Quarter 3 for my writing goals cover December, January, and February. My focus at the beginning of this quarter marks a major shift from what I’ve been focusing on for the past year and a half. My main focus leading up to this point has been on creating content. I knew I wanted to have multiple, complete manuscripts before I started really pushing myself and my writing out into the universe. The goal of pursuing publishing really hinges on having complete manuscripts TO publish. As I’ve been working to create that content, fellow writers would mention different contests or pitch wars or different kinds of opportunities and I would feel the pull to submit a pitch or a partial manuscript. But, I resisted each time because I knew I wanted to have a body of work behind me BEFORE I put myself out there. I wanted to be able to show multiple examples of what I write and who I am as an author. Now that I have those complete manuscripts, the focus shifts to revising and editing those manuscripts and continuing the process of putting myself out there.
As I’ve said before, I do not send these first manuscripts out and expect a book contract to come following after. I’ll be sending them out to start the next part of the process. The next part of the process includes researching which publishers and/or agents I feel would best represent my work and be a good match to work with, drafting and creating query letters, practicing pitching my stories, receiving rejection letters maybe and hopefully with some feedback at some point, and other things I don’t even know about the process yet. Then there will be more revising, writing, querying, etc. There are so many facets to discover and research, so many things to consider and decisions to make.
Goals for Quarter 3 will be:
- December: free-write
- January: Revise Manuscript 2. Research possible publishers and/or agents. Research/write query letters.
- February: Revise Manuscript 3. Continue research. Create goals for Quarter 4.
I’m taking the rest of this month to free-write. I’m going give myself over to those story ideas that have been tugging at the back of my mind for the past couple of months and follow them for awhile before the next idea grabs me. I’ll keep all of these in Scrivener for more in-depth work later on. Not adhering to specific guidelines and just losing myself in my writing will feel like an indulgent way to end 2018 before the hard work of the first two months of 2019 begins.
January and February will be almost entirely, with the awesome addition of a writing retreat, peer critique group meetings, and research, be devoted to revising two of my manuscripts. I’ve worked on revising large chunks of manuscripts before, but I haven’t revised an entire story from start to finish yet. It is going to be a VERY interesting process, and one that I hope will involve gentle learning curves, though I’ll prepare for them not to be. 😳
I have loved 2018. It’s been one of my best years yet, but I am tired. I’m looking forward to ending the year with the people I love most, getting cozy in my home, enjoying the glow of the lights on our tree and on the mantle, cupping steaming mugs of tea, indulging in some favorite entertainment, new and old (Outlander and Twilight, respectively), and enjoying each day as 2018 comes to a close. Free-writing for the last few weeks of the year will be a special indulgence layered in between all of those things; it will be where I release, reflect, and rejuvenate before 2019 begins.
How are you planning on ending 2018? What are some of your favorite indulgences when you are tired and weary, that help you get back to that refreshed state of mind?