Goals vs. Excuses

10 Dec

I know I’m a little early for New Year’s resolutions. But here’s the thing, I was looking through my writing folder and realized just how much I’ve started, but never finished. My WIP page, doesn’t even come close to listing everything I’ve started. I have sixteen–yes 16–stories started, most of them with only a few pages. Why I haven’t finished these? Several excuses immediately pop into my head. I don’t have time. I don’t know where the story’s going yet. I need to focus on school. Blah, blah, blah.

All of those are sad excuses. For cryin’ out loud, I wrote 50,000 words in thirty days for Nano. One entire manuscript in four weeks. And you know what, I didn’t have time and I didn’t know where the story was going and I did need to focus on school. But I did it. And I can do it again.

Now, I’m looking at the calendar for 2010. 365 days, fifty-two weeks and I’ve picked six stories to work on. So my goal for next year is to finish the first drafts for these three stories; Saltwater & Cherry Blossoms, Oranges & Lilacs, and Naomichi. And the second drafts of these three; Love & Marigolds, Sunshine & Oak Trees, and Sisters of Cloth. That gives me 8.6 weeks for each one. Assuming I write at the same pace as Nano, that’s 831 words per day and that’s entirely doable.

The Reality & Memories series has been screaming at me to finish it for a long time and 2010 is the year I’m going to do it. Maybe I’m being overly ambitious, that is certainly one of my faults, but even by the numbers that seems reasonable. After all, I’m not trying to turn out a perfect story, I just want to write the story. Get the words on the paper where I can work with them.

Of course I have one more goal that is no small thing. Writing these stories is all well and good, but what am I doing with them. Right now, nothing. They’re sitting on my hard drive waiting for the Great Computer Crash of hp. So, I’m going to start submitting Love & Marigolds to agents. Just the thought of this terrifies me, but I’ve been making up excuses not to do it for a long time. And now I’ve got to let it go.


Posted by on 2009/12/10 in Writing


3 responses to “Goals vs. Excuses

  1. Koreen

    2009/12/12 at 09:02

    Good for you–setting all those goals is awesome. I know I have the same problem. I can start all kinds of different stories, but I have the hardest time finishing anything. This last year, I’ve imposed a slightly different strategy, but it has worked for me. I’m not allowed to start something new until I finish (at least the first draft) of the story I’m currently working on. Maybe setting up timelines would help, too. Thanks for the idea.

    Also, I wanted to let you know that Westerfeld has some info on his blog about the Levianthan series. I can’t remember his address off the top of my head (it’s probably, but I have a link to the pictures on my blog–

    • Candice Beever

      2009/12/12 at 12:10

      Maybe I should have that mandate about not starting something new until I finish the old. I’ve kind of started doing that now. I just have so much started already that it’s a little overwhelming to look at.

      Somehow, I missed that you had a blog. I’ll have to go check it out.


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