March Goals

February’s goals didn’t seem too oppressive, but I always forget that February is a short month whose end sneaks up on you. I also lost a couple days to dealing with mechanical difficulties and secret meetings, and so I ended up scrambling a bit at the end… But enough preamble, how’d I do last month?

  • An hour of new words, every day, regardless of what else is going on. My buddy Kevin Madison has been doing an hour of drawing every day since 2013 with some amazing results. Word count isn’t so important to me with this experiment as forcing myself to make the time. I experimented with it during the last weeks of January and managed to draft a short story I’ve been thinking about writing for a while. I’m not setting a hard word count for this goal; 1000 words would be nice, but I’m thinking that I must draft roughly a page, so 250-350 in each sitting. I’m keeping a running total of how many words and which project they belong to). Some of these words will be for Book 3, but I’ve got a few short stories on the go too.
  • Get my short fiction house in order, by which I mean: finally enter the last round of story rejections into my submissions tracker and fire them back into the world again.
  • Reread the completed Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues novels and make notes relevant to Book 3.
  • Turn in my article to Prairie Books Now.

I feel pretty good about February’s work. I wish that I could have finished my Tombstone Blues reread also, but the unexpected drama of a dying washing machine and a disagreeable car didn’t help my focus.

Neither did the never-bloody-ending cold.

Short fiction waited until the end of the month, but I’ve got back on that horse of sending things out into the world and it feels good to be collecting rejections again. I realized that some of my stories had been sitting for far too long. I can’t sell them if they stay on my computer. Another reason for the hour of writing a day! I definitely need some new stories to send out. Some of my older pieces are running out of applicable markets. I still have three previously drafted stories that I want to take another edit pass on before they join the rotation and after February, I have a couple new short stories drafted and in need of revisions.

I’ve got a breakdown post coming up where I dissect my hour of writing a day habits, but I managed to put down almost 25000 new words on a variety of projects. I also had a meeting that will directly impact the state of my long range goals, but I can’t talk about that just yet, sorry to tease. Some of the things discussed should be announced soon, though. Stay tuned.

And now, the goals for March:

  • Finish prepping for my workshop in Thompson.
  • Reread Tombstone Blues and make notes relevant to Book 3.
  • Transcribe my notes.
  • Edit and submit one of my recently drafted short stories.
  • Edit and submit one of my previously drafted short stories.

I was initially going to go for another hour of new words every day (which I’m still pursuing on the down low, so far, so good), but I’ve also been trying to be more realistic about my posted goals. And, making the time for revisions is definitely my weak point. I love getting a first draft on the page, the fixing of that draft, not so much. I know there will be new words written in March, but I’d like to get at least some of February’s work tightened up before I add more stories to the revision pile.

Write on!