A Look Back, A Look Forward

Last year about this time I decided I would try a new way to motivate myself, mostly in regards of my writing. I looked back at what I’d accomplished as a writer in 2014 and posted goals I hoped to achieve in 2015. Needless to say, I accomplished very little in regards to those writing goals. Not for lack of trying. And I’m okay with that.

For much of the year my writing goals got sidetracked by my other hobbies (such as I have time for). But it was not a total loss. I learned a lot about what I need to do in order to be productive as a writer while continuing balancing all the other aspects of my life.

The largest achievement I made in my writing was in thanks to a Writing Challenge setup and orchestrated by a couple of authors from The Fantasy Sci-Fi Network. The goal is meant to help motivate and garner results in the “What About Bob?” mentality. Baby steps. It’s really quite simple. Write 100 words (or more) a day on a project that fits in the realm and purview of FSFNet. In October I took the challenge to heart and between October 1 and December 31 I wrote at least 100 words each and every day. 92 days. I totaled 30,261 words. The best part of this challenge was that I created and fostered a good habit. The other participants were fabulous motivators. We cheered and supported each other the whole way along.

Each and every one of those words I wrote in those three months was added to my horror/paranormal novella. By the time the challenge ended I progressed from a novella, to a full-blown novel. This piece is likely to end up over 70,000 words when I finish the first draft. It’s exciting. It’s invigorating. It’s addictive.

I’ve continued on with another challenge supported by the FSFNet. Thus far I have nearly 8,000 more words. While a few hundred are for a short story that desired itself written, the vast majority are added to that 30,000.

The task of completing the story I set forth writing is moving towards its conclusion. I can see an ending and with it the completion of a draft of my first novel. An amazing achievement in itself. I have every intention of working on this project after completing the draft. I’m going to edit and edit and edit. My wife and alpha reader is already looking forward to reading it and helping me strengthen every aspect of the story. From there…I have a few ideas, but nothing concrete yet. Ideally, the novel will be ready and available by the end of 2016.

Once that project is on to edits, I have other places my mind wants me to write about. I’ll visit those as I attempt to maintain my new found habit and addiction to writing. Practice makes perfect. And so I will.

I have a few concrete goals in mind, but unlike last year I don’t think I’m going to lay them out here. They are tucked away for me to know, and hopefully as the milestones are passed, I can share that excitement and adventure with you.

P.S. One final note about the growing horror/paranormal novel that is my current focus. For those that I’ve spoken with about my writing in the past know titles are quite often the hardest part for me. I have decided on a title and plan to reveal that to family and friends on my Facebook page this Friday. Hopefully, you’ll stop by and tell me what you think of it. And maybe, if the creative juices flow steady enough until then, I’ll toss in the synopsis or a rough snippet.

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