Sunday, September 13, 2015

September Update: Progress and Deadlines

The past few weeks have been, as the upcoming ones will be, mostly dedicated to getting things ready for the wedding. We leave for our honeymoon in less than two weeks. We get married two days after we get back. We're mostly ready. I just have a dozen little small things to buy and do before the big day. I'm working on the wedding soundtrack today. It's making me want to write, honestly.

But as I was laying in bed making mental to-do lists this morning, I came to a couple of realizations. The first is that I've done a pretty amazing job reaching all of the writing and editing goals I set for myself at the beginning of this year. The other was that I could realistically take it above and beyond if I give myself some deadlines.

I have decided that I want to have my novel on submission by ConQuest next year. I mentioned that it only needs a few weeks of intensive edits to be ready. And then it just needs the query letter and synopsis and stuff for publishers and agents. I have been working on an agent list, and Rachel has promised to lend me hers, as well.

But with National Novel Writing Month coming up, and me both participating and being Municipal Liaison again, I am running out of time this year to pursue other writing endeavors.

So my goal is to have it edited before NaNo. I need to have it done by then so I can push it out the door and focus my energies on a completely different story. I don't want the pressure of my characters from Monster of Lawrence, asking when I'm going to pay attention to them. They do that enough with the next two pending books.

Between having an urban fantasy novel on submission, putting out a short story collection (I'll worry about that early next year), and having three collections and three novels worth of editing under my belt, I will actually feel worthy of participating at ConQuest next May. I felt like a baby with training wheels this year. And while I won't be a seasoned vet or anything, I will be able to rub shoulders with most of the people in attendance.

But that's only one reason. I use ConQuest as kind of a signpost these days. It's that time of the year where my creative energies get renewed, and I think about all of the things I have accomplished.

I've done a lot this year. I got MoL edited and sent to beta readers like I had planned. That was a huge step for me. Now I just need to take it this one step more. I need to get it out into the world by the end of this year.

The collection is something I can focus on early next year. I truly hope that next year I will continue to write short stories for the Cafe every month. But I also need to get back to novel writing and editing. I have a long list of books to write, and writing is just the first step.

I am still struggling with the idea that my writing isn't any good and that there's no point in putting my voice into the world, but I can't let that stop me. I need to keep trying to make progress, even if it's just going through the motions until I get the passion back. Editing is something I am good at. I can edit my own story into submission shape.

And then in November I will write.