Happy weekend friends! I hope your day has been going well.
It being January, I’ve been dwelling on plans for the year, and, while I did not make any new years resolutions this year, I have been thinking about what I would like to achieve this year as a writer. This is the list I’ve come up with.
#1. Finish “the timebus story”
A novel placed in the same world of 51, this one has had it’s fair share of false starts. Like 51, I tried writing it during a Camp NaNoWriMo (ended with 11k words) and found it wasn’t working out. I gave up, wrote an essay outlining the problems with it, and set it aside. Overtime I’ve added a couple notes here and there, and eventually I decided to try again, writing the big opening scene over Christmas week. Ideally, I’d hope to finish it this year. It’s a very technically hard story to handle, with nine equally main characters, a lot of context in a bigger story that surrounds it, and the difficulty of making it a standalone yet overlapping with 51. A large struggle I have had is figuring out how much attention to give to the characters of 51 who play into this plot as well. I think I referred to it as “the great game of see-saw,” because I want it to be a standalone, but there were also so many questions left unanswered at the end of 51, so at the same time I wanted it to continue Zeb’s story from his perspective.
After the quiet time I subjected the project to, I’ve come back pretty strong and super excited about it.
In fact, writing this, I went back to read my personal essay on why the story didn’t work, and first of all: glad I wrote that. 100% suggest, it turned out to be a good activity. Second, I’m reading over the 10 points and realizing with all the changes I’ve been making, most of them don’t even apply any more. How cool is that??
In summary: I really want to work a lot on the project this year. And at least, I would really really like to find it a title so I can stop just calling it “the timebus story.” 😆
#2. Write a more whimsical novel
My latest big projects (51 and timebus story) have been a more intense thriller type of thing. I hope to finish the timebus story but then write something lighter and more whimsical. Maybe I’ll finish my past NaNoWriMo project about a steammpunk head merchant. A lot of the stories I adore are either one or the other (epic thriller vs. whimsical quirky everyday magic). But I’ve always thought a good whimsical novel is harder to write. At least, recently, I’ve only tried the one.
I think it would be a nice break, and I’d like to try it again. This might also be related to the fact one of my friends writes the most amazing whimsical novels that are truly fantastic and wholesome and wonky in the most lovable way, and I wish I could do it too. 😆
#3. Continue writing poetry often
This year one of my electives is a poetry class, which has been challenging because I haven’t shared my poetry often in the past, much less read it aloud, and I’ve never had deadlines for poetry before either. But it is nice keeping up a poetry journal and being immersed in writing new poems and reading old ones. (This past week I read Marianne Moore’s The Graveyard, which was excellent.)
I hope to continue a poetry journal and general poetry writing even after the semester ends.
#4. Welcome plot bunnies into my ranks
Hahaha, this is a weird one, but my friend pointed out the other day that it is high time I have a plot bunny or two.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term here is the definition the Wiktionary gives: “An idea for a story, usually referring to an author having more ideas than he or she can use.”
As soon as my friend pointed out that it’s been a while, I realized she was utterly and completely right. It’s been ages since I have found a plot bunny, much less two (and we all know they never come along), and while plot bunnies usually have a negative connotation concerning productivity, they have their benefits. It would be fair to say, I miss them.
Which leads to a short compiled list of the benefits of the plot bunny. For starters, I think it’s always good to have a always seeking creative mindset. Plot bunnies can often help fuel new ideas in old projects, and
So, yes, in summary. This is a goal I hope to fulfill, though I haven’t figured out yet how to do it haha.
Wow, never thought I’d see a day where I would be begging for plot bunnies.
#5. Share my work more in general & send my poetry to magazines and/or enter a writing contest
We will see how this one goes, but I would like to try submitting my poetry to a magazine, and I am currently considering the possibility of entering one of my short stories in my county library’s annual contest.
Beyond that, I hope to hare my work more in general for feedback. I’ve realized I’ve only every shared my stories with other writers, but maybe I’ll work up the courage to ask a friend or two.
#6. Write a novel in a month
I’m hoping to do NaNoWriMo for my fourth time this year! Every time it teaches me something new and pushes me out of my comfort box. Also reminds me the reasons I love writing and hate writing simultaneously, as it is really just writing on steroids lol.
It also simply feels good to go crazy with an entirely new project for a month.
#7. Write more weird short stories
Related to the plot bunnies thing, I can end up taking my story telling too seriously, get lost in the details of a project, and forget how versatile writing is. Even “magical” (though I majorly cringe saying that). The point is, do you realize how much power you have as a writer? You can make literally anything happen. So the later part of this past year I began writing weird short stories, just for the fun of it. Because I could.
Which ended up being really fun, and I was pretty proud of them (especially the first out of the three which featured a dog singing opera.)
So this year I hope to write more weird short stories because writing is fun. And in hopes that the short stories will help improve writing skills haha.
Here’s to weird short stories, right?
#8. Read plenty of good books
This year’s books has started out strong. I finished the book I was in the middle of (Virgil Wander and it was exquisite), with having trouble sleeping one night, I read Ender’s Game again (a classic), and a friend* gifted me a poetry book that I am itching to digest. I also am in the middle of The Elegance of the Hedgehog which has blown me away with its way of capturing very specific things so clearly.
I am looking forward to a year of reading good books, which I think is deeply related to writing good books. (hence being on this list)
Do you have any writing goals for this year?
p.s. okay how many of you guys tried to read the entire, printed out page of my story? *wiggles eyebrows*
*2/10/21 EDIT: that is to say the one and only Eeyore… the nickname I granted her in a post describing our book shopping spree and that said-referred-to-friend pointed out I entirely forgot to use in this case in the process of writing this post. That is to say she is not dethroned from her title or lost her #eeyorianperks but at this point for her loyal services duties is now even upgraded to Detective Eeyore. Many apologies for the committed oversight on such an important issue.