I had an amazing year in 2012, writing-wise; I managed to hit almost 1,000,000 words — and if you include December 2011 in that count, the month when I first made the resolution not to break my NaNoWriMo streak, I actually did — and I actually finished the first novel in my collaborative YA series. I managed to write 90% of another novel, and “won” NaNoWriMo although I didn’t finish the story. I wrote something for 82.5% of the days in the year.
My goals for 2013:
- to meet or beat 2012’s count for days with words written (302)
- to meet or beat 2012’s word count ()
- to finish the first draft of Oath-Takers (the novel at 90%)
- to finish, or at least outline to the end, Emergence (NaNoWriMo 2012)
- to continue Corin & Ezra, the collaborative YA series, Book 2
- to finish the rewrite of NaNoWriMo 2010 (the living spaceship threesome)
- to balance original and fannish output
- to read
This last one is actually one of the most important. After reading over 45 books in the first 5 months of 2012, I stopped reading altogether in the end of May when my writing productivity skyrocketed. I wrote between 80,000 and 115,000 words per month from June to December, but read absolutely no books in that time.
This is shocking to me; I’ve never gone so long without reading, but almost every minute of my spare time was spent producing, not consuming. As I’m a firm believer that we can’t write without reading, this coming year I’m vowing to strike a balance between the two.
To those who ask how I manage to write every day while keeping a full-time job (I’m a high-school teacher), all I can say is, keep track. Make a spreadsheet, even a simple one, or use 750words or another online tracker, and keep a record of everything you write. Forgive yourself if you don’t write every day, but commit to it as much as you can.
The bottom line is, I stopped making excuses for myself, and I started holding myself accountable. It’s amazing what difference that makes.
Finally, here’s my 2012 writing summary, courtesy of my spreadsheet (if you’d like a template, just let me know and I’ll send you one!):
Happy New Year, everyone!