Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011 Writing Goals

So here is an idea of what I hope to accomplish in 2011 for writing:
  • 1000 words written per day.
  • Write three new rough drafts of novels (through daily writing, see above goal).
    • War
    • Elements 2
    • Elements 3
  • 12 short stories written and edited. (One per month).
  • Edit two complete novels (probably Grandpa and War).
  • Complete NaNoWriMo 2011
  • Read 100 books in the year (mostly classics). Two per week, plus posting reviews of them.
You're crazy Tom! Explain yourself!
Well, if I assume I can write 1000 words per day, 7 days a week, I would end up with about 365,000 words written in the year. I realize that every day without fail is a little much, so I’ve put in a buffer. If I take 10% of the days off for vacation, holidays, bumming around and sickness, which means I need to increase the daily word count by 10%. So daily goal for actual writing days in 1100 words. 
And in that I get 36 days off for vacation/sickness/etc.
Not a bad gig, but still a lot of work. 1000 words per day generally takes me 1-2 hours. It’s quite a commitment, but something I’ve managed to keep pace with pretty well over the last few months, so I think I can do it for an entire year, and I need to if I hope to become published someday.
Assuming 100,000 words per novel, that’s three complete novels + 65,000 words leftover for Short stories and other stuff.
So far I’m only talking about creation. This year I hope to add something new: editing. Thus far in my writing career I’ve only done rough drafts (very rough) and I hope to move that forward this next year. In 2011 I will to branch into Short stories for a couple of reasons.
They are fun, quick, and once edited and finalized, I can start submitting them to magazines, anthologies, online contests and other things. I can’t submit if I don’t have something completed.
Learning to edit the shorter stories will hopefully help me gain the skills to edit two of my completed rough drafts.
This is in addition to the 1-2 hours per day I’m already spending creating new content. I’m not sure if this is something I can handle. Some authors are able to keep up with writing in one book, then editing an article, another novel, and posting blog entries all in a single day. I’m still learning who I am as a writer and what I can accomplish. I could very well find out I’m only able to concentrate on one aspect of writing per day.
In that case I might have to put down creation of a new novel while I’m editing another. I’ll just have to see. I want to dip my toe in the water first with short stories, then ramp up into novels later in the year.
The reading thing is something that will be rough. 2 books per week is surprisingly hard given that I have a family, personal life, work, and I’m writing as well. I think the only way to accomplish this is to cut TV and video games out, which I’m hesitant to do but if it’s important enough to meet the goal, I’ll do it. This year will be a very different year for me if that’s the case. I love playing WoW and love certain TV shows, so I’ll have a tough choice ahead of me.
As for the classics portion, well I’ve shirked my responsibilities as a reader for far too long. There are many older books I’ve never read and I think it’s time I do something to catch up.
Posting reviews, regardless of how small I feel is a good “give back” gesture. For years I’ve relied on other people’s reviews on Amazon to choose which books to read. I think it a good use of time to jot down my feelings about a book (which I should be journaling anyway) and posting those on the net, which if done right should only take a couple minutes per book to post.
So there you have it. My crazy list of 2011 goals. I will post from time to time on my progress and sum up at the end of the year. I look forward to all your support as I try to become keep writing daily, improve my skills as a writer by learning how to edit my books, and move toward my eventual goal of becoming published and becoming a full-time author.

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