Making a Few Changes

changeI’ve been a bit adrift, writing-wise, in recent months. I finished writing my story for the Butt Ninjas from Hell anthology on time, and I submitted an out-of-print story for re-publication in another anthology. But my WIPs are languishing, with only dribs and drabs being added here and there, and I can’t seem to focus on much of anything.

So, it’s time to make a few changes.

First, I’m dropping word count meters. I deleted the one that used to appear on this site, I’m filing away the spreadsheet I was using to track word counts, and I’m taking those numbers off the top of any story file I update from now on. Word counts aren’t the point. Finishing the story is the point. If that’s the 8,500 words it took to write my ninja story, the 81,000 words in my first novel, or some number higher, lower, or in between, then that’s how long the story will be. I’ve been getting bogged down in watching those numbers and forgetting about what’s really important.

Second, I’m cutting way back on my travel this year. I have two trips planned: Tampa for RainbowCon and Portland for the Dreamspinner author’s workshop in April (one long trip, since they’re back to back), and Chicago for GayRomLit in October. I’ll also be at the usual two local events, Outlantacon and Dragon Con, and there’s another local event I’m considering. Mainly, what this means is no RT and no RWA. The costs are just too high for the return at this point. I need to get more books out before those meetings will be worth the time and money.

Last, I’m going to start setting my own deadlines and rewarding myself when I meet them. When I have external deadlines (all three of my most recently completed stories had publisher-imposed deadlines), I meet them. It might be on the very DAY it’s due, but it gets done. I need to work on developing the discipline to set and meet deadlines of my own. As the first step, I have a self-imposed deadline to finish one of my WIPs by March 31. I don’t care which story; I have three strong contenders, though one is more likely than the others. My reward if I meet the deadline? Well, I might actually get a new story out in time for GRL, for one thing, but the real reward is more direct: a trip. (I have a specific place and date for that, but I’m keeping the details to myself for now.)

Okay. That’s enough navel-gazing for one day. I have things to do, and some of them might even involve writing. Hope you’re all having a good weekend!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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One response to “Making a Few Changes

  1. Sarah_Madison

    I think word count meters are deadly. You’re right–it’s not about how much you’ve written, it’s about what you’ve written. And as much as I would love to go to conventions, I simply can’t justify the cost right now.

    My biggest bugaboo is spending too much time online. I love interacting with people and responding to blog posts and such, but when it ends up being hours each day, well, I need to shut off the internet and get back to the WIP. 😉 2011-2013 wasn’t as productive as I would have liked it to have been, but I started picking up speed toward the end of 2013. I’m hoping 2014 will be a much better year!

    Have fun at the conventions! You’re fortunate that you’ve got some great ones in your backyard!