My word for 2021 is culminate and it has served to both motivate my work and motivate my rest this first quarter of the year. This week I especially leaned into it as I navigated how I was going to leave my period of rest after a few weeks off from writing and set goals for the next quarter.
For my writing, I wanted this word to motivate me to finish projects. Not just to finish them, as last year my word was complete and that helped me to finish stories, but to bring my stories to a place beyond being a full manuscript. I wanted it to motivate me to reach that point where I have a richer understanding of the world, the characters, and the plot of a story. I know that the more I can develop this, the more I will be able to return to that world for future stories. For the first quarter or the year I was so focused on my word count that I didn’t stop to focus on that part of the work. I did finish a manuscript in January and I wrote two-thirds of another manuscript in February and the beginning of March. Once I’d completed those things, I knew I needed a break and leaned into. I left my writing as it was and focused on other things. Now that this first quarter is coming to an end, I’m ready to jump back into my stories and really focus on that other part of culmination within my writing projects.
This week I took the time to plan out the next three months of my writing goals. My main goals are to finish the last ten chapter of MS:L and revise both MS:D and MS:TS. MS:D is sitting at about 39,000 words and MS:TS is sitting just under 48,000. By the end of this next quarter I’d like them both to be 70,000 words each. I’ve got a good hold on what is happening in both stories, though MS:TS, while it is a fuller draft, is the one that needs the most work. MS:TS is the manuscript I wrote for NaNoWriMo in 2019 just after my Papa passed and writing that draft in my grief definitely changed how the story came out on paper. That experience deepened my connection with my main character because so much of what she does is to protect her loved one because of the grief she carries. It manifested within her journey in really powerful ways and I’m excited/anxious to go back and inspect how that changed who she is. As I go about revising both of those stories, I’m going to take notes and build a reference system for the worlds of these stories. I don’t know exactly what will live where in that process, but I have books, software, templates and other resources at my fingertips to figure it all out. I’m excited to jump in and see what is going to be the most helpful in this next part of the journey.
In case someone hasn’t told you today, know that you are more than enough.