One of the biggest inspirations behind my decision to more seriously commit to my writing was Marissa Meyer’s writing blog. I loved her YA sci-fi fairy tale retelling series, The Lunar Chronicles–CINDER was the book that got me out of a long reading dry spell in high school–but her wonderful website, with its plenty of insights into getting published and helpful tips and encouragement for writing, was what really motivated me to finally finish my first novel.
Back in December, I was rereading her blog archives when I stumbled upon this post. It was a continuation of her 2012 post, “Business Plans for Writers“, which I highly recommend. She talks about making yearly business plans for writing, reading, promotion, etc., to provide a roadmap for your career and challenge yourself in your goals.
On Jan. 8, 2014, almost exactly two years ago, I had just finished college applications. I still hadn’t finished my first novel, which I’d been reworking and re-envisioning continuously since middle school with no progress. On her blog post with her 2014 business plan, I commented:
Gah, a writing plan would be so great for me. I’ve been too busy with school these past couple of years to get as much writing done as I’d like, but this past year I’ve kept my outlining and brainstorming pretty well and THIS is the year I have time to write! So it’d be a shame for me to fall by the wayside haha.
My 2014 Writing Plan:
-finish a draft of my main WIP
-preliminary outlines for 3 other projects
-start at least one of 5 other planned projects
-write a short story
-join a writing class/program in college (!)
I was stunned to find this relic from high school me. I remember writing that comment and how far-fetched it’d seemed then that I could actually meet my goals. You always hear that New Year’s Resolutions don’t work, but when I looked back on 2014, I realized I’d not only met, but surpassed my writing plan:
♥ I finished my “main WIP” (First Novel).
♥ I not just started, but completed, TWO other writing projects
♥ I also started my current WIP for NaNoWriMo of that year
♥ I not only joined a writing class, I ended up switching majors to Creative Writing!
I’ll admit it, it was pretty inspiring to look back on what had seemed like yet another list of New Year’s resolutions that I’d inevitably renege on and realize I actually succeeded even more than I’d have thought possible. Things didn’t line up perfectly–I didn’t write a short story, though considering I completed two more novels than I’d even planned for that’s not the worst thing in the world, and I dropped my Fall Quarter Writing Fiction class to make room for an Asian Art History course, so I technically didn’t take a writing class until Spring 2016 (unless you include Her Campus!)–but they were still a smashing success beyond my dreams.
I started outlining my 2016 Writing Plan last month. I planned to finish the second draft of my current Main WIP over winter break, but visiting family made that nigh impossible (life lesson: family fun messing up your plans is the best kind of messing up your plans). I had to make some readjustments, but here’s a tentative business plan for the coming year. Besides additional professional and academic ambitions (including this blog!) I have a huge goal: begin querying by the end of the year.
2016 Writing Plan
♥ Finish second draft of Main WIP by end of winter quarter
♥ Launch and maintain blog
♥ Complete classes for Creative Writing degree OR get in Honors Program
♥ Further career in some way (internships, writing for websites, etc.)
♥ Complete third draft + revision rounds of Main WIP by end of summer
♥ Begin querying by the end of the year
It’s pretty ambitious, which is why I want to give myself leeway to adapt so that quality isn’t compromised by speed. But I’ve learned from experience that I’m capable of meeting pretty ambitious writing plans, and setting goals, even if they’re not met, can be a powerful motivator.
So that’s my writing goal for 2016! Do you have a writing business plan? What projects do you want to tackle in the coming year?