Now that it’s December, I’ve realized how seriously I neglected this blog. I had good intentions; I figured a steady blog schedule would give me a regular number of words to count on that wouldn’t involve a lot of creative effort, but it turns out that I had so much creative work to do I didn’t have much extra time to devote to regular blogging. I mean, as far as failures go, I don’t think it’s a terrible deal.
I have been thinking of what 2018 is going to be like for me. I enjoyed 2017 enormously, regarding my creative endeavors, and I do not regret a single moment I spent writing and working toward my 365 Challenge. I feel like I earned the right to call myself a novelist in this last year, like I’ve finally taken big steps toward making my goals a reality. I take it seriously, now, and I think that makes those around me take it seriously, too. At least in so far as they know I mean it when I say I’m going to do this every day, without quitting, and even if they don’t believe I’ll make it as a novelist (I don’t need them to believe it), they believe I am going to try.
I truly cannot express how supremely happy I am with how much good work I got done with #WBMAM this year. My precious little project has grown so much, and so broadly, that it’s staggering to look at. I feel at peace with the way the story grows, constantly, and the textures and aesthetics and tone it strikes as it does so. It feels amazing to be a part of it, to have a hand in the way any one tendril of it will grow and stretch out. I have nurtured this vivid, beautiful garden from a fistful of seeds and I am forever in awe of the splendor that’s come from them.
I think, if anything, that might have made me feel the most confident in being able to call myself a novelist. This wonderful, intricate, multi-layered and -textured thing is mine. Wholly. All of it came from me, and seeing it alive and evolving before my eyes is something unique and special. I’m not just writing 100k fanfic anymore. Perhaps that’s always hindered me, actually. My very first novel – the first thing I was ever compelled to write in this way – was technically a fanfic. It was because I’d read some 12 books in a series and the last one was not due to come out for a long while; so, I wrote it myself. It was terrible, but it gave me a sense of delight that has been unmatched in any other hobby.
So I think I’ll be continuing the 365 Challenge through 2018. 2017 was a great test run; I hit my 365k goal (currently at 374k!) but unless I can pound out 125k in December I don’t think I’ll hit the Half Million goal. It’s still an enormous win: writing almost every single day, surpassing a goal of 1,000 words a day by the end of the year. I’ve only written for 11 months and I’m 9k ahead of target.
Which brings me to another item: I’ll be taking December “off” of the challenge, since I’ve already won and a rest would probably do a lot of good before launching right back into the challenge on January 1st. I’ll be using this month to spend time with my family, and get my house in order, and get my computer in order, and build up my playlists and inspiration boards, and read (and read and read and read!). I have all my Revisions Notebooks to finish preparing, so that’ll take ages. One of these days I’ll get some pictures together so I can show you all what those are and how they’ll work.
I would like to begin doing part-time writing jobs this year. Whether ghost writing or something else, I haven’t decided, but I want to supplement my own income with writing jobs.
I’m going to reign in my huge list of projects this year and focus on the One Big Universe (which holds 5 or 6 of the novel series I had in mind, so it’s still pretty substantial). There is A LOT of work to be done there, but I won’t resist if another project starts dinging at me in the back of my head or anything. I always follow inspiration when it pops up, so there won’t be a firm rule saying I can’t or anything. Just that my primary focus will be on the larger U.
I’m hoping to develop a specific schedule that I’ll actively abide by this year (fingers crossed). I’d like to take a day every month to do my “brainstorming” sessions on other WIP notes. Doing it more often isn’t as helpful as I’d thought it would be, and will only get pushed off more and more as I try to keep the daily writing habit. I’d like to build up a binder with all of these ideas sectioned off, so I can easily flip through and re-read and jot down any fresh ideas.
I would also like to dedicate one day every month for submissions. The lead up to this, though, is that I’ll have to separate out specific pieces so I already have pre-selected ones to choose from (instead of losing myself in the thousands of pieces I have, every time I plan on submitting one thing).
I’m still working up Black Out Poems as well, but hopefully those will become semi-regular little art projects I can share. I don’t want to commit to a regular schedule yet, until I have a better feel for it, because I did that with the excerpts and that did not work out.
I want to try to read every night before bed (and continue reading on my breaks at work), and hopefully review some of the books I read throughout the year. Also, regarding the books I want to read, I’m hoping to make a list of all WOC authors that I’d like to read this year, and if anyone has suggestions (my reading preferences are Fantasy and SciFi), please send them my way! I am also interested in reading stories with trans characters that are well done, so I’d love some recommendations of those, too!
I’ll get my “immediate TBR” pile selected (from books I already have) and will look to buying the two new TBR piles as I go along. I’ll probably be syncing this blog with my Instagram pretty heavily in this upcoming year, as well, so check me out on there if you want!
There’s also going to be a lot going on over in my writing group on Facebook, so feel free to pop in and join us! We’d love to have you. ☺️️