I’m not one for making New Years resolutions. My previous attempts when I was younger were pretty lame, somewhere along the lines of “dye my hair” and “get a tattoo” (actually I did eventually get a tattoo but never bothered with the hair dying). But what about now, when I’m trying to build a writing career and actually have some tangible goals that I might be able to work towards?
Well the truth is that I tend to make little goals throughout the year and, for the most part, have actually stuck to them, such as writing one short story a week. It doesn’t need to be completed so long as I have the first draft down. It’s realistic and I feel like I’ve achieved something.
The thing is, now that I’ve mastered my short story writing technique (well, “mastered” is probably a bit strong; it’s as good as it’s going to get for now!), I feel I want to start expanding onto bigger things. I’ve been building up to writing a novel for some time now and I’ve always wanted to create a comic. There are no shortage of ideas in my fuzzy little head – I want to explore interactive story telling and create an anthology of short stories and and and . . .
Let’s be realistic: what can I achieve? Writing one short story a week is a good goal as well as being good writing practice so I’ll keep at that. I can usually dedicate around two and a half hours a day (through the week) to just writing; some of that can be used to work on my novel. I have to keep in mind that I often write reviews as well which eats up my writing time (in the nicest possible way!) so I will dedicate at least half an hour to writing my novel. The rest of the time will be split between writing reviews and short stories as needed.
Where do I fit in my other projects then? I often spend about an hour a day on research if I can – maybe some of that time can be transferred to working on something else. Even if I’m just noting down some ideas it will be useful. I used to alternate days between writing and drawing so in order to get back into that practice I should do that again.
I have a plan! Every month I will have written four short stories and a chapter of my novel (the stories should hopefully have been sent away). I will also have made progress with a new project, the details of which I will decide at a later date when I’ve figured out exactly what I’m doing! And of course I will continue to write game reviews and articles.
These goals are achievable for me. They are also realistic but progressive; if I can tick each of these boxes every month, I will be happy and I will have a productive year.
Good luck to everyone else who is planning writing resolutions!