magazines first before putting together any collections for e-publication. I intend to bring back my old “Short Story Monday” thing for this, so that each Monday will be dedicated to writing a short story and submitting it by Friday.
Ideally, over all, my goals break down thusly:
900,000 words total by end of December 2011.
240,000 words of full length novels for e-pub or trad pub.
200,000 words of shorter novels for e-pub.
300,000 words of novellas for e-pub.
160,000 words of short fiction for pro-paying magazines and/or e-pub.
That’s the numbers for 2011. It looks like a lot, but it breaks down to under 3 hours of writing a day, which really isn’t that much. Writing is my job and I damn well better be willing to put at least 2-3 hours a day of work into my job. Fortunately, having to do only 3 hours or so of writing a day means I’ll have plenty of time to put in the hours for the things that aren’t writing, like formatting, editing, wasting time online (ahem, I mean…researching!), reading, playing videogames, etc. What? Videogames are totally integral to my job. Really. Seriously. It’s…uh… consumption of story! Vital. Totally vital.