I’ve learned a lot about writing this year, both from my internship with a literary agency and from the wisdom of other writers (my wonderful mentor R.C. Lewis, the fabulous Tomi Adeyemi and her writing group, and assorted other great people in the writing community on Twitter). And what I’ve learned is that I was really naive about how long it’d actually take to get a manuscript ready for submission to agents. So even though I emphatically did not achieve my 2016 Writing Plan’s (admittedly always a stretch) goal of completing revisions/querying by the end of the year, I can’t really feel disappointed:
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
With everything I know now in mind, I actually feel better about my writing progress for 2016. I struggled a bit, especially towards the end of last year with feelings of frustration and doubt and worry that I was wasting my opportunities. But seeing my writing plan, even as wildly unrealistic as it was in regards to getting my WIP ready for querying, made me realize I really didn’t do so bad. I’ve continued to maintain my blog. I’ve completed my classes for the Creative Writing program AND got in the Honors Program! I’ve continued my internships and am now Senior Editor at Her Campus at UCD. And I was accepted into a mentorship (with another on the way!) Honestly, I can’t even be unhappy about the fact that revising my WIP will take a little longer than my (again, wildly unrealistic) expectations. This was the first MS I’ve ever seriously had to revise, after all. Of course I’ve had to learn, but I really do feel I have a way stronger foundation for my WIP now.
With that in mind, here’s my Writing Plan for 2017. I’ll be graduating in June, and while I do want to ease counterproductive pressure on myself, I also am determined to work. I want this project to succeed so much, and I’m hoping if I’m savvier about revisions, I can really be smarter about whipping this baby into shape:
2017 Writing Plan
♥ Complete initial revision rounds (plot, character, world-building) on main WIP
♥ Write an AWESOME Honors Thesis
♥ Attend a writing conference (I was planning to go to SCBWI’s LA conference last summer, but it sold out early!)
♥ Enter Pitch Wars
♥ Make more writing connections!
Am I falling back into my old trap of setting unrealistic goals for myself? Maybe. But 2016 has put a fire in my belly and I’m determined to not throw away my shot, dammit. The hope of entering Pitch Wars is the kicker–it gives me an August deadline to complete revision rounds. But once I graduate it’ll really be it. It’ll really be my time to get serious about following my dream. And I have some amazing people in my corner.