Hello Lovelies, and welcome back to the blog. I am doing my planning for 2021 and I have set my own goals for the year so I wanted to share those with you.
First, I wanted to talk a little bit about how I plan for yearly goals and it starts with a book called The ONE Thing by Gary Keller. In a nutshell, The ONE Thing revolves around the idea that as humans, we can only really effectively focus on one thing at a time. Whenever we try to multitask, our brain rebels. Quite literally, it takes our brains time to switch gears to do any task and the more task switching you do, the harder it is on your brain.
The ONE Thing takes this concept even further by asking, what’s the ONE Thing you can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary? When you focus in on just one project at a time, you are more likely to succeed than if you try to make multiple changes all at once.
So with that said, I have a few writing goals that I want to share with you for 2021.
Quarter 1 – Written in Blood Book 2
I am so close to having a first draft done of this book. I have wrestled with this idea for years, attempting drafts and never finishing them. I was absolutely, stubbornly determined to make it a standalone novel. I have been tweeting about this book for months now, agonizing over something my gut was trying to beat into me. I got three or four scenes from the end of the book and realized with certainty that my gut had been right, even though my brain did not want to make it so. I cannot make this into a one story book and have it be satisfying for readers.
Furthermore, I did some thinking and the book I was writing, Written in Blood, was actually the second book in a three part series. Thank goodness for that, because writing the middles of any novel or series has always been the hardest stage of the writing for me. And it’s no wonder that I’ve attempted multiple drafts of this novel and never succeeded with finishing a full draft.
So, even though it’s the second book, even though things will definitely change because of the first book’s draft, and even though I’m going to have to have an entire restructure to make the second book a worthy entry as the second book in a series, I have got to finish this draft. I can’t believe that I’ve been so close to finishing it for two months now (Since NaNoWriMo) and even though I’m 4 scenes away—literally less than 8000 words in a 60000 word novel—I still don’t have a full first draft.
So first things first. Finish a draft of Written in Blood. Then, I want to outline the entire series… however long the story needs to be. Right now I’m planning for three books. After that, I want to make a detailed outline of the first book. It sounds like a lot, but I can outline a book in a week. Three books in three weeks. Plus a detailed outline which will be its own two or three week process. While I won’t say that I’ll have the draft and three books outlined by January, (I technically could but that isn’t realistic), I feel like I can definitely have it done in first quarter.
Quarter 2 – Written in Blood Book 1
Let’s assume then, that all of that gets accomplished in first quarter, I want to move on to drafting the first book in the series. I am not sure if all of the series is going to be called Written in Blood, or just the original (now the second) book. When I’m not keeping up an insane pace for NaNoWriMo, it takes me about two full months to draft a novel, sometimes more.
With my detailed outline in hand, it should just be a matter of getting the words down. I also know that until I have a first draft of something, I rarely, if ever, get a first draft on the first time I attempt it. So I want to build in time to work on it at a decent pace but still have time to course correct if I feel that’s what the draft needs.
Quarter 3 – Polish Written in Blood Books 1 and 2
Beyond that, I have a hard time making plans for an entire year because so much is dependent on whether the previous quarters were successful. I could be way further ahead or way further behind than I think I will be. Life could happen and derail everything, or I could get into a groove and smash through all my tasks.
Right now, at this moment, I really want to take the third quarter to put books 1 and 2 of Written in Blood through their paces. I want to self-edit them, have them critiqued, have them rewritten and edited again. I want them to be a lot more polished.
Quarter 4 – Written in Blood Book 3
In the fourth quarter, I want to work on what I think will be the last book in the series. I want to stop everything and work exclusively on book 3 for Preptober, redoing the original outline as necessary, making a more detailed outline, then writing it in November for NaNoWriMo and in December, working on editing the entire series as a whole.
Other General Goals
I have other writing-related goals too. I will keep querying Utopian Melody. I will keep up with the weekly blog posts. If at any point I get ahead, I want to outline several other book ideas that have been floating around and taking up space in my head. I need to find a way to track my author income and expenses better. Right now, I’m definitely spending money on the business, and not making much of anything. I also need to work on tracking how long a project takes me to complete. I am already tracking word count goals, but I have no idea what project I was working on them for, be it ODUM, WiB, or even the blog.
What I want to have accomplished by 2022
Mainly, I want to do a lot of the stuff that I enjoy, which is to say, drafting. But I also want to maintain what I have already going. I want to have a trilogy of novels that, while maybe not totally perfect, I can start querying in 2022 along with ODUM if it hasn’t been picked up yet.
Now it’s your turn! What are your writing goals for 2021? How do you keep track of how long a project takes? What are you doing to keep track of your author incomes and expenses? Comment down below!