This writing lark is a fickle business. I fizzled out on NaNoWriMo 2017 because my heart was with a different project and I just couldn’t devote the thinking time to the NaNo one, let alone the writing time to it.

Then December hits, I play around late one night with an old manuscript idea from a few years back because I’m too tired to do anything serious, kind of figure out where the scene was going, and…

…next thing I know, I’ve written 65k words on a new project in five weeks.

Bad first draft words, obviously. Not good words, not by any stretch. And I’m still not quite finished the story yet, so I’m ploughing on until I do, get a full Draft Zero down on the page to kick of 2018. It’s a nice way to start the year, if entirely unplanned, because frankly the last thing I need is yet another long-form writing project to think about.

But hey, whatever works.

It has made me revise my 2018 working plan, though. So, here’s my current whiteboard:

Yeah, I know, the image is a bit unclear, but that’s deliberate. There’s a few scribbled notes on there that are my thinking/planing I wanted to have blurred out for the rest of the world. But to give you a thrust of the main bits, these are my writing goals for 2018:

Long Form projects –

  1. Continue querying/subbing the completed MS (a.k.a. The Cards One), trying to find a nice publishing home for it. This will take as long as it takes.
  2. Finish Draft Zero of new project (a.k.a. The Thief One), however bad the words, just get it down on the page and then let it sit and percolate untouched for a while. D0 to be completed before the end of Jan.
  3. Finish editing/redrafting to Draft 2~3 of the current WIP (a.k.a. The City One), getting it to the point where I can seek professional feedback/structural editing feedback so as to identify where to focus efforts on the next draft after that – work on it through Feb/March, and maybe another cut in July/Aug, depending on time taken for other projects.
  4. Edit/redraft/polish the Novella (a.k.a. The Library One) that was originally drafted in 2016-2017, and submit it to an already identified novella market in Sep/Oct. Work to begin in March(ish), after Project 3 editing round 1 is done.
  5. Either – 5(a) redraft The Thief One to a coherent, sensible, readable-by-others Draft One which can be shown to peers for feedback, or 5(b) work on redrafting of The City One after professional feedback received – timing entirely depends on the other projects above
  6. Bonus Project #1: if there’s time, finish Draft Zero of a full length manuscript version of a novella written 5~6 years ago (a.k.a. The Western One)
  7. Bonus Project #2: start thinking about the other contemporary story that’s been kicking about in my head for a while (a.k.a. The Wedding One) for possible initial drafting in 2019

Will I get time to do all of the above? No fucking way, folks. But I think I will get through a good chunk. I’ll finish this Draft Zero of The Thief One I’m on a current roll with. I’ll finish editing The City One and hopefully get it to a point where I can seek detailed professional feedback. And The Cards One, the completed manuscript, will continue to be sent out to the publishing & agenting world with fingers crossed throughout the year.

I really really really want to finish the Novella – The Library One – but I’m feeling a bit dodgy about the overall plot at the moment and it really needs some concerted thinking time attached. We’ll just have to see how that goes.

And none of this makes any room for short fiction, which I’ve been promising myself I’ll get back to writing more seriously soon, because while I have a couple of short stories lined up for publication in the next few months, and while I have a couple of others waiting to hear back from possible publications, I really want to be submitting more stories more often to more markets. Publishing short stories is a numbers game. You’ve just got to keep sending stuff out there.

But I’m a lover of novels at heart, reading them and writing them, and so short fic keeps getting pushed out the way. Ah well. I’ll try to squeeze some in through the year somewhere.

Right, that’s my year planned. Not counting my professional full time day job, being a mother to my two little kiddies, one of whom starts 3yo kinder this year and the other starts primary school, squeezing in exercise and trying to achieve some physical health goals, plus occasionally remembering to see my family every now and then.

So, you know, 2018 looks busy. Lucky I work best that way…