Targets and goals.
Last year I aimed for 500 words per day. I never actually worked out if I achieved it (there was a hiccup in personal life in Oct) but certainly for a good chunk of the year it kept me writing. I also finished a lot of stories. This year? Not so much. Now part of that is that I designated this a year to do re-writes and edits, but I’m not writing enough to a completion. I have several really good story ideas either started or sketched out. I have several stories started and anywhere between five hundred and two thousand words, but unfinished. I think I can can count on one hand the number of stories I have written to a finish this year, and that’s just a first draft finish.
Time for a change.
From July 1st I am returning to a 500 wpd schedule, but adding in a target of 1 completed story each month. I know Bradbury worked on 1 a week, but it was his job. My job is caring for the family & the house, writing is not my job. For the rest of this month I am going to concentrate on one project: A story titled ‘Touch Me Not’. I need to have a first draft ready by the end of the month. Next month I am going to go back to Epecuén & work on that. I have a goal of completing a first draft by end of July, with a word target of 15-20k. Then August is all about Sirens for the next Rhonda Parrish anthology.
Beyond that I need to consider what has gone before. Right now I feel there is some nice writing, but not yet developed. And it turns out I am terrible at fixing old writing. The problem is I sink right back into the story. The more egregious sins are picked up, I now see passive elements more readily, I cringe at abrupt changes in tense, or unattributable dialogue. However deeper problems with those older stories are so difficult to fix
I feel a bit like a painter, building a portfolio that shows development over time. I remember at school a maths teacher being amazed at the sheer amount of effort I poured in to the modules we did, producing reams of work that more than covered what was required. It was the only way I knew how to do it. Now, I’m not claiming to be a prolific writer, or even very conscientious, but I know the same dogged determination to build brick-by-brick on my knowledge will continue to take me forward. Another writer may assimilate everything and whizz through the levels. Not me. Slow and steady. Which is funny. In sport I was always the hare, never the tortoise (Running more than a hundred meters – which I could do v. fast – got boring).
So: This month, 5-10k on Touch Me Not; July, 15-20k on Epecuén (I even love typing the name); August, 5-7k on Sirens.
Beyond that, I’ll see. We still plan to move this year & I have a holiday in September & have to work out when to meet up with a dear friend who is coming to the UK in 4 months time.