New Year’s writing resolution: tie up all loose ends.

  1. A 75,000 word (currently) 3rd draft of the story I’ve been working on about a fictional island in the Florida Keys. The cover has been commissioned, my first draft readers (thank you, Jaime and Lyndsey!) have given me solid feedback, and my goal is to have it re-read, edited, and self-published by January 31st. (*Note to self: in the future, decide whether past or present tense is more desirable during the first draft. Combing through the third draft and changing everything to present tense is painstaking and horrible.)
  2. Draft one of the “American Dream” book Holly and I have been working on since summer. We’re halfway done. We can do this. The cover is made, we know what’s supposed to happen, but our engines stall when she decides that she REALLY needs to play Barbies today instead of writing with Mom–just this ONE. TIME. (The mom in me says, “Let her enjoy the Barbie-playing; it won’t last much longer…”)
  3. 30,000 words of a romance novel that I started in 2009 about a television producer who works on a reality dating show called Trial by Fire. Every time I re-read it, I pick it back up and peck away a little bit more. I really like it, but for some reason it hasn’t written its own ending yet. Huh. Go figure.
  4. Arguably the manuscript I’ve done the most research for, a 40,000 word work-in-progress called Year of the Rabbit. Set in early 80s Miami Beach, a pregnant teenager moves in with her uncle and his boyfriend, who is a drug dealer. I love this one…it WILL be completed!
  5. Book 2 in my Florida Key series. Book 3 in the series Holly and I write together. Intense self-marketing and promotion. Complete understanding of self-publishing. Eventual world domination. Naturally.

I love the start of a new year: it’s filled with days, and weeks, and months–so many blank, unwritten days on the calendar! I just talked to my students today about the difference between goals and resolutions, so I do understand that most of the above actually fall under the category of “goals” (given how much life gets in the way as the year evaporates before my eyes), but I want so badly to make 2016 a year that I look back on as a turning-point with my writing.

Last year I spent a lot of time reading and figuring out the nuts and bolts of self-publishing, and I also put a lot of energy into networking and finding people to do the things I couldn’t do, so this year I feel like my energy needs to go into the actual writing and promoting. So do I get up at 5am to write before work, or do I teach my kid to make dinner and drive herself to swim practice at night so I can spend my evenings writing? Decisions, decisions…Happy New Year, everyone!