Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Journey vs a Short Trip

I think the year is still new enough to talk about goals and/or resolutions. I usually set up my writing goals in 6 month chunks - January to June, July to December.

My novel is the priority. The first draft is done (thank you, NaNoWriMo 2009!) but the long and daunting revision process is ahead. I'm approaching it differently than I have in the past - hopefully with more patience, if nothing else. Novel work often feels like a journey where I can't see the end. It's full of great scenery and amazing people but it also has bumps and turns and dead ends and roundabouts. It took me awhile to figure that out and to settle down into it.

However, I've learned that I also need shorter trips, weekend getaways, where the end is clearly marked. I need blog posts and flash fiction and contests with deadlines, themes and word count limits. I need to feel like I've accomplished something, start to finish.

Do any other writers - or anyone with a long, overhwhelming project in front of them - feel the same way? What works for you?


  1. That's exactly what I do...a few contests, throw out a few queries, write a kid's story or flash, and um, spend necessary time networking...

    BUT, this year, I'm working on a YA novel, too. I can't just do one thing. I want it all :-)

  2. Does this system work for you?

    "Necessary time networking" huh? :) How much time is that? And how much is too much? I'm still trying to figure that out for myself...

    Do you read a lot of YA, Cathy? Any favorite authors or titles?

  3. Madeline: awesome blog, I love the title. Congratulations on fleshing out your novel. Keep up the good work. I like working on shorter items, and probably will until I can manage more sit-down time.

  4. Thanks, Tami! Keep going with those short items yourself - they provide such a great sense of accomplishment, don't they?