There is one thing that is so important to me right now that I can hardly stand to be taking the time to write this post. 2015 is “The Year of the Novel” for me. I’m about 70,000 words into the first draft of my first novel, which I started writing in November of 2014.
I don’t have resolutions because I’m already resolved.
Nothing can happen until a book is finished. You can’t publish an unfinished book. You can’t sell an unfinished book. You can’t revise or edit an unfinished book.
So objective number one: finish the damn first draft.
I’m thinking and planning beyond that, but every time I think I should take action on something, I shut it down and command myself to finish the book first. I could get lost in learning all about this or that or some other thing. Book marketing. How to best publish. How to query or get an agent.
No, no, no.
Finish. The. Book.
This is a landmark for me, just as winning NaNoWriMo was a landmark. This is the next logical goal. My personal deadline for finishing the first draft is my birthday: the 26th of January. It will be a birthday present to myself.
When it’s done, then–and only then–will I tackle what comes next, which is revising and rewriting. I’m writing this first draft in a fast and sloppy manner, just to get it done, to not jam myself up with over-thinking. If I stop the ground will turn to quicksand, have to keep going. I’ll spend some time educating myself about revising and rewriting to get some distance on the text, but not too long.
I have no idea how long multiple revisions will take, but after that I’ll start looking into what needs to happen next, because at this point I’m not sure. Editing? Looking for an agent? Submit to publishers? Self-publish? I’m a total noob about this stuff and not even worried about it right now.
And if by some chance everything that can be done for this first novel happens to get done this year, then it’s on to the next book.
Happy New Year, everyone!