One finish line in sight, another beckons

My writing goal for the year is 300,000 words. Accounting for other activities (mostly the time commitment of tutoring), that seemed like a reasonable goal. Right now I’ve completed just over 290,000. Whoops. It looks like I’m about hit my year end goal around the last day in July. Now I need some new goals, or milestones.

Part of the idea of the goal came from Jeff Ambrose. Jeff redraws his approach as he goes too – pretty inspiring.

Here’s how this year’s writing comes out so far:

Two novels written. One (The Tunnel) edited and published as a POD book, and as an ebook, and the other (working title Steel Wagon), currently being proofed. That one’s a literary novel, so I’m sending to a New Zealand agent to see what kind of response it gets. If it doesn’t filter through that system, I’ll similarly self-publish it as a POD and ebook.

Sixteen stories written. These range in length from flash (two) to novellas (two), with most sitting between 6000 and 12,000 words. Five of these have been published, along with another three stories from last year. Four of the stories have been published by magazines/ezines (MicroHorror, Flashes in the Dark and The Colored Lens), the rest have been self-published through Smashwords, mostly under pen names. I’ve also re-published numerous short stories through Smashwords, but as reprints they don’t count towards first publication goals (I’m aiming for publishing 300,000 words as well, in addition to any reprints – sitting at 120,000 so far). I have one story in updating (ie, it’s been edited and proofed and just needs those corrections made), one in proofing, and one in progress. I am still proofing the second novel, but have the first 5000 words about ready to go to an agent.

New goal: 300,000 words by the end of July. Steel Wagon 5000 word sample and synopsis with an agent by August 11th. New literary story completed by 15th August (specifically for the Sunday Star contest). And set a new word-count target for the rest of the year.

I already know that I’ll be writing the second book in The Hidden Dome trilogy (working title – The Deluge) later this year (probably after tutoring finishes in late November), so that’s 60,000 words, more or less. But what to do for August through November?

Well, there is tutoring, so that cuts into time a little. During the last main block my daily writing, usually over 1000 words, slipped down like an eel in a pipe. 132 words on my lowest day. Still, four months is around 120 days, so perhaps 100,000 words is realistic. Combined with the novel, that will put me over 450,000 words for the year. Sounds about right.

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