Happy 2017 folks! Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year!
New Years always brings a flurry of hope and optimism with them. After the last year, I think we all need it! This optimism leads to people making resolutions and promises to themselves and others. If you have been around here long enough, you will know I don’t do resolutions. I break them the moment I make them! Instead, I set myself goals I want to achieve. These are either for my own well-being or in the interests of improving my writing.
To say the least, I have had limited success with the goals I set myself last year.
Try to write something every day or every week. Writing every day is not easy. I was either being too lazy or life was taking too much of a priority. Looking at my spreadsheets, it shows that, on average, I wasn’t writing 11 days each month. I was achieving my word counts most months, until I gave myself a new word count after achieving it. This was a short sighted move. I ended the year with a deficit of 4,848 words. I am still proud of that when I compare it to 12,700 word one I went into November NaNoWriMo with.
It hasn’t been all bad on this front. I have been reviewing my word goals every three months. This has proven helpful. It made me reset some of them because of life and how that was going to impact on my writing. This is something I wouldn’t have done without the Word Nerds talking about it in their videos.
Post once a week, every week on this blog. Partial success again that fell by the wayside at the end of the year. I did achieve this, putting November and December aside. I was writing or reblogging something roughly once a week.
Read more. Uh, yeah. I am calling this one a failure. I did read stuff, like the Rivers of London comics and started reading books but did I finish them? Not many. Going by my GoodReads Reading Challenge, I set myself a target of 25 books and read 23. Some were rereads, like Doctor Who Writers Tale: The Final Chapter, quite a few were comics, like Kingsman and Green Arrow New 52 Vol. 1, then there were indie books like Witch At Heart and Preternatural Affairs. So a mix and I did complete some books but I still feel like that I just didn’t read enough or finish enough books.
Participate in as many writing/National Novel Writing Month events as possible. Done and dusted on the NaNoWriMo front but definitely not on the writing event front. I participated in the DraeBox Writers Club challenge, which was a lot of fun. I will be again this year and I am looking forward to it. I am not resetting this goal for this year though. Instead I am replacing it.
Reason being, I think the universe has been trying to say something. Few recent experiences have made me think this. Firstly, I was talking with good friends of mine about drafting. We noted that we seem to always be starting or restarting drafts but never finishing them.
Secondly, I have been seeing tweets about committing to finishing 1 draft of a manuscript in 2017. It’s just typical I can’t find any of them now. This is what got me considering this new goal.
Thirdly, as I was writing this and reflecting on the past year, I realised something. I have spent more time on just one story than I have done in a long time. That story is the dark witch story. I have had some detours but I have always gone back to this one.
Spending so long on it, talking with friends and seeing the tweets have made me want to get at least one draft done. I want to be able to say I have finished something.
So my goals for 2017 are:
- Write something at least once a week, every week.
- Post once a week, every week on this blog.
- Read more and finish books.
- Complete at least one draft of one story.
What goals are you setting or pursuing this year? Had any luck with your goals or resolutions last year? Wishing you all the best for 2017!
Final Word Count: 6,465 words
I am quite proud of that total despite not writing for 9 days and it cut some of my deficit.
Most of what I wrote was exposition stuff, description and explaining how the school works. It’s not exactly the most interesting but necessary. I also went off track too by writing a scene from later in the story and a scene that really belongs in a possible sequel. They explore a possible story line that I am still figuring out and don’t want to discuss at the moment as discussed in my last update. I have also been reconsidering certain characters and their portrayal and who they are really. That could be an interesting experience as the changes are things I have never attempted writing before.
This is only an early draft so what’s written now will get rewritten hopefully and some story lines, characters and ideas may get stripped out.
I have also spent the end of last month working on a suggestion from Draebox of having a second project to work on when I hit a block on the first. Currently, that project is looking like it could be my NaNoWriMo/November 2014 and very little progress has happened however I have had a breakthrough on it. The second project may change yet but we will see.
Overall, last month was quite successful and the exposition will help me later. Having a second project could help so what I discuss in these updates could vary. I will try not to make it confusing. Aims for this month? Get as much written as possible to delay any issues that will present themselves over the next two months due to life stuff. I will be incredibly busy so writing will fall to the wayside. It is inevitable but if I can get ahead now, that will help a lot. No plans to take part in NaNoWriMo fully but I will try to enter some words some days.
How was last month for you? Plans for this month? Entering NaNoWriMo in November. Don’t be afraid to comment below.
I think this describes me at the moment with my story. Hoping I will fall back in love with the current story.
Word Count: 705 words
So a bit of an improvement over last time but not by much therefore, another quick update really.
Those words have been on her last couple of weeks of home life and I have finally started on her journey to school! Well, I say that but really it’s just her waking up, remembering she is leaving to start a new adventure and getting dressed. Also, her cat has decided to use the word worms to describe people he sees below them. I am hoping that is actually funny but I will see eventually.
I have no idea what it is over the past week but I’ve had the time to write but I just seem to procrastinate and not write. Maybe it’s all the free time, maybe it’s the freedom, maybe it’s something else but for now, I just need to focus on actually using that time productively and just writing.
Part of that procrastination has been thinking about July and wondering if I should start another story or rewrite another one but I keep circling back to actually wanting to get this story written. Get this draft done at least. I think it’s born out of the fact I have struggled to do just that. Life has been through a few changes as of late and over the last couple of years which I think has contributed to me struggling to write and complete stories. Now I am settled, maybe it means I will finish a draft. Or maybe it’s just a good intention that will go.
How’s your writing going? Better? Worse? Had thoughts about July? If anyone has any advice about sitting my butt down and writing and maybe even completing a draft of a story at least, I would appreciate it. Have fun and I hope all the words come to you.
Final Word Count: 22,304 words
Know what I was saying last time about having a winners banner at the top of the post for yesterday? Well, obviously, I didn’t. I spent two days curled under a blanket, cold and feeling ick, so no writing happened. The knock on effect was that I just didn’t have the time to write the words remaining.
The love interest didn’t get his full introduction, intended to happen in the book store, and instead my FMC might be getting a kitten instead who is very similar to her, I think. I guess I will have to see. That’s actually about all I’ve really written, so minimal.
Over all, last month was rambling, bouncing around and far too detailed for the start of the book. I am not sure entirely how that happened. I know it is partly because it was quite heavily changed from the original draft and I went down the wrong path when I started writing. But quite how it went all over the place so I am not even hitting the school stuff, I have no idea. I have noted the odd issue already on here when I have written updates, including the fact that I think I have started the story too early in story time.
I have wondered if part of the reason that the story is going so slowly is that I have my FMC alone so much. In the other draft, my FMC had someone to talk to, a friend of sorts. This is something I have noticed and why the love interest and the cat has dominated my thinking a bit. I need another character who she can interact with before she gets to school. Perhaps the cat is the way to go for now.
Another issue that has slowed the story I think is the domestic abuse storyline. I think I may have gone a little far with that and it has no use with being so close to the surface. The way I’ve introduced it doesn’t feel perhaps as it should. Of course, it is something that jumped into the foreground suddenly. It has its place but it shouldn’t be appearing much as it is.
That will get sorted eventually, should I ever rewrite this, but for now I know I need to keep writing. Once I get those words written and the story is finished, I will know how to rewrite it in a much tighter form. At least that’s the idea. I already know one or two parts that needs removing and reworking, but as I said, that will all be sorted later. For now, writing.
Congratulations to anyone who got their word count and if you didn’t, know you are amazing for taking on such a challenge. Some words are better than none. How do you think you got on? Good? Bad? Are you continuing your story, planning to rewrite and edit or just putting it aside? Don’t be afraid to comment below.