Monday 1st February 2021
It’s a new month, and with it some of my writing aims change. I have a schedule I want to keep to for the year, however January – despite starting well – really was a struggle.
So rather than delay my previous milestone, I’m using the start of new scheduled projects as a chance to do something a bit different and reset.
It means I have a lot of projects I’m trying to juggle. I still have this first draft to finish off, that I plan to dip into over the coming weeks and months and eventually finish it. That’s now the lowest priority, and I’m hoping the lack of pressure will aid me. I was speaking to a writer friend and explaining all the various reasons this novel has felt like treacle. He too has had a hard time writing and could see it as completely understandable why progress has been slow.
Next, I’ve got another novel to plot. The idea of these 2- week breaks in schedules is to give me a bit of breathing room before diving into another first draft or edit. It also allows projects to have a slight overrun. This book is an epic fantasy but it’s not very traditional. I have a rough idea of two of the characters and the end of the story but little else. The aim of the next two weeks is to give those few ideas I have some focus and try and pull together some form of outline.
However, my priority for the next couple of weeks are short stories. I feel the shorter word count will make it a little easier to write, which is something I need after working on a first draft. I’ve got a bunch of submission deadlines over the next 6 weeks, none of them commissioned. I have stories I want to write from scratch, I have stories I want to revisit and edit. The idea is that I do this work over the next couple of weeks as some form of palette cleanser.
This week I really want to work on two shorts. The first is The Shop At The Bottom Of The Hill, which is based on a dream I had a few weeks ago. I started that today and got the 1st 3rd of a rough draft down. Next I have a short story I submitted to an anthology a couple of years back but got rejected. I thought it was a really good story so I want to revisit it and as – hopefully- a better writer, look at improving it. I think it’ll suit a number of the markets I have lined up.
Of course, there’s no guarantee my short will get picked up but I received feedback on a story I wrote last year and it does seem to me that the feedback I’m getting is less pointing out flaws in my craft and more saying it just didn’t fit with what they needed in the anthology.
We’ll see though. I’m hoping that by having a lot of little tasks rather than one big one, I can get at least some of these various projects completed and start turning the tide of low productivity of the last few weeks.
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