Coming off the back of an absolutely incredible November with my NaNoWriMo win, December was a month for me to slow down and take stock of my writing life in preparation for 2017.
Working on my first ever fantasy novel, The Crossing (working title), has brought me a lot of perspective about who I want to be as a writer and what I have to do to get there.
Setting Summer Goals
At the start of December I set myself 16 goals. They covered my writing, my social media, my content management, and general things I wanted to achieve as a writer over the summer. Goals like:
- Reach 1000 Twitter followers (which I have already achieved!)
- Do 2 YouTube videos per month (which I have only just started!)
- Subscribe to an Australian literary journal (which I haven’t decided yet…)
- Finish The Crossing (which is seriously huge)
And a whole lot more stuff like that. The idea is to set challenging goals. I might fail some (or a lot) of these. And that’s OK. Because it will spur me on to try harder in Autumn.
My WIP: The Crossing (Working Title)
Winning NaNoWriMo was amazing but when December hit I found myself in a slump. I needed to take a break from the intense word goals and I didn’t work on my WIP for a few weeks.
In mid-December I started back up again, writing a few hundred words. I’m now getting back into a solid routine of writing 600-700 words per writing session.
One of my summer goals is to finish the first draft of The Crossing, and to do that I’m going to write 20,000 words in January and February.
By setting these NaNo-like goals, hopefully I’ll push myself to meet the deadline. I’ll then have around 90k words by the end of the summer which should put me really close to the end.
Some Big News…
Another huge thing happened in December. I decided to step down as Deputy Editor of Writer’s Edit.
I’ve been with Writer’s Edit for three years and made friends for life, as well as gaining invaluable experience in publishing and editing.
The decision to leave was an extremely difficult one. It’s taken me a long time to realise that in order to dedicate the proper time, care, and creativity to The Crossing, I need to step back (at least for now).
I’ve been incredibly lucky to be part of the Writer’s Edit journey. From growing our audience internationally to publishing books and taking crazy roadtrips to writing festivals… It’s been incredible.
I’m also very lucky that the Writer’s Edit team are so supportive. It’s sad to leave them (especially when there’s so much exciting stuff going on in W.E. right now!).
But the Writer’s Edit team are writers too. They understand what it’s like to have a story calling your name. You can’t ignore it.
And that calling is truly exciting. The Crossing is the most important creative project of my life right now, and I’m going to throw everything I have at it.
A new year means new goals and achievements. I’ll be working hard on my summer goals as well as writing lots to hit those 20k-per-month targets on The Crossing.
Taking time to focus purely on my own writing will be fun and scary, but I’ve got a wonderful support team behind me when things get tough.
All the very best to you and your writing! Happy New Year!