It’s that time of year again. Time to celebrate another year successfully conquered and a new one beginning. Each year, I make the standard “New Years Resolutions”: lose some weight, exercise more, eat healthier (those are the required ones, right?). BUT. This year, I have also made some specific writing goals, and I fully intend to keep them.
Before I delve into 2015, I think it’s important to reflect on the previous year and all of its accomplishments. I mean, what’s the point of accomplishing a bunch of stuff if I don’t get to enjoy the fact that they’re done?
In January, I honestly had no idea I was going to write a book. I had just gotten married, so my focus was admittedly elsewhere, but it never occurred to me to write a full-length novel that year. My plan was to continue what I was doing: write more short stories and hope that eventually it would prepare me for the novel-writing adventure. About March, that changed. I had a kernel for a novel, so I wrote out all of the ideas I could into a notebook and then translated them to scene cards. Then I actually started writing. In two and a half months, I churned out 51,000 words, countless sweat beads and tears, and maybe a little blood. But, goshdarnit, I did it. I wrote my first novel (Deception), and, by December 31st, I had worked that sucker all the way up to 72,000 words. You can read a blog post about what I learned during that adventure.
I also published my first three short stories. Aside from my writing accomplishments in grade school, I’d never been published before. But I took a short story that had been edited so many times, I literally couldn’t stand to read it once more and put it out for the world to judge (“Shattered“). Four months later, I published “Army Girl,” and in December, I released “Soul Hero.”
Side note: also in 2014, I got married, I ran a half marathon, and my husband and I adopted a second kitten. Pretty great year.
Now that I know what I can do, I’m dangerous. I know I have the persistence (read: stubbornness) to write a novel-length story, and, honestly, that was one of my biggest fears: that I wouldn’t have a novel in me. But I’ve destroyed that brick wall and now I’m coming for the rest of those walls in my life.
My goal is to publish two more short stories this year. “The Psychiatrist” is a crime thriller and is probably the closest short story I have to Deception. I’m not sure what the second one will be, but it won’t come out until December, so I’ve got time. 🙂
Right now, Deception is in the editing phase. I’m about a quarter of the way through with it at my writers group, and it is still out with six beta readers. I should (notice the italics) be done with editing about August/September, and I plan to send it out to agents then. Exciting!
The Grudge is the novel I’m working on now. I have all of the big plot points figured out, and I’m about two-thirds done with my index cards. Either mid-February or March, I will be able to start writing my second novel, and by July, I’ll be solidly into my editing phase.
This one is still under consideration, but Captured is a novel idea my husband had. However, he writes mostly fantasy, and this story would be more thriller/government/military/gun stuff… right up my alley. So we thought it would be really cool to collaborate on a novel together. He already has the outline for it done, so when I’ve finished writing The Grudge, he and I will start working out the details together, and I should be able to finish writing it by year-end (January 2016 at the latest).
All in all, I have a very busy year ahead of me, and I can’t wait to get started! 🙂