It’s tempting to say this is where it all begins, but it’s really not. Not yet.
So let’s do a little background work, shall we?
The resolutions I’ve laid out are, I think, fairly straight-forward. Are they going to be easy? Hell no. I’m juggling a full-time, non-writing job alongside all this. But that’s kind of the point. If creative writing was an easy field, there wouldn’t be any struggling, starving artists out there.
Anyway. The resolutions.
1) Spend at least one hour every day doing something to benefit my writing.
This includes the obvious writing/rewriting bit, as well as important background work like developing plots and characters, or working on my little background story “sketches” and editing. What won’t count is reading, researching, and blogging. I know some days I’ll be scrambling to get that hour done, and other days I’ll breeze through it. That’s just the way it is. But I’ve tried the minimum word count goal before, and I habitually laze about, procrastinating until I have to bust out a whole bunch of writing in one day. So…timed goals it is.
2) Beat novel manuscript into shape and get it ready for submission.
I’ve done 2.5 drafts so far. Draft #2.5 is basically garbage. But I’m waiting until I have my new laptop before I get started on Draft #3. The new laptop will apparently ship tomorrow, but I’m not sure how long it will take to arrive. But that gives me some time to print off a fresh copy of Draft #2 (and maybe a copy of Draft #2.5 for reference) and re-edit it before the rewriting begins.
3) Enter a minimum of 8 short story contests within the year.
To be honest, that number is kind of arbitrary. There are a lot of contests I could enter. But considering I can’t write full-time, and I’ll also be spending a lot of time working on my manuscript, I don’t think I’ll be able to devote the time to enter every possible contest this year. 8 entries gives me roughly 6 weeks between each contest (assuming they’re spread out evenly.) And I’ve already picked out a couple contests and set out the dates in my day planner. But the most important part of the entries is to act as a safe outlet for my short attention span. Otherwise, I’ll skitter away from the main project and have a hard time returning to it. In the past, picking one “distraction project” has worked to keep me from getting too far off-course.
So that’s the deal. Or at least as much of it as I’ve contemplated at 2am. Which, considering how late it is and how coherent all that text is, is pretty good.