What a difference a few days can make. When I set my goals for this week, I was looking for progress of about 5,000 words for the week, with 1,500 words coming from EMBER at the minimum. What have I accomplished so far?
Well, on EMBER I have written 1,018 words of new progress, most of it on Sunday night. Since then, I’ve been working a lot on re-entering MOST LIKELY so that I can start revising that. At the last check-in, my word count on MOST LIKELY stood at 7,388 words. As I write this check-in, that count is now up to 11,870 words. That means I’ve re-entered 4,482 words in the last couple days.
So between EMBER and MOST LIKELY, I’ve written 5,500 words already this week. Goals blown out.
But it’s time to reset my goals for the week.
On Tuesday, I was let go from my day job. Downsized. And I’ve decided to really push myself to see if I can make a go at being a full-time writer, before panicking and looking for another cruddy day-job. Something my wife has urged me to do.
So, I say, goal met for the first half of the week. The goal for the second half of the week has to be an upgrade, though.
Here’s the new goal: at least 2,000 words yet tonight, at least 3,500 words on Thursday, at least 2,000 words on Friday before sundown, and at least 2,000 more words between Saturday night after sundown, until I do my Sunday check-in.
That would mean another 9,500 words, with at least 500 words coming from EMBER, so that I make good on that goal, between now and Sunday. Considering MOST LIKELY runs about 60,000 words, that’s the least I can do.
See, my priorities have changed. I need to get something out on the market, and while I refuse to rush things in a way that sacrifices quality, I also want to play it smart and get something done that can get to a “ready to publish” state quickly.
That makes MOST LIKELY the priority project right now. As a twenty-year-old novel and the creative thesis that earned me my master’s degree, MOST LIKELY is at least an “advanced draft” project.
That makes it a lot closer to “finished” than EMBER is right now.
Sure, I need to update the novel; I want to change the setting, repair the writing that I now know can be stronger, and bring the story into the present day setting.
But re-entering the novel can and should go quickly. Revisions, while detailed, won’t require major restructuring at this point. Updating, strengthening, but not major surgery. If all goes well, and my beta-readers are swift, I could get MOST LIKELY to market a lot sooner than July, my most optimistic estimate on EMBER. And I need to get something out there without sacrificing quality, so that’s the direction I need to go.
MOST LIKELY is now my top-priority project and EMBER the second-priority project. MOST LIKELY will hit the market before EMBER, but hopefully EMBER won’t experience a major delay as a result of this re-prioritization. EMBER should still come out in 2011. Maybe not in July, though.
I am also considering developing a couple short-novel projects that can also hit the market more quickly, due to their short length. One of these projects will be an EMBER prequel. A story from earlier in her life, something that takes place before the novel begins. It could be a good promotional tool for EMBER, and it’s another thing that I could put out there on the market more quickly.
I am also thinking of moving up the priority of some of my Messianic theological books, since I have rough drafts of those at hand, and just need to dig deeper, flesh them out, and write them for a general audience uninitiated to the Messianic movement. But that’s nonfiction work.
I also don’t want to juggle too many projects at once, though, so for right now I’m not going to worry too much about my nonfiction. Instead, I’ll work hard on my fiction. Priority one: MOST LIKELY. Priority two: EMBER. Priority three: A couple short novels, including an EMBER prequel.
Goal by Sunday check-in? Another 9,500 words or better. Time to get serious about my writing career. Seriously prolific.