The Master Plan
This entry is killing two birds with one stone. After some serious thought, I finally answered my father's email with my answer to what I want to accomplish during my Writing Year and how I think I'm going to do it. After finishing the email and sending it off, I decided that it would be a good journal entry as well. I just sent this off to my family.
In Dad's email to me, he wanted to know what my goal for my Writing Year was. On the phone, I told him I would get back to him on this. I wanted to think about it. In truth, I really needed to think about it. What and How. My first thought was, "I want to write. Duh." Then, my super ego booted my id to the back of the bus and said, "Let me think about this and consult with my ego."
So, I have. Yes. I want to write but that is not all. I want to travel. I want to get some other non-writing but still writing related projects done.
But, the goal? What is the goal? I am a goal oriented person. I need goals and milestones and such things that will make me feel successful. My goal for my Writing Year is the completion of two novels. I want them to the point of submission to publishing companies.
That is my main 'win or lose' goal. However this not my only goal but it is the one I will be striving for. I have three novels on tap right now. Pangborn Nomads - a modern fantasy young adult novel; The Old Woman in the White Cadillac - a modern day drama, anti-hero, human interest novel; Breaking the Chains - a far future, science fiction novel. I will write Pangborn Nomads and The Old Woman in the White Cadillac. I will continue working on the background for Breaking the Chains.
Beyond the two novels, I will have at least one Sovereign Press contract. I'm already tapped for it. I should be getting the schedule for it soon. It will start towards the end of 2006 and continue on into 2007. Most likely, I will have at least one more contract from Sovereign Press during 2007. Also, I will be looking at more RPG contracts from other companies.
Beyond the novels and the paying contracts, I have the minor goal of two new short stories ready for submission each month. If one of these is a TEoP story (if we do the second year), this is acceptable. I want to submit my short work (prose and poetry) to five places each month.
Down to the cold hard numbers: The score sheet for the Writing Year is to complete 2 new novels, complete any paying writing contracts, write 24 new short stories and submit 60 pieces of work for publication. That's the yard stick for success.
Beyond the writing goals, I have other goals for this Writing Year. I know I will absolutely need distractions away from this writing to allow my creative mind to rest. I have several projects in mind for this. These are:
1. A complete overhaul of my Skitten website that I've had since 1994. That's a lot of haphazardly done web pages. I'm going to teach myself CSS and redo the website from the ground up. This is going to take a lot of time.
2. Complete my Dream Tome. I have a huge tome that I am transcribing my 10 years worth of dream journals into.
3. Complete my poetry collection. I have a very pretty book that I am transcribing my 10+ years of poetry into.
These projects are also goals. I really want to get them done. There are others... from repainting my kitchen to systematically cleaning and purging every closet in my condo. But, those will end up on a 'honey-do' list for weekends and are not part of my success meter. They are just icing on the cake.
Next up, I plan to do some traveling. I will be going to Europe during my Writing Year. I have friends in England (whom I have met) and Sweden (who I have not met yet) who are willing to put me up for 10-14 days each. If I can find a friend in Scotland or Ireland that I can sofa surf with, I'll add them, too. That's 3-4 weeks in Europe. I won't be doing a lot of writing there except to take notes and make sketches. My trip to Europe is designed to fill the creative well.
So, now that you know what my goals are, let's talk about how I'm going to accomplish them because I know you, you'll be asking and trying to poke holes into my "cake and eat it, too" plan. However, I am a planner. I've got back up plans and back up plans for my back up plans. If I have to do the improvise shuffle, I've got a semi-baked plan for it.
We've already discussed the financial part of this. In fact, I've shared more of my financial life with you all than I ever thought I would. I'm pretty private when it comes to money. So, we don't need to discuss that anymore. Let's look at the scheduling details instead.
I will be setting up a Monday through Friday schedule. Just like regular work week. It will look something like this:
• 8am - Get up, shower, dress for work. (7am if I'm working out that morning.)
• 9am - Finish my morning routine and am writing by 9am. (If on contract, MWF contract, TTH, novel.)
• 12pm - Break for lunch away from computer and stretch (unless on a roll – then continue and eat lunch at the computer).
• 1pm - Dream Tome, poetry collection or other project.
• 2:30 - Editing, Background work, Grunt stuff for writing that must be done.
• 5pm - Permission to stop for the day. Or, continue if on a roll.
• 5pm+ - Playtime, reading, etc.
Weekends: Complete one of my "Honey-do" projects each weekend as well as chores, laundry and other such needed things. Submissions will be done on weekends, too. Probably one weekend a month, do my 5 submissions.
Twice a month I will review where I am on my schedule (IE: word count on novel, submissions, short stories, etc) and determine if I'm on track. If not, step it up. If yes, pat myself on the back and keep going.
Oh, yeah. I keep saying my Writing Year is 2007. That is not exactly correct. If my MS HIG contract goes on into 2007, my Writing Year begins when it ends and will go for a full 12 months. Even if means April 2007 to April 2008. Though, I reserve the right to decide that this whole plan sucks after about three-four months, scrap it all and go back to contract work and writing in my off hours. I don't see this happening, but it might.
Finally, the first two weeks of this plan will be dedicated to lounging about, playing video games and watching movies or until I am bored with myself – whichever comes first.
So, there you have it. You now know almost as much as I do about my writing goals and my plan to complete them during my Writing Year. Questions, comments or suggestions?
Tarot Card for the Day: The Fool (Quite appropriate don't you think?)