I have a confession: I hate New Year’s Eve. No, really. On a philosophical level, the reminder of time passing and dreams yet unrealized depresses me. On a pragmatic level, I can’t stand hordes of noisy inebriates and restaurants pushing prix fixe menus at four times their usual rates. The handful of times I’ve ventured out to celebrate, as society demands, the experience inevitably disappoints. I’d rather go to bed at a reasonable hour and maintain my longstanding tradition of a morning run on New Year’s Day (usually with the U2 song “New Year’s Day” first on my playlist. Yeah, I’m that dorky).
However, a new year provides excellent initiative for setting goals. I always outline a few to motivate myself at the start of a year and (ideally) give me something upon which to reflect with satisfaction at its end. My new year’s goal for 2015 was to publish Blue Karma–success! Now that I’m further along the authorial learning curve, I expect even more from myself. So here, posted for all the world to keep me honest, are JK’s new year’s “write-solutions”. I’ve got six for 2016:
- Finish Syzygy. The manuscript was rolling along nicely until about October, when I got sidetracked completing @##$*! short stories for this ASU cli-fi contest (short stories are my literary nemesis, but more on that in another post). New year, new plan. I’ve calculated that if I can write a mere 250 words a day (one industry-standard paperback page) I can still reach my target draft length by the end of May. If I developed the discipline to exercise every day, maybe I can do the same for a daily writing quota.
- Publish Syzygy. I anticipated releasing my second novel in summer 2016, and I’m determined to abide by that if possible. My first self-publishing experience with Blue Karma taught me a lot, so I’ll approach it a bit differently this time. For example, I plan to give out a few ARCs for early review. Book bloggers, if you’re interested, let me know now! I’ll add you to the list.
- Blog weekly. This year you can expect to see new posts on a regular basis. I’m aiming for a minimum of one per week. As you can see, I revamped the site so I can work with a nice, clean interface (leave me a comment with feedback on the new design).
- Tweet daily. In the last month, I’ve realized how valuable Twitter can be to an author’s platform. Blue Karma got some love in the Twitter-verse last month, thanks to award-related boosts, and it connected me with some cool people. I aspire to tweet daily in 2016. Follow me @jk_ullrich and, if I don’t follow through on this goal, tweet me and remind me!
- Finish drafting my third novel by the end of 2016. This is ambitious, but I need to challenge myself, right? If I can finish Syzygy on time, it leaves seven months for a new project. At 250 words a day, that’s a novel-length manuscript by the time we break out the bubbly for 2017. I’m itching to try writing my second-favorite genre, historical fiction…stay tuned.
- Get my writing organized. My Laddie and I are moving shortly, and the new place affords space for me to have my own office! *squeal* It’s an ideal opportunity to sort out the piles of paper notes and arrange the scattered files on my hard-drive. Clutter has always been the enemy of my creativity. A disorderly environment enables a disorderly mind. Perhaps my 250-word daily goal will flow more smoothly once things are neat again.
Anyone else have writing-related goals for the new year? Share in the comments. We’ll keep each other on track as 2016 gets underway. Happy new year, everyone!