Going through my goal planning process and breaking it down over the past month has been hugely helpful as I look to the months ahead. With it all in mind, it is time for me to embrace a new timeline moving forward.
Traditionally, I set an overview for my entire writing year in May/June of the year before. Usually at that time of year my girls are about to get out of school for summer vacation and I’m finishing a heavy writing season that began with National Novel Writing Month in November of the year before. At that time I am not just thinking about goals for the year to come, but also thinking realistically about what I can accomplish with my girls home for the summer and before I start preparing for NaNoWriMo again in November of the new year. This has been a great year to year flow over the past four years when I started treating my writing as my job. Now that I’ve begun to approach the end of a much larger set of goals, where every writing project that I wanted to write is drafted and I’m heavy in revising and querying, I can feel the structure of my timeline beginning to shift. The hard part is that I don’t honestly know what my new timeline is going to look like because there are so many fluid pieces where one decision could push me one way or one letter could launch me another. As someone who likes timelines, organization, and structure, I have found myself stalling in the face of uncertainty. I reached a point where I felt frozen in place and frustrated and realized it was time for me to be like Elsa, and let it go. 🙂
Moving forward meant letting go of the need to know what’s going to happen the rest of the year and focus on the task in front of me. I am about to launch into a huge revision project of MS:TS and it will have my attention for the next few months at least. Knowing that, I’ve created my timeline and prepped my office to embark on that journey. In my revisions, especially my last two big revision projects, I’ve felt really strong in my ability to see the whole overall plot and character arcs as I revise. I’ve got my process to do a read through, make notes where I need to fill holes in either the plot or character arcs with new chapters or new information, and can keep those in mind as I revise. The next level I want to challenge myself to be better at is my ability to draw more from the scenes in my story. Each scene where something happens to my character and my character responds to it, is an opportunity to deepen a relationship, expand on the plot, or raise the stakes. I want to make sure I am breathing into those moments as well as I can because that is where the story lives. Those are the places where I want my reader to fall deeper in love with the story. I want to take my time to plan those moments and see how each one connects to the other. Knowing that, I’m going to spend more time on outlining, plotting, and mapping my story for MS:TS than I ever have on a project before. I’m excited to take on this challenge and get back into the world of MS:TS.
In case you haven’t been told today, you are more than enough.