The annual writers’ holidays have begun. Thanksgiving and Black Friday, as always, divided November into days of humming along nicely on NaNoWriMo projects and those days of panicked scrambling to finish a planned novel by the end of the month. Turkey Day sneaks up on writers much of the time, due to the writing frenzy.
Once that frenzy ends in success or a learning exercise, eyes and minds look ahead to tree trimming, Christmas carols, egg nog, and gift wrapping. Between those activities are the actual shopping trips, decision-making sessions on when guests are coming to town, where everyone will sleep, and who’s cooking what for the groaning board.
Let’s face it. From Thanksgiving past New Year’s Day come a series of weeks that many writers might want to ignore or run from. Others revel in the idea of having the perfect excuse to turn off the creative brain and the computer in favor of diving into festivities that have nothing to do with writing. Regardless of which camp you’ve joined this year, preparations are being made on the editorial calendars of editors and writers everywhere.
The end of the year marks a point of reviewing accomplishments. Questions are asked. Did I get the projects done that I really wanted to? Did I expand my market reach? Could I have submitted more fiction or articles? The list can get really long.
I decided to go through my list here. Otherwise, I probably won’t get to it.
- Did I accomplish the fiction projects I wanted to? No. I didn’t get Dreamie’s Box revised and edited. I now must wrangle with it in December. I also didn’t get another chapbook done and published on Kindle or get the cookbook done.
- Was I satisfied with what I did accomplish? Yes. I enjoyed my chapbooks that went onto Kindle and I really like the first volume of Wisher’s World.
- Are projects going as quickly as I’d anticipated? No, definitely not. I feel like I’m wading in thick mud most of the time, which encourages me to feel like I’m fighting a constant battle.
- Did I accomplish all of the article writing and submissions that I’d planned? Yes. I got out all planned articles and continue to contribute three pieces each month to Working Writers Club.
- Have I expanded my horizons with either fiction or non-fiction? Yes. I now have several fiction projects to revise and edit in the coming months—novella/novel length, plus short stories for magazine/competition submission. I’ve also gathered a long list of new magazine and journal markets, plus small presses.
- Have I developed my 2016 Editorial Calendar properly? No, not yet. I still have to go through the new markets (with their guidelines) and flag those I have material for already and those that require major pitches.
- Have I gathered all of the new tools I will need for the next year and begun the learning curve? Yes, I’ve gathered, but I have barely scratched the surface of that learning process.
I have one assignment done already—I whipped it out during NaNo. I have two planned articles to write before Monday. I have titles and outlines for them. The same goes for all the articles due through April. My calendar will help me fill in the rest for 2016.
Fiction is something else. Again this year, I’ll concentrate on what I already have on the hard drive. That alone will keep me busy for the year. I will also work on more poetry in coming months. I’m planning two revision jobs per month—a long and a short, plus a poetry chapbook every other month. Some will go to Kindle, while others go to publishers. I plan on doing at least one extra article per week as well.
That’s my current plan. What’s yours? Have you decided how you’re going to work for the next year? Have you looked back at where you’ve been and how you traveled the road from there to where you are now?
Drop a comment below and share with the rest of us. Until next time, have a fantastic rest of the week. I’ll be back.