2016 is now half over, and I like to look back and celebrate my accomplishments. At the beginning of the year I set a crazy goal for myself. So far nothing is going as planned, and that’s totally okay! I think it’s even better than what I planned. In the interest of finishing this post and getting back to writing, I’ll do a bullet point rundown of the year.
First half of 2016:
- January: Finished revising Venus and sent it to beta readers – a first for me!
- February: Developed the query and synopsis for Venus, edited the ms, and sent off my first query letters on Leap Day.
- March: Attended a writers conference, pitched to agents, continued to query, and finished the first draft of Project Supergirls.
- April: Outlined Minerva, wrote 18 posts for the A to Z Blog Challenge, attempted to re-outline Project Wolf Baby.
- May: Selected as a finalist in FicFest, revised Venus again, continued to query.
- June: Attempted to outline the Project Wolf Baby series, started Project Stone Cold.
Things I’ve learned this year (so far):
- Sleep: This might be a no brainer, but I learned that I get more done in less time when I’m well rested. Apparently I’m now an early riser, no matter when I go to bed, so I had to move my bedtime up–by a lot. After (barely) functioning on a deficit of sleep for most of the year, I now aim to be in bed by 9:30pm. I’ve seen huge improvements in my creative work since making this one little change.
- Exercise: A month ago I joined a gym, because all of this sitting at the computer has been bad for my back, posture, and waistline. I forgot that I enjoy working out with weight machines. (And I use the time on the stationary bike to research or write on my phone.)
- Focus: I need to be more realistic about how many projects I work on at once. Trying to do major revisions on two projects at the same time is madness. I’m more productive going all in on one.
- Planning: Starting with an outline cuts down on both the time it takes me to write a first draft and the amount of work it takes to revise it. Having a revision plan also makes the process faster and less frustrating.
- Alpha readers: I first heard about these on #RWchat and I already see the benefit. Letting trusted writing buddies check out my work in first draft state provides me with a sounding board and immediate feedback if something isn’t working.
I’m not sure what the rest of 2016 will bring. At the moment my immediate writing goals are to finish writing Project Stone Cold and revise Project Supergirls. That’s enough for now.