A Look Back

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. I rarely made them growing up, because I never really saw the point. If I wanted to change something, I didn’t bother waiting for the new year. I just changed it.

The beginning years of me trying to write a novel, I did begin making resolutions. Except, I didn’t think of them as resolutions, but rather as the setting of goals. As I’ve mentioned before, Origins took me several years to write, and I had a few false starts even before then. During those years, my goal was simply to finish a novel (check out that journey here).

2016 was when I really began to get serious about pursuing a writing career. I began the first draft of my current fantasy project that summer, but I only made it a few chapters in before I had to put it on hold. My mom had back/neck surgery that September, and I moved back home to help take care of her and take over the babysitting duties for my sister’s kids. My time grew shorter, and I got more exhausted, and I just didn’t put the effort into the project that it needed.

Then came 2017. My mom was on the mend and doing well, and I started looking to the future again. I bought my new laptop in January and began researching writing software (you can check out that search in Switching to Scrivener). And I made a specific, time-oriented goals. My birthday is June 29th. I wanted to complete my draft by that time, and be pursuing publication before the end of the year.

I didn’t make it. I’ve set this project aside numerous times over the course of this year, but, unlike the breaks I took with Origins, I filled the time with other writing pursuits that were incredible learning experiences for me, and I don’t regret a single one of them.

In March I entered James Patterson’s co-author competition. I didn’t win, but the experience was enriching and it’s something I can now use as writing credentials. I dedicated most of the summer months to revising and submitting Origins, which held its own learning experiences, even though it crashed and burned. There are many things I now know to do differently, and I can make the appropriate changes in how I approach my current fantasy project.

I also hadn’t realized how much I needed to close the book on Origins. It was always there, hovering on the edge of my mind, reminding me that the work was unfinished. Success felt so close, if only I could get the draft ready. Success wasn’t close, but I hadn’t learned that yet, and I needed that closure. I could always try again sometime in the future, but the draft needs a complete overhaul, and that’s a project in its own right. In fact, the failure of Origins is what inspired me to begin this blog, and one of my first posts was about Letting Go.

I got back into my current fantasy project in September, and I’ve been working mostly diligently ever since. I missed the deadlines I wanted to hit, but I reached other goals that I hadn’t known back in January that I needed to set. And, I kind of reached one goal. I did pursue publication before the end of the year, just not on the project I had planned.

So, on to 2018. My goals for the new year are much the same as they were this past year. Finish my current fantasy project. Publish it, pursuing self-publication if I must. Begin my next project, which is driving me nuts bouncing around in my head and screaming to get out. And I’m going to reach them this time.

 

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