Unintentionally funny listing in 2010 Writer’s Market. Free Spirit Publishing’s recent titles include a book called Making Differentiation a Habit. On the next line down, begin publisher’s tips: “Our books are issue-oriented, jargon free…”
And the fates laughed. I knew that as soon as I made a plan, the universe would rebel.
“You have five hours scheduled into your week for writing? How about if I send you a rotator cuff injury? What if you had to spend your time on doctor’s appointments, special exercises and ice packs, all while moving at 75% your usual speed? What then, hmmm? Think you can handle it? How about if I pile on two unexpected snow days out of school for your children? Think you’ll do those five hours now?”
And I reply: Ohhhmmmmmmm. I will not wait for my normal life before I start writing. Ohhhmmmmmmm. This is normal life; I will write anyway.
But I didn’t make my five hours the first week. My writing log tells me I clocked a total of 4.1 hours. Looks like I have some make-up to do in the next seven days.
I’d like to announce that I’ve already made progress on my writing-related goals for 2010 by improving my blog, however slightly. Look over to the right. I finally have a “follow” button and have also add an RSS feed option.
My writing goals for the coming year and beyond can be summed up under one umbrella resolution: Treat my writing more like a job. This means I will establish regular office hours and I can’t take off from work willy-nilly. If I need to miss work, then I’ll need to make up the hours. With the demands of my “real” job, my old house, my two children, my pets, etc. I find it all too easy to sacrifice my writing time to dentists and veterinarians and school staff who need volunteers to help with a project, not to mention all the time I spend at the hardware store. Since my regular job is part-time, in theory I have a couple of days a week when the kids are in school that I should be able to devote to my writing. In reality, those are the days I end up doing all of my appointments and errands. Then I try to fit in the writing around all the rest. A lot of times, the writing doesn’t happen. I aim to change this.
I’ve broken down my general intention into smaller, specific goals. From past experience I’ve learned I need to keep my goals limited to things I can control. So my list doesn’t include the goal of having someone else publish a piece of my writing, but it does include how many pieces of writing I want to finish and send out during the year. The hope is to have them published, of course, but since I can only control my end of the process, that’s where I need to focus.
My list of writing goals:
Set regular office hours and stick to them, at least five hours per week.
Finish the rewrite on my novel and offer it for consideration to at least ten outlets (publishers and/or agents) before the end of the year, unless someone accepts it before I reach ten.
Write at least four short stories and send them out into the world. I decided on four for the year, because I have four ideas floating in my head right now.
I currently have a book of poetry entered in a contest. If I don’t win that, I will offer the manuscript for consideration to at least ten other outlets or until it is accepted for publication, whichever comes first.
I will not let a month end without sending out at least one item.
I’ll update my blog at least three times each month. I figure once every ten days or so is a minimum. I will learn more about the nifty features of my blog and attempt to improve it.
Happy 2010 everyone! Let’s get some writing done!