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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mid-Year Adjustments

Yeah, I know we're past mid-year. But I've been giving this some thought since then on what to do.

The problem? If you go back to my new year goals, and what has happened since, you'll see the problem. The two serials I planned on putting out monthly, nada. The books I intended to edit, publish, or write--no movement. In fact, until last week, I'd not written one piece of fiction all year. So not only am I not going to make my goals, but I won't show any progress on them at all if I don't change something.

In my evaluation on what I need to do differently, I've come up with a strategy. One item in that strategy involves my approach to my list of projects. Part of what happened is it quickly became obvious that I didn't have the time to swallow that whole elephant. I hadn't planned in taking bite-size pieces. So when potential time to write did pop up, I was faced with a huge job, and no plan on where to take the bite my time afforded me. So it was always easier to opt for some other task.

So my first task is to prioritize what projects I'm going to work on aside from my weekly commitments. That's why I'm writing this post. Both to let my readers know (all two of you--you know who you are) why the blog and my announcements of new books have been silent this year, and for my own benefit to go through the process of doing this.

I'll add, I think I need to start off with writing something. I need to get back in the game on fiction. Who knows, I may even blog my progress, however long it takes.

I'll also state that I've decided to get out of Nano mode. Nano is short for the "National Novel Writing Month" annually held in November. That is often abbreviated to NaNoWriMo (the first two/three letters of each word) and Nano is obviously even shorter, being the first four letters of that. I first did Nano in 2006 and didn't have a break until 2011 (due to the effects of discovering my wife's infidelity that year, and the rush to get my non-fiction How to Make an Ebook out before Christmas). Most of my novels have been written during the Novembers of those years.

In other words, most of my writing the rest of the year didn't involve novels. Those only happened in November, and the last three years, that happened only once. The more I've learned about successfully making this my primary income and job, the more it has been obvious I need to put out a lot more than one novel a year. One a quarter would be a good goal to shoot for. But even two a year would be a step in the right direction. To do that, I need to start treating every month like Nano, not just November. Write a novel. When finished with it, start a new one with a short break. If it takes two months to write it instead of one, so be it. But consistently write something most every night.

So here is my list of projects/bites I'll do starting this week in order of priority. I'm going to take my list from earlier this year and organize it.

  1. Reality GameVirtual Chronicles series. Need to pick up where I left off, which is like chapter 1 or something. I started it for Nano last November, but didn't have the gumption to finish it, instead worked on writing a Christmas devotional.

  2. Edit the 12 Days of Christmas devotional I did and republish by the end of November.

  3. The Magic Within – Need to edit for my publisher so she can finally publish it, if she still has a mind to.

  4. Healing Infidelity Through Faith – Follow up to Healing Infidelity, written more specifically to the Christian market. Need to finish writing it and working toward getting it published.

  5. Rebellion – My serial experiment. Partially written. Need around another 10 chapters/episodes for the first novel.

  6. Poetry Book – Need to finish editing and publish.

  7. Anthology – An anthology of stories I've written in 2013 – 2014, mostly 2013 unless the rest of this year becomes productive.

  8. Devotional – Finish writing a devotional on the parables.

  9. Introducing Orthodoxy - Write/compile articles for this book, then edit and publish it. A goal I've had since 2003.

I could list more, but that will do for a start. Also, the ones further down on the list may get reshuffled as they rise on the list. The new series, for example, which The Magic Within starts, I've written another book which needs serious editing, and the first few chapters of a third book. Planning two more books in the series for a total of five. I didn't include all those projects. Plus I have the outline and several chapters written of a YA dragon story that I tried to do in 10 days last year. That will get added to the list. I have half of my first novel I ever wrote rewritten that I want to eventually get back to, and the two other books I'd planned in that series. I'll be doing good to get all that done before I'm unable to write or die. So the actual list is quite long.

First up, however, this week is to pick up writing Reality Game again. Though I could finish it before then, I'll shoot to finish the first draft by the end of September. Stay tuned for my progress on that novel. We'll see if this fourth book in the series ends the story or not. I'm interested to see how it turns out myself.

Now that I've got my bites lined up, my other plan is to free up time by cutting out activities I don't need to do. I've already stopped following one busy blog that tends to suck up a lot of my time. I'm going to be more selective about what I allow to take away time from my writing job.

We'll see how the rest of this year pans out, and how fast I cross items off my project list. It already feels more doable.

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