Let’s put out there what everybody is thinking. New Year's Resolutions are futile and its silly that we as a society even bother. It’s unoriginal for me to say they're self-fulfilling prophecies of failure. If you intend to change, why is a calendar so important? Change because you want or need to when you want or need to. Setting a "resolution" is essentially a synonym for “not going to do it.” The currency should be “goals” if you want to reforge your direction. Psychology or semantics may have more to say about discerning the difference between the two. However, “goal” seems infinitely more attainable. For me as a writer, goals give me set milestones and in function, a better process. Now you get to read about it. I am in a rare era of flexibility that lets me work, take care of things with the family, guard my health, and write with greater urgency and purpose. But with that flexibility, my writing at times can lose focus and I’ll start project hopping if I’m not careful. Sitting down to put together my goals in the various areas of my writing has been beneficial. For accountability purposes (and shameless bits of content for Insta and the Blog), I intend to post about them. It’s possible someone may be interested in what I’m doing and it’s possible that someone may have questions. You’re more than welcome to ask away and if you want updates on a specific goal, I’ll provide them. I work better with conversation and feedback as do many humans. Where better to start than with the biggest projects. Novels. Currently, I have five novels in various stages of progress. The genres vary, my goals even more so. Still, I feel woefully behind in getting them all across the finish line and my long-term hope is to have at least one published in a traditional manner before I turn 50. I simultaneously have time and I do not. The mid-forties are a pain like that. Novel #1 - Despite my unhappiness with the current title situated at the front of the manuscript, the novel itself is on its fifth major revision and sitting around 95,000 words. "Fantasy western" has proven to be a hard sell but I'm excited about the story itself. The people who have read the book enjoy it and those unable to finish admit that the combination of “magic and cowboys” isn’t their thing. Understandable. I'm happy they made an attempt. I've also sent it out to several publishers and agents. Obviously, I've received all rejections. Comments sent back have stated they’re intrigued by the concept but they’ve also said it wasn't quite enough for them. Whatever that means. Finally, a publisher gave me something constructive to work with and after letting it marinate, my first Novel Goal is to work on a sixth major revision. Novel #2 - This one is a sequel to the first (meant to be a series) but it is all handwritten on legal pads. The goal for this book is to get it typed up so the revisions and editing can begin. Typing always takes me the longest. I’d give you a word count, but I just don’t know. I’d estimate it around 60,000 words.
Novel #3 - Third is the series. I have about 100 pages handwritten on yes, legal pads, but I stopped due to my forgetting of certain details in Novel #2. It’s an exponential snowball really. Resuming Novel #3 in some manner will be Novel Goal #3, but Novel Goals #1 and #2 need to be reached first. Novel #4- This one is not a part of the series and would fall under the description of "small town Texas supernatural horror.” It is currently at about 74 pages of extended outline (my process is nuts, I know), placing it almost to 13,000 words. If I can hunker down on this one, the rough draft could be done this year. Given the first three Novel Goals, finishing up the extended outline would make for a more attainable Novel Goal #4. Anything after would be gravy. Novel #5- When I was in high school, I wrote a space opera in poetry form. Bad ballad verse and terrible refrains marred the beast but my audience at the time enjoyed it. I did not intend to do an Odyssey in space but the positive feedback kept me pressing forward. Imagine that. I always wanted to redo the saga in novel form. Over the last few years, I've written enough excerpts and short stories that would fall into place for the novel, that I admitted to myself "welp, guess I've got to write this now." I've gone between outlining and writing individual character stories. My Novel Goal #5 may not be to write the rough draft but get an outline that at least acts like there is a cohesive vision. I may be overloading my senses, but I have enough time that I am able to take advantage of my opportunities. Given these goals and others I'll be writing about here, I won’t delude myself in thinking I'll accomplish everything, but if there is no effort, there is no result. Beta readers welcome.