As someone who has never been good about setting, let alone completing, writing goals – oh the NaNoWriMos that have come and gone! – I am hoping that the coronavirus lockdown and all the introspection that it has inspired will spill over into these, my first publicly blogged about WRITING GOALS:
1. Keep posting here on Mondays and on my other blog, Illustrated Poetry, on Tuesdays – this was my one goal for June and I met it! (Never hurts to set the bar low at first, build up the confidence). I had burnt out on blogging a few years ago and dropped off WordPress, and so I promised myself any return I made would be more measured and sustainable. With everything else going on in my life (and the world), 2 blog posts a week is my story and I’m sticking to it for a July goal.
2. Rewrite the first chapter of Enjoinjure – backstory: after graduate school, I wrote a fantasy novel about a dead woman who is trying to stop her murderer from wreaking any more havoc on her in the afterlife and on her surviving family. Like most first novels, it had some issues (read: a lot of issues) – it was way too long for starters and had extraneous characters and too many POVs. After an abortive attempt to get it published back then, I set it aside and there was definitely a time I didn’t think I’d come back to it. I thought I could quit the world and characters I created, but it turned out they didn’t want to quit me. So, about six months ago I began a major rewrite. I finished that rewrite and asked my beta reader to read it. And she took one look at the first chapter and handed the whole thing back to me! I have always seriously struggled with how to start a story – and I know this is a common problem. I am much happier with the overall story now, but yeah – the first chapter needs a major rewrite number 3. I’ve been putting off tackling this revision and my goal is to do it in July.
3. Put together an outline for my current untitled story – the way I decided to put off revising the first chapter of Enjoinjure was to start writing a completely different and unrelated story. It was supposed to be a short story about a woman who is trying to leave her husband – but it turns out he is a difficult man to leave because he brokers contracts for people to sell their souls to the devil. 50,000 words later, it is not a short story anymore and it has wildly outgrown what little plot organization I had arranged for it initially. Instead of continuing to procrastinate-write-it without any clue of what I’m doing, I should go see goal #2 and also get this story some semblance of order. I don’t typically outline stories (definitely not before I write but also usually never…), but this one seems to need a conductor, as the passengers have taken over driving the train.
Thank you, Steve, for the inspiration to do these! May our posts serve as a little positive peer pressure for each other!