This year I have a plan. Yes you read those words correctly, this year while writing I am also dedicating time to completing the projects that are begging to be set free. I have created a spreadsheet with all of my existing projects. There is a colour coded system so that I can glance at it and know what I am meant to be working on. There is one particularly important column, it contains a month for publication. At this moment in time the column takes me beyond July 2019. The dates are allowed to move a little, just not too much, and preferably closer instead of further into the distance. Within the list there are seven novels they are made up of a trilogy, a duology (I’m using that term as it has been debated somewhere and I like the sound of it) and two stand-alone novels, three are mostly complete. There are also accidental sci-fi stories for children and the story which was the runner up in my local writing group competition. There is a strong possibility of this turning into a series of short stories for children, I blame my daughter as she asked for more. With the guidance of the spreadsheet I am going to move forward at a steady pace and enjoy the journey.
I joined the 10 Minute Novelists #365 club at the lowest level of 100,000 words for 2016. This is a number that covers the new stuff that I want to write this year, it also gives me freedom to finish the final run through of the novel that is begging to be published. Joining #365 gave me the opportunity to create another spreadsheet - so I did. It is a daily tracker with the next few months already planned, I also keep track of any editing that I achieve. I allow myself to swap the daily subjects around and so far it is allowing me to move forward at a good pace. Even though it doesn't feel as though I have made much progress I can see that I have. The big plan is to write at least 10,000 words and to complete 10 hours of editing per month, all of this is manageable.
In January there were a few days where I was unable to write. Illness that stayed with me from Boxing day until the end of January meant that I struggled with juggling my day job and writing. Naturally the day job had to take priority as it pays the bills so I was pleasantly surprised when I earned my first two badges. I had not realised that these were out there, it was lovely to see recognition of what I had achieved.
In February I had days when I felt too sad to write but oddly I was full of new ideas. Having a target forced me to continue, it also gave me something ‘normal’ to cling to. I moved off plan and let myself switch between projects, any writing was progress towards my long term goal. Family became extra important, terminal illness (not me) had progressed much faster than predicted. A bonus this month was a writing group workshop. I have known for some time that there is a great deal of knowledge within the group, once in a while this knowledge is shared in the form of a workshop. I am incredibly fortunate to be a member of such a talented group.
March was accompanied by days when I was unable to write but I gently nudged myself and and managed to hit my targets. There was also a surprise yellow splat for those who reached the quarterly target. The characters took over (again) and introduced another new chapter into the WIP. Towards the end of the month death visited my family, there is no pretty way for me to say this and it is why I have not been myself on social media. It spurred me on a little and I was awarded some more badges.