So I’m not sure I planned this whole Year of Creation thing out as well as I might have. I don’t mean in terms of timelines or projects – I still feel it’s doable even if I’m rather behind where I wanted to be at the moment – and not quite in a “what was I thinking” sense, but more in an overall project completion kind of way.
But let’s back up just a little to see how I got to this thought.
Writers procrastinate. Sure, everyone procrastinates, but writers are pretty good at it. We’ve turned it into an art form that can compete with writing itself, with a myriad of different ways and methods to push ourselves away from the actual act of writing and still feel like we’re doing something both productive and related to writing. Aside from calling just about anything basic research, maybe a little bit of market research is in order. Market research is important, right? Or we can go back and look at old stories, or stories that maybe need one more little polish (or a complete rewrite), or the stories that we really should have out looking for a home but don’t.
Hard drive research is a great form of procrastination and one I rediscovered last night after a housework break. What stories are lurking on your hard drive and need some attention? More to the point, what stories are lurking on my hard drive and need some attention? Well, to start with there are three first draft novels, only one of which I actually want to look at again someday, two stalled novels, one novel in progress, and four more in various stages of plotting or note taking. Is that too many?
Then there are the short stories. I have 11 stories categorized as final draft. Well, those really should get out to someone, shouldn’t they? Some of them have and come back, but they should all be out looking for homes. Beyond those 11, there are 35 more marked between 1st draft complete and 3rd draft complete. (Side note: in general, for me, 1st draft = get the story out of my skull, 2nd draft = fix problems with the story, 3rd draft = make it pretty, final draft = read it out loud to make sure I haven’t missed anything because I always have.)
Wait, what? That makes 46 stories, ranging from a 250-word flash piece to a 35k novella, complete to some degree. I could ship, or edit and ship, a new story to someone every week for nearly a year without repeating and without writing anything new. Not to mention the dozen or so completed tales either too broken or too awful for me to want to fix at the moment.
And I signed myself up for 40 new projects this year?