Monday, 2 March 2009

New Year's Writing Resolutions: Two Months On

At the beginning of the year I posted my New Year's writing resolutions in order to pressure myself to keep on track. Let's see how I did in February.

Write 7,000 words per week minimum, 10,000 preferred.
I've been keeping up the word count this past month. Quality is more important than quantity, but a writer needs to maintain a certain level of productivity to keep the money coming in.

Get through that huge list of magazine article ideas I'm going to pitch. As I send them out, the list will be added to, so this is a perpetual goal. Same goes for several book proposals I have.
I sent out a nonfiction query in January to a publisher and they asked for a full proposal, so a lot of my work this month has been dedicated to that. I haven't had the time to send out any new proposals. I plan to in March.

Search for another paid blogging job.
I applied for a paid blogging gig and got the job, and then they turned around and decided that the position would be for "exposure only". Sorry folks, but I have bills to pay, and leading me on is not a good way to start a working relationship. I'm applying for another job tomorrow.

Finish a how-to book on writing that a publisher is interested in.
I haven't done much work on that this month.

Try to get an agent for my my fiction and nonfiction.
I've been keeping my novels and nonfiction book proposals on agent's desks, but so far no luck.

Do another round of edits on all three of my novels.
I've been doing another major reedit of my Civil War horror novel and it's going well. I just finished chapter four today and hope to be done by the end of March so I can start my new novel once I'm up in Oxford. I also did a pass through another of my novels, a fantasy that's sitting on an editor's desk. I found very little I wanted to change, just a few tangled sentences and the inevitable typos. You can never catch all of those. I'm glad I took the time, though, because it proved to me that I'm done with that book.

Write my next novel, set in London and Oxford.
I've been writing it in my head already, but I'm not going ot put pen to paper until I'm up in England starting in April.

Finish two short stories and two novellas I've been fiddling with.
I haven't done those yet.

Write and send out "Willoughby: England's First Great Explorer", a book proposal I was supposed to write last year (whoops!).
I plan to do that when I'm able to research at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. I'll also have access to London's Maritime museum.

Increase my online presence.
I've been networking with a lot of writers on Facebook, one of the more useful timewasters on the web. I've also been keeping up with my two blogs.

I've also had other work to do from existing jobs from last year. This month I had to write up a battle map and description for a Civil War book I'm doing, and right now I'm working on an update for a Madrid guidebook. I also wrote an article for British Heritage.

So all in all a pretty good month. I'd have liked to have done more, but there are only so many hours in a day and I need to be a husband, father, and friend too. Perhaps I should hire a personal secretary. Perhaps I should get a good enough book contract that I can afford a personal secretary!

How have your writing goals been this past month? Leave a note in the comments section or post it on your own blog and leave a link.

1 comment:

irishoma said...

Hi Sean,
Wish I were as disciplined and focused as you. I like the way you review your goals each month. Maybe if I adopt that strategy I'll be more likely to follow my goals.
Donna V.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.