Friday, 6 November 2009

New Year's Resolutions: Ten 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 September and October. Yeah, I skipped a month. I was busy going from Oxford to Missouri to London to Madrid, researching and writing as I went.

Write 7,000 words per week minimum, 10,000 preferred.
I've been keeping up the word count, helped by my job at Gadling. I've written more than 60,000 words for them, enough for a short book. My nonfiction books keep me busy too.

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 sent out any new pitches for two months, being too busy with other stuff. I really should send out more though.

Search for another paid blogging job.

This is no longer a goal now that I'm blogging for Gadling, but I have been casually looking for a second blogging gig. Nothing has come up. I already blog about travel, so I want something in a different subject like history or archaeology. Unfortunately nothing along those lines have come up. Most blogs want someone to blog about tech or pop culture or other things I have no interest in.

Finish a how-to book on writing that a publisher is interested in.
This project has been put on the back burner since I'm in crunch time for one of my Osprey military history books.

Try to get an agent for my fiction and nonfiction.

Working on it. Still no luck.

Do another round of edits on all three of my novels.

I've already done this. I also wrote a summary for my Civil War novel, which I submitted to a contest.

Write my next novel, set in London and Oxford.

I did some writing these past two months, although not nearly as much as I like. I've been struggling with this one and having a lot of nonfiction work doesn't help. I'm still only a quarter of the way through the first draft, about 22,000 words.

Finish two short stories and two novellas I've been fiddling with.

Fiddled a bit with one of the short stories and both novellas, but haven't made too much progress.

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've been slacking off on my personal blogs, as you can see, but my work with Gadling is gaining ground. Several of my posts have made it to the front page of AOL, which gets me lots of hits and tweets. One of my stories got more than 400 diggs and 200,000 hits last week! that made me feel good.

All in all, a decent two months. the main focus has been blogging for Gadling and research and writing for Osprey. Since these two markets pay and pay on time I really shouldn't complain, but my fiction has taken a beating. I'm gearing up to do some serious work on that front once I get past my deadline with Osprey on Dec 15. The new year is always a good time to start a new novel.

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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.

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