Writing Stuff: Quarter 2 Updates & Excuses

typing text writing writing resolution 2012 objectives jim franklinAnother quarter of a year speeds past leaving nothing but a loud whoosh and a squelchy popping sound.  I am three months further into my writing career than I was, erm well three months ago I suppose. So it stands to reason that my accomplishments must now be varied and my achievements many. It stands to reason? Right?

Nah ‘fraid not. It seems like so much can be achieved in three months, but when you actually boil it down there’s not a great deal of useable time in three months. Apparently, I had to spend most of the time thinking of crap excuses for my lack of progress.

Anyway, here’s the update of what’s been happening since my last update. You can check out the last quarter update (here)

As far as my attitude towards my change in career is going, it has stayed fairly consistent. Half the time I’m drowning in a stream of my own rose-tinted bullshit, and for the rest of the time, I’m wading through the foot-bath of self-doubt. I’m also having trouble with mixed metaphors but that’s an entirely separate issue. By the end of the next quarter I am likely to be without job; minister without portfolio so to speak, and my initial plan to be self-sufficient with freelance writing is probably not going to happen. However, I am much more comfortable with the idea of getting a part-time job or maybe even another full-time job than I was before. So it’s not all bad.

My 2012 Writing Resolutions

Way back at the start of this year, I thought about what I wanted to achieve this year and listed my four resolutions or objectives in a post (here). By the time we reached the end of the first quarter, I had already managed to cross one of those off my list. Although it was just about starting a writing course, so it was the easiest one to achieve.

The remaining three resolutions are a little harder to check off…

  • Finish draft 1 of my novel
  • Get something published
  • Earn money from writing.

Finish draft 1 of my novel

If you remember back in April, I was having difficulty with my novel. I had not done as much planning as I needed, and when NaNoWriMo came around I just planned a little and stormed off; writing whatever I thought would be good at the time. I focused solely on hitting the 50k word count and sweet bugger all to plot or story or theme. Now I’ve read through what I wrote again, there were just so many inconsistencies and badly thought out plot devices that it would have taken an age to sort them out. In short, it seemed that the best thing to do would be to re-write the whole damn thing.

I’m now in the process of re-planning and re-outlining. I’ve kept the characters and the plot, but the world/plot mechanics has had a complete overhaul. Considering what I wrote for last years NaNoWriMo, I am confident that I will not be taking part in it again this year. The rush for nothing but word-count had a more harmful effect than I liked.

So in short, I won’t get my draft 1 done this year. Instead I’m revising this resolution to ‘Get basic draft (draft 0) of rewritten novel finished. Something which seems fairly achievable in 6 months.

Get something published / Earn money from writing.

Nothing here yet, I’m afraid.  I am still unpublished and unpaid, but hopefully that will soon be a thing of the past. I have almost finished two articles that I’m hoping to get published in a local magazine.  They are being written as part of the writing course, but once they’ve been ‘marked’ by my tutor they may get sent off to try their luck at being published. With 6 months left I can see me completing those two objectives. After all I only have to get one article published for money and I can cross them both off my list.

I’ve had a few more requests to write about certain things on my blog which is mostly good. I am doing it for free which sucks, but at least there’s a relatively steady stream of content and ideas heading my way.

So as far as the resolutions go, I’m not in a terrible place but with the speed that the first half of the year disappeared the same could happen with the next few months.

What else should I be doing, then?

The resolutions above are quite vague and general. I needed them to be that way because when I wrote them I knew very little about the industry / craft. Although the obscurity of the resolutions doesn’t mean that I can’t add other tasks to my list.

These are things that I should really look at by next quarter.

  • Take more photo’s – It would be useful to have a larger repository of images
  • Learn more about Illustrator / Photoshop – being able to manipulate my own images would be a useful skill
  • Read more – I read, but really not as much as I should do. If I want to become an author than reading and researching styles is par-for-the-course.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, and let’s see if I can’t complete those remaining three resolutions.

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