Friday, January 1, 2016

Welcome to 2016!

It's a new year, and that means a whole new set of "resolutions." I say it like that because I make writing goals every year, so it doesn't fit the standard model of what you might think of when someone says resolutions.

Because of my head injury last August, and the resulting recovery, I thought I'd go easy on myself for 2016. The first thing I did, with the help of my youngest daughter, was take my favorite story ideas--that I hadn't started writing yet, that was key--put them up on the dart board and whatever the dart hit was the story I'd write.

The idea stemmed from a Facebook meme, of all things, that referred to today, the first day of a new year, as the first page of your book. I thought it would be fun to write a page a day of one story, not including Sundays--because I don't write on Sundays. Including the leap day, that's 314 pages--which is a pretty respectable size book!

But one page a day is hardly any effort, and even with my head injury I figure I can do more than that. I wrote down a list of all the stories that I've started but haven't finished, figuring that by working on those stories I could feel I've accomplished something each day--except it's a sizable list. There are currently TEN books/stories I've started but haven't finished. That's a workload that doesn't exactly fall in line with the idea of going easy on myself--on my brain, which is really what I'm trying to do. Work but not overtax myself. Remind my brain that writing is something we do.

I've written in some cushions for these goals--ways to keep from overdoing it this year--because, let's face it, brain health is important. I have to strike a balance between working too hard and not working enough. I also have to give myself some leeway for bad days, days that writing even one page is too much for me.

This is that balance: While I have a lot of lofty writing goals, I have NO (zero, none) publishing goals for 2016. I mean it. If I do get around to publishing something this year it will be because the story is absolutely ready, and my only other option with it is to shelve it until 2017. Remember that at the end of 2014 and throughout 2015 I had rather lofty publishing goals--and I met every single one of them, in spite of my head injury. (of course, most of them were met before I got hurt...)

So, I plan to publish nothing in 2016. I'm going to write--which is the fun part of my job as an author--and work on the existing stories I have. Sure, I hope to have stories ready to publish in 2017, but I'm not putting a number on that. I'm not putting a deadline on it. Part of my reasoning is, as I've mentioned, to give my brain time to heal properly, but the rest of it is to help rediscover the fun of writing. This year I'm going to swashbuckle with some pirates, write a tragedy, solve a mystery in Paris, go back to Fayterra, go underground with a princess, explore the angst of a vampire with a penchant for citrus fruit, and shoot across the stars with a changeling who thinks high school on Earth will be a cinch.

Now, doesn't that sound like fun? :)

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