Writing Goals for 2015

I know that there are a couple of days left in this year, but I felt like the beginning of the week would be just as good a place to put this post as any.

Looking back at the goals that I made for 2014, the only thing off of that list that I actually accomplished was finishing the novel I started for NaNoWriMo 2013. As you know, I did this by completely rewriting it for NaNoWriMo 2014. And, while I’m disappointed in myself for not having completed any of the other goals, I do think that the fact that I completed the big one, so to speak, is pretty exciting.

So, here are some of the writing goals that I have for myself for this upcoming year.

  1. This year’s “big” goal is that I want to finish editing my novel, Collecting Humanity.
  2. Another main goal for me is that I want to try my hand at freelance writing again.
  3. I’m also planning on blogging regularly both here and at No Penny Required. I made a commitment to both these blogs when I decided to purchase their domain names. I’m also playing with the idea of once again trying to create some sort of author website using Wix.
  4. You may have noticed in the sidebar that I’m going to give myself the poem a day challenge again as well. Even if it’s winds up being something I can’t use, I want to get something down.
  5. The same applies to short stories. I want to try to write as many of those as I can during the year as well, and the Story Pieces series that I’ve started doing here should help.
  6. I would also like to submit my work to different literary magazines,
  7. attempt to find a literary agent once my novel is complete,
  8. and get some professional head shots made for the web and also for, one day, the inside cover of my novels.

There are so many things to see and do and learn in 2015. What are some of your life and writing goals?

New Things

New Posts

In my last post, I mentioned a new serial post that I was seriously considering starting. Well, I’m trying to make that happen.

Starting this Friday, you’re going to get scenes from a work of fiction that I literally just started working on.

Since I’m going to be posting them pretty much as I write them each week (on Fridays), there’s going to be minimal editing, so there’s a chance that the flow might be off or that I might forget Bob’s name in one scene and change it to Fred. But, really, who could possibly forget about Bob?

I would love to tell you all about the story, give you a little teaser to make you want to read it, but all I know so far is that it’s about some fairies and a young woman who didn’t know that she could talk to them or that they even existed.

I’m thinking about calling these weekly posts Story Pieces and there will, of course, be a page that helps you to keep track of them. Until I come up with proper titles, the stories will be referred to as things like “Bob’s story” or “The Fairies”. On the page, I’ll have the scenes links to each scene in the proper order. This means that, if I somehow manage to write some scenes out of order, they will be in the correct order on this page.

Pages

Speaking of pages, I very much need to edit these. Besides pages that don’t quite make sense to me anymore, there are things that need to be updated and a picture that’s no longer available and…it’s simply a work in progress.

I’ve already taken down the “What I’m Reading” page. This is because I don’t update it regularly enough. Also, I have the GoodReads widget installed and I seem to update that more frequently than the page I had set up here. It isn’t a perfect list, but the fact that I can update it on my phone seems to make it more likely that I will, in fact, update it at all.

If you would like to find me on GoodReads, my name there is Seannalyn.

Widgets

Now that I think of it, the widgets need to be edited too.

There’s going to be some deleting, rewording, rearranging, and possibly the addition of new widgets if any look applicable. So, consider this a work in progress as well.

The part that talks about when IBW is updated needs to be changed after some consideration, and I failed my personal poem a day challenge. I’m not going to be able to create 300 something poems in the past three weeks or so of the year. Although, I might try to do that again in 2015, hopefully with better luck.

Site Specific

As you may remember from earlier this year, I decided to splurge and buy a bundle off of WordPress. I bought the Premium Plan.

WordPress_Bundles

As you can see, this includes, among other things, a free domain name and that’s the main reason that I bought it. I’m fairly certain that I didn’t use any of the other features besides enjoying the lack of ads here. That, paired with the fact that it costs $99 every year, caused me to cancel the bundle.

When I canceled the bundle, a break down of all of these features that I had purchased, along with their individual prices appeared. I’m still trying to figure out whether or not I want to spend $30 a year for the domain name.

So, we may or may not be returning to http://www.ibreathewords.wordpress.com and you will start seeing ads on this site again starting in early January. I am sorry about the later and will get back to you about the whole reason that I went premium in the first place.

Finding Time

Noveling

This past year has been a big one for me and it’s almost gone. Looking back, I regret not completing more writing projects and not using the gym membership that I pay for every month whether or not I go.

The excuse that I’ve used, mainly to myself when I questWinner-2014-Facebook-Profileion these things, is that I don’t have enough time. But, after once again tackling NaNoWriMo this year, I know in reality that I’m just lazy most of the time. How could that be a wake up call for me, you might ask.

This year, I am among the proud winners of National Novel Writing Month.

The novel that I created is probably the only writing project that I finished this year, and it is also the biggest writing project that I have ever completed. Somehow, I managed to slay the beast that is 50,000 words.

Somehow, this project became a lot less harder and unattainable as the month went on. I’m not saying it was easy–far from it–but it was no longer impossible. When you think about it in the short term, you only have to write 1,1667 words a day.

When tackling a huge project like this or setting a huge goal for yourself, it’s easier to look at it day by day.

Can I get 1,667 words, go to the gym, write that one poem, finish that one book report today? Don’t think about what you’re going to do tomorrow or about how daunting the end goal is, think about what little pieces you can get done now, in the moment rather than stressing about what has to be done.

During November, I made sure to set aside at least an hour a day, most of the time multiple hours a day, to work on my novel. Sometimes, I would write more than I needed, and sometimes I would write less than was needed. But I always seemed managed to somehow manage to get caught up. I even finished the 50,000 words during the afternoon of November 29 when it wasn’t “due” until November 30.

NaNoWriMo_Word_Graph_2

 

I almost cried when I saw that word document hit page 100. And then I actually cried when I verified my word count and the video of some of NaNoWriMo’s staff cheered for my victory.

It’s such a glorious feeling to have completed a novel.

And now I’ve started the editing process, which I have a feeling is going to take me a long time considering the fact that it is rather long and also a shitty first draft. I did finally come up with a title that I just might keep–Collecting Humanity. Thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

Blogging

Once again, I haven’t done very much blogging. At all.

I now have plans to blog here at least once a week. I don’t really have a game plan as of yet for what I’ll be discussing, but it’ll be fun as usual!

One idea that I’m thinking about trying out is a series of weekly posts that give you a scene or chapter in a work of fiction that I’m working on. I think that this would be great because it would both keep me accountable and give me the opportunity to share my work.

I’m also going to be blogging a couple of times a week on No Penny Required. This is where I review a number of different things.

Outlines

I’ve never used outlines for my creative writing before, and this is probably due in large part to the fact that I don’t know how. But practice makes perfect, right? The only time that I’ve even talked about outlines on IBW is when I was talking about the lessons I learned from NaNoWriMo. One of those lessons was that outlines are good, but that’s as far as I’d gotten on the subject at that point.

This changed last week, as I mentioned in Tuesday’s post, when I outlined the rest of the novel I’m working on. This is the first time that I’ve seriously outlined something.

Considering my reservations towards outlining, it was an oddly amazing experience. The words seemed to just flow from my pen. I didn’t write down details or actual scenes; it’s just rambling bullet points. But it’s a skeleton of what the rest of my novel is going to be and I think that this is going to give me just the push I need to finish my novel.

Now, I’m pro-outlining.

I’ve been told before by my poetry professor, Dr. Tom Hunley, to write my entire novel in one poem. I have yet to accomplish this feat and I don’t know if I ever will. But last week I wrote what is probably going to be the biggest part of my novel in just a few pages.

The story is done, but the words have yet to be crafted to support it. I’m ready for this journey to start. My novel is about 88 pages long so far and I can’t wait to see what I’m going to reach with the outline I’ve created.

The above outline isn’t mine, but it looks like an awesome idea and I’d strongly suggest that you read the post it was published with.

Forums

One of my professors, Dr. Molly McCaffrey, suggested that I add a forum to IBW. This was at some point early in 2013 when I was still going to college and was actually able to see her on a regular basis. She’s passionate about her own blogging and writing projects along with her students and their goals in life.

Long story short, I’m once again thinking about her wise words and considering adding a forum to IBW.

I wanted to test the waters with all of you before I actually went through the process of choosing a plugin and getting it installed. So, please take a vote on this poll.

The idea for this forum is that it’ll be a place for writers who can’t meet in person to share their creative works and get good, constructive criticism from other writers and non-writers who read this blog. After years of having creative writing classes where my classmates and professors gave me amazingly helpful feedback, it’s strange not having that. I still have my loved ones to ramble at, but sometimes you need another writer to bite into what you’re doing with you writing.

I want this to be a safe place where writers can comfortably share their project ideas, short stories, poems, non-fiction, and pieces of larger works. For this to be a place of only constructive criticism without anybody being cruel towards a writer or their work, I’ll have to set up some rules and guidelines along with monitoring the forum myself.

Please respond to the poll below. If I’ve done what I intended to with it, it’ll expire in one month, so you have that time to vote.