State of the Fiction – January

So we’re  bringing January to a close, and I wanted to be accountable on my goals of becoming a full-fledged author.  I think I’ll do this each month, just for a way to record my progress.  Right now, it’s going to be a brain dump, but hopefully as they go further I’ll prep better and put more concrete things in here.

This week, I’ll admit to being a blog flake.  I have not given proper attention to the wonderful blogs that I follow, nor have I really devoted attention to continuing to provide content for you guys.  I completely missed the week’s Double Drabble, and I’m well on course for not completing the Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner, both of which I enjoy doing but haven’t gotten the time.

We were snowed in over the weekend with a sick pet, and that has completely thrown off my routine.  As I started to get things back on track, I read a book by Jeff Goins (You’re a Writer, So Start Acting Like One) that has made me want to take a firmer look at my current plan.  Review of the book to come, but that essentially translates to me wanting to spend more time actually working on my stories.

So here’s my score sheet for the month.

What happened in January:

I submitted one short story to an online magazine.  I haven’t heard back yet.

I’ve done a lot of work with the blog.  I’ve doubled my views, and rolled out some 20+ posts, most of which have been flash fiction.  I’ve met a ton of really cool people and followed quite a few blogs… full of people who really impress me.

I submitted a guest post on another blog, found here.

I interviewed a self-published author.

I made huge progress on a short story rough draft that I wasn’t paying enough attention to the deadline and missed… I’m pretty bummed, because I really like where I was going with that story.  I’m going to table it for now, but if there’s a project that comes up where the story could be leveraged, I completely will.  Code-Name: Addley.

I read 5 books, most of them nonfiction and focused on how I become a better writer.  I’ve already written the blog reviews for them; they should be rolling out each weekend.

I converted a rough draft of a short story I wrote into a story board for a graphic novel.  A buddy of mine does a lot of comic book work, and he was pretty excited about the imagery surrounding one of my stories.  Code-Name: Havik.

I’ve finished a (very) short story rough draft I intend to submit to Timeless Tales magazine.  I’ll let it sit a day or two, and intend to clean it up for submission.  Code-Name: Unrequited.

I tabled some of my lengthier novel projects, and have started a new one.  Code-Name: Pharaoh.

When I think of all that… I feel like I did make some progress towards being an author this month… But not enough!

What I’d like to happen in February:

I want to finish the rough draft of Pharaoh.  This will be really tough, since I’m only 5000 words into it.

There are at least 3 short story competitions I’d like to enter this month, including Unrequited.  I have partial drafts written that can serve for the other two, so I’d like to finish the drafts and then get the finals done.

I’d like to get into one more as yet unidentified contest/submission.

I’m going to start a memories page on the blog.  One of the books I read suggests writing about your own life as a way to practice describing scenes and expand your creative mind.  So you’ll start seeing a few slices of my history and backstory – All true.

I’d like to do the blog tag cleanup, plus some layout changes, I think.  I also am going to add a page listing some of my works in progress (high level)…. hence all the “Code-Names” you are seeing around.  I think blogging about progress on the various stories will give me motivation to finish some of them.  If you guys are intrigued by any of them, leave a comment.

I’d like to read 4 more books.

I’d like to begin this “Twitter” thing.  I don’t think I’m going to cross over into Facebook usage yet; but Twitter seems good for building writing community.

That’s this month.  Too ambitious?  I don’t know, but hopefully it will result in progress.  I’m counting on you all to help keep me on the ball (even if no one replies, the knowledge that I’ve posted plans should hold me accountable).

Here’s to February!


7 thoughts on “State of the Fiction – January

  1. Wow…come up for air! Its not too ambitious if you dont punish yourself for not getting more done. You have achieved more in one month than I do in three! My excuse is twofold: a full time job and extra family living with me till March. Maybe after that I’ll take a stab at your methods. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hah. Thanks. You actually hit on part of the main impetus for writing this post. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough.. Then I sat down to list what I had done, and felt a lot better.

      Part of my problem is complacency, and I have to fight that. I have a great job that pays me well and treats me right, with lots of upward potential. If it wasn’t for the fact that my heart screams that I need to be a writer, I’d be happy as a clam. That means that I have to constantly fight the urge to say, “eh, things aren’t really that bad. I’ll get to that writing thing _tomorrow_…

      Thanks for reading!


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