It has taken me almost a week to catch up on various things, but I finally have some time to jot down thoughts on my writing goals for 2015. Good thing, too, since tomorrow evening at the writers group, we are discussing–writing goals for 2015. Keep in mind these goals apply to paid writing, and not the writing I do here on the blog.
1. Increase my daily average to 1,000 words per day (40 minutes/day)
In 2014, I wrote, on average 850 words every single day of the year. Since writing, for me, has become a daily habit, when I think about my goals, I think in terms of what I can do each day, as opposed to the overall big picture for the year. That’s because, getting the writing done each day is great practice, and by its very nature, builds up the word count. (I wrote 311,000 words in 2014.)
Many of my full time writer-friends aim for 2,000 words/day. Ultimately, I would like to get there, too. There’s just one problem. With a full time job, and a family, I don’t have the time to write 2,000 words every day. With nearly 700 days worth of data collected, thanks entirely to my automated Google Docs Writing Tracker system, I have data on not only how much I write each day, but how much time I spend. Based on the data, my rule of thumb is 1,500 words per hour, or 1 page (250 words) every 10 minutes.
In 2014, an average of 850 words/day would amount to about 34 minutes of writing each day. To write 2,000 words/day would require 80 minutes per day. No, my goal is not write 80 minutes/day in 2015, because I don’t have that kind of time. I’m more for an incremental approach. What’s reasonable? How about a little less than a page per day. In other words, I’d like to average 850 + 150 = 1,000 words per day in 2015.
To do that, I need to find an additional 6 minutes per day for my writing. That’s not that much, and in 40 minutes each day, I can write 1,000 words. That means producing about 365,000 words in 2015 vs. 311,000 in 2014, an increase of about 17%.
Goal 1: Average 1,000 words/day in 2015.
2. Finish the second draft of my novel
I have been hard at work on the second draft of my novel. For a long time, I struggled with it, going through 36 restarts in order to find the right voice and opening. Having finally found that, things are moving much better. I’d like to complete the second draft of the novel and send it to my beta-readers for comments before the end of the year.
Goal 2: Finish the second draft of the novel.
3. Submit 2 short stories
I haven’t done much short story writing in a while, and I want to get some stories out there. It’s been hard because I have been focused on the second draft of the novel (see #2 above), and when I haven’t been working on that, I’ve been writing some nonfiction (see #4 below).
However, I’ve been invited to some anthologies, and I have a story idea for one of them, which I have started to write when I need a break from the novel. I expect it to be a fairly short story, 4,000 words tops, but when it is finished, I plan on submitting it to the anthology.
I also have an idea for a new story that I’d like to send out to one of the magazines, a story that takes place in the same world as the novel that I’m working on. If all goes well, I’ll have that story written before the end of January, and I’ll send it off to the magazine I have in mind.
Goal 3: Submit 2 short stories.
4. Finish the baseball novella that I started in 2014
I finished the first draft of a great baseball novella in 2014, and I got started on the second draft, but gave it up to work on the second draft of the novel instead. When the novel draft is finished, I’d like to return to the novella and try to finish that up before the end of the year. I don’t know that I’ll be able to submit it before the end of the year, but I aim to have it finished, and off to beta-readers.
Goal 4: Finish the baseball novella that I started in 2014.
5. Look for additional opportunities in nonfiction writing
2014 was a breakout year for me in terms of nonfiction writing. I wrote for The Daily Beast, had a virtually viral article for 99U, wrote an editorial for Analog, and wrote my favorite article of the year for SF Signal. I love writing nonfiction, especially on technology, or science fiction history, and I’d like to be able to do more of it in 2015. So I’ll be keeping my eyes open for additional opportunities to write nonfiction in the coming year.
Goal 5: Look for additional opportunities in nonfiction writing.
Those are my writing goals for 2015. Have goals you want to share? Drop them in the comments.