I’ve participated in the YA Buccaneers seasonal writing bootcamps on and off since spring 2014 and I’ve decided to participate in the Spring Writing Bootcamp again this year in hopes of distracting myself from being on submission. Time to refocus my energy on generating new words! So, here I am, publicly declaring my goals for May 1st through June 30th.
- Draft a new YA book. First draft wordcount goal: 50,000.
I have three ideas battling for supremacy, but I’ve been focusing my brainstorming and outlining efforts on a YA f/f contemporary romance novel. Last August, I went to one of my many annual fan conventions and walked into the con hotel to find myself surrounded by gorgeous women decked out in their finery. A fan convention and a beauty pageant in the same hotel? Obviously a meet-cute and whirlwind weekend romance waiting to happen. Can I write something that isn’t science fiction or fantasy? WE’RE ABOUT TO FIND OUT.
2. Critique my primary CPs latest YA novel.
My dear writing wife Lisen Minetti just delivered her latest manuscript to my inbox last night, and I am PUMPED to dive in and critique it. I’ll be setting aside lots of time during the first week to accomplish my first in-depth critique, and possibly another chunk of time late in June to read revisions. I love this project of hers and have been looking forward to reading it for months!
3. Be active for 30 minutes per day, five days per week.
Since I began writing seriously back in 2014, I’ve devoted more and more time to writing and writing-related pursuits. All of those pursuits involve me spending lots of time sitting in chairs, and my body is suffering for it. My health and energy levels have noticeably changed for the worse. All those days where I work from 8:30-5, then come home and write until midnight may make me feel like an awesomely productive writing superhero, but they do a real number on my health. My wordcount won’t drop dramatically if I take 30 minutes out of that time to go for a walk. In fact, it could even boost my creativity and energy levels.
Upcoming Pinch Points
I have several things on my calendar that may make my drafting goal a bit lofty, but hey, I’ve won NaNoWriMo for the past two years, so I should be able to do 50k in two months no problem, right? Right? Mid-May will be the New Jersey Library Association conference, which is providing me an excellent excuse to have a mini writing retreat with Lisen. June will be the American Library Association annual conference in Orlando, where I’ll have a peaceful hotel room all to myself to get some writing done in between conference sessions. I’m hoping the circumstances I’ve created for myself during these trips will mean I can still get some writing done and stay on track.
Tracking my Progress
I’ve tried lots of ways to track my goal progress over the years, but nothing seems to make me as happy as the combination of colorful star stickers on a calendar plus the wordcount tracker on storytoolz.com. Storytoolz makes a line graph as you input your wordcount each day, and there’s something so satisfying about watching that little line climb. But seriously, colorful star stickers. Who doesn’t love them? I’ll give myself a sticker for each 30 minutes of exercise, each critiquing session, and each 500 words written.
But M, you’re supposed to be a professional! Why do you need stickers to motivate you to write?
Fuck off, stars are awesome.
What about you?
Are you working toward any particular writing goals right now? Declare them for all the world to see in the comments. Let’s keep each other honest and motivated!