The awesome group of writers I associate myself with on Twitter have started a wonderful, supportive hashtag: MondayWIPGoals
Now, normally, I am all for goals, and deadlines. In fact I work better with a deadline, at work at least. But when it comes to personal goals… well. And it’s not limited to writing. Dieting, exercising, reading (I know, I’m a librarian), basically, if it’s for me, it gets put on the to-do list last.
You can image how often I meet my goals, with a full time day job (librarian at a university), 9 year old, and now a puppy (what was I thinking!) I started my current WIP – my first real attempt at writing a novel – in late August, and ramped up for NaNoWriMo in November. I actually had 50K words by the end of the month.
But since then, well it’s been hard to find/make time to sit down for serious writing. The goal of publishing my novel keeps slipping further away (like the scene in Monty Python’s Holy Grail…)
Other Barriers to Writing
Additionally, I am going through some financial issues that I just realized will affect my ability to profit from publishing, at least for a few years. Now I’m not suggesting my debut novel is going to be the next Harry Potter, or The Martian, but, I, like most authors, hope my work makes an impression, is a best seller, or maybes wins an award. Unfortunately, the world will have to wait a little longer before I break onto the scene.
More time for World Building
I am okay with this. It means more time for world building. Last night, as I stared at my computer trying to force a scene to magically write itself again (anyone play with a Ouija board as a kid?), it became apparent that there are creatures and beings in my world I haven’t fleshed out. Orcs are great, but what other creatures might an evil demi-god bring back from the Void to seek revenge on two realms? Also, there are a few plot… points that need more massaging (I don’t like to call them plot holes, some of my characters might fall through them!) Since this WiP is only the first book of an open ended series, I will have time to start on the plots, outlines and summaries for the next book or two.
Honing my Craft
Writing every day still needs to be a priority, but not necessarily on my current WIP. Working on improving my writing through short stories and challenges (another enriching activity my Twitter friends provide and support each other through) is just as important and will eventually help make my novels better when I eventually send them out for publication (hopefully get an agent first!) In the meantime, I also have this blog/website I can post more regularly to, bat around some old ideas I’ve been thinking of expanding, and even dredge up some short stories I wrote years ago that need editing.
When I first thought about having to wait to finish and query my WIP, I felt this would be the end of my motivation. However, I think it will make me a better writer, and maybe my debut will be a best seller (hey, I’ve gotta have dreams).