Friday, 5 June 2009

New Year's resolutions, five 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 May.

Write 7,000 words per week minimum, 10,000 preferred.
I haven't been keeping up the word count this past month. This is due to a large amount of editing I've been doing. Useful, but it doesn't get more pages written, only gets the older stuff looking nicer. I hope.

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 haven't been doing much pitching, although I did send out a book proposal.

Search for another paid blogging job.
This is now no longer a goal, because three weeks ago I started blogging for Gadling, the single largest travel blog on the web. It's going well and I'm learning a lot about what makes a popular blog work.

Finish a how-to book on writing that a publisher is interested in.
Umm. . .haven't done much on that. I really need to get cracking.

Try to get an agent for 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 did an edit on my very first novel, which I finished a few years ago. I'm now going through it again and pruning out a lot of excess wordage. A common first novel mistake is overwriting, and I certainly made that mistake! I plan to send it off to a certain publisher when they open for submissions in July. I checked out the sequal to that novel, which is about halfway through the first draft, and noticed I hadn't opened that file since January 5, 2007. If I get to work on that again it will certainly be with a fresh set of eyes!

Write my next novel, set in London and Oxford.
I did a fair amount of writing this month.

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

Write and send out "Willoughby: England's First Great Explorer", a book proposal I was supposed to write last year (whoops!).
Still haven't done anything with this proposal.

Increase my online presence.
I'm continuing with my personal and writing blogs, and my work with Gadling accounts for another five posts a week, so I'm getting my name out there. I'm also writing for another blog with eight other writers.

In general, I'm not terribly satisfied with this month's progress. I did a lot of research for a history book due at the end of the year, and a bit of fiction as well as a lot of editing of older fiction. The job at Gadling was a plus too. On the other hand, there are several projects that are languishing for lack of proper attention. I'm finding springtime in Oxford to be very distracting! One way of coping is to go hiking and then write it up for Gadling. Perhaps a long spell of English rain will get me back on track.

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