Writing Life Goals Check In

Blog Post #39

2017-06-13 14.34.08

Hello everyone,

Look at this! A new post! And it hasn’t even been a month! Get ready cause I’m finally working on some writing life goals here.

The Writing Front

Word Counts

By now, you know the drill. As you know, last month I finally got my real life together enough that I could once again start focusing on my much neglected writing life.

May Totals

Monthly Target: 16,987

May Actual: 12,372

12372 / 16987

Year To Date Target Totals

YTD Target: 82,740

YTD Actual: 30,315

30315 / 82740

Overall Yearly Progress

Overall Year: 200,000

Overall YTD: 30, 315

30315 / 200000

Okay, so 15% really isn’t that encouraging, so let me remind everyone of the YTD counts from previous years. By the end of May, I should have been at 82,740 words out of the target 200,00 for the year.

May 2015: 25,634 (or 12.82% of my 2015 goal)

25634 / 200000

May 2016: 48,224 (or 24.11% of my 2016 goal)

48224 / 200000

So even though I am certainly sitting better than I was in 2015, I was doing a lot better at this time in 2016. Guess I need to get it together and start digging myself out of this hole. Please send me all the motivation and luck you can spare.

Current Projects

From the Woods You Came

“From the Woods You Came” needs completing, and I think for this month, this might need to be my goal. No, I don’t have a computer yet, so technically that is my first goal. After that, obtaining Scribner (or another formatting program), and then finishing up the text of “From the Woods You Came” will be my goal.

I know for some of this, I can simply just work out the scenes with pen and paper, and also draw up my launch plans and such on pen and paper…and then just scramble the last week of the month with making everything digital and sending it out for last grammatical proof readings. I think it’s a reasonable goal to at least get all my ducks in a row as far as this goes so I can finally, finally announce a publication date!

Camp Nano

So along the lines of getting my writing-life together, I had a nice sit down chat with my writing buddy, Jessica B. After three hours of chatting at Dunkin’ Donuts (it would have been longer if they hadn’t closed and kicked us out), I felt a bit more on track with what my next steps as a writer would be. That’s the one great thing about finding your people, they help you keep things in perspective and help guide you toward the right track once again when you lose your way.

Mostly we arranged to start having our weekly virtual work hour again as our main goal, followed closely by some other top secret stuff that will stay under wraps for the time being. I’ll be sure to keep you posted as that story develops. After our Writing Life Goal Check In meeting concluded with a Target run (woo BOGO 50% off dresses), my phone finally started functioning properly again. At which point an email from NaNoWriMo popped up about Camp.

So I’ve never done Camp NaNo before. I mean just attempting the usual NaNoWriMo in November really takes a lot out of me to want to even consider signing myself up for another monthly writing project. I skimmed the email and kind of skidded to a halt when I realized that Camp could be for any kind of project with any kind of goal in mind, and that had me wondering if maybe Camp was for me this year after all.

I finished the first novel in my ‘main’ novel series a long time ago. It topped out at over 400 pages and after some rough, rough editing, I concluded (with some nudging) that it needed to be rewritten. Again. There were a lot of plot lines in the background that weren’t developed enough, characters who were barely seen that needed more presence, and a lot of scenes that needed to do more to pull their weight for as much ink as they were taking up. So the story simmered in the back of my mind. I dug into a lot of the details and researched more about things that weren’t as unimportant as I once considered them to be.

A lot of the story is about death and grief and how one deals with that aspect of their existence. Originally, I had sort of overlooked it not really ever understanding just how much dealing with death was the hinging point of my main character’s motivations for most of the novel. Once I hit that realization, I knew I needed to go back and somehow find a way to showcase that better. However, the way that made the most sense for me involved basically creating a brand new novel structure for the story. It was akin to tearing off flesh and muscle and sinew to reset bones, and I for a long time I haven’t been able to bring myself to undertake such a overwhelming task.

But that is where the basics of Camp NaNo come into play. This type of challenge was designed for this kind of project. After consulting my handy-dandy planner, I think I’ll have enough time in July to carve into this (finally) and get the work done, but it hinges on my ability to spend the current month doing the one thing I find myself incapable of as a writer: forming a proper outline.

My outlines tend to be fuzzy scene ideas, fully fleshed out scenes, random lines of dialogue, and long paragraphs of detailed world building with links to online references. I tend to write all of these bits from all different times within the story in no particular order to the reader even if the timeline makes sense to me in my head. And while it’s my usual go-to method for literally just getting an idea out of my mind so I can sleep (or, like during From the Woods You Came or last year’s NaNo, when the Apothecary story kept bothering me so I wrote it out just so I could finish another more pressing project), it’s not conductive to creating a proper story structure to follow when writing.

So I’m gonna finally hang up my white board properly. I’m going to rustle up my multiple colored makers and pencils and crayons and highlighters from the depths of my closet. I going to find all of my index cards and take over my kitchen table. I will outline this properly if it kills me, so that going into Camp NaNo I won’t feel as overwhelmed because I know exactly where I’m going and the route that’s going to get me there.

Guess it’s time for the first step and doing all the new computer research ever.

Love and Lighting,

M. L. Trumbull


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