2018 Writing Goals: Wait, I’m An Author?

What We Need Covers

Faithful readers may have noticed I neglected to do an End of the Year wrap-up post.

That’s because, for all intents and purposes, 2017 sucked and I don’t want to revisit it.

But a few good things did happen, the most major of which (for my career) is that I completed my third book and first series. Which is a huge accomplishment, and I’m wrenching my shoulder patting myself on the back, still.

But between that, and the bad things that 2017 brought me, I’ve definitely slid into a writing slump. Yes, I did NaNo and “won,” but even telling myself to keep working on the draft in December until it was done, I didn’t complete it. I wrote a measly (for me) 12K the whole month.

I cannot find the motivation to continue that project right now. It’s not just a matter of self-doubt, though I don’t have a lot of confidence in the idea any more. I feel as if the uncertainty and depression of this year has infected that project.

I’m going to shelve the unfinished draft to (maybe, someday) come back to. After all, I did a fair bit of work on the worldbuilding for it, and even if I don’t finish that story, I may want to try a different one in the same world. Or I may get new inspiration that helps me bend that story into something worth continuing.

So where does that leave me now, at the start of a new year? I’d still like to put out a book this year, and I do have a completed first draft (from NaNo ’16) that I’ve been sitting on. I wasn’t sure I was up to tackling the rewrite last year, and I know the story has deep issues that need addressing–but don’t they all? Who turns out a perfect first draft?

The core of the reason that the NaNo ’17 story failed was that I was forcing myself to write something I wasn’t passionate about. And while that’s a good way to build discipline for less experienced writers, in my case, it was a recipe for burnout.

I am passionate about my beloved-but-flawed RockStar novel–but I was almost scared to try to keep going with it, it’s so big and unwieldy and different from What We Need. I hadn’t planned on writing post-apoc forever (oh, god, no) but I’ve always been more of a fantasy/sci-fi person, and jumping genres to contemporary? What if I’m terrible at it? What if the “real” world I create feels wrong?

But I still hear new songs and think about whether or not they’re something my characters would have written for their band, or if they’d cover it, or if it describes some aspect of their relationships.

I think it’s clear what I need to be working on, this year.

I’ve started the draft reread and am taking copious notes on what needs fixing. If all goes well, I’ll have a contemporary, rock-band romance novel out by next year.

Wish me luck, my lovelies. I think I’ll need it.

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