Because I’m a teacher, summer has always been my chance to get some solid writing done. Every year, I set myself a bunch of writing goals. Last year was a wash, sadly, because I spent the summer recovering from a somewhat substantial surgery and lacked the energy to do much of anything. This summer, though. This summer I am healthy and ready to go. Also, I just found out that I’ve been accepted into the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Associations Mentoring Initiative Program for the June 10th–September 10th session.
So yeah, this summer is going to be all about writing, and identifying my writing goals is a way to help me stay on task and not waste time. Therefore, in the spirit of making the most of the next twelve weeks, here are my writing goals for this summer:
Goal #1: Short Story Revisions
I’ve got two short stories that I need to rework and revise. They’ve both been workshopped by my amazing writing group gals and have been sitting, waiting for my attention. I want to shape them into something good and get them out on submission (since I’ve been having some recent luck in that department). One is a fairytale style romance, very uncharacteristic for me. The other is a dystopian science fiction thriller in the same vein as The Manchurian Candidate. Currently, it’s a mess. It might not be sellable, but I need to at least try to turn it into something submittable.
Goal #2: Write a Bunch of New Flash Stories
I’m very new to writing flash fiction. Prior to this year I’d have laughed at anyone who suggested I try my hand at writing a complete story in under 1,000 words. Uh, do you know me? I’m normally the “why use one word when ten will do” kind of writer.
But in early January, the online writing community I’m a member of–The Codex Writers–announced that their annual winter flash fiction challenge would be starting soon. I hadn’t done much writing since early November and was both hating on myself for it and also unable to climb out of the pit of lassitude I’d fallen into, so I thought I’d give the flash fiction thing a try. Why not? It’d get me writing, and it’d push me outside my comfort zone and challenge my skills as a writer.
It was awesome.
Luckily for me, Codex runs a summer flash challenge as well. It’s a bit less intense in terms of pacing and word count limits (I can hardly believe I now think 1000 words is luxurious). It runs for three weeks, and we get seven whole days to write and submit each time! More time, more words, I’m 100% doing it.
I also recently found out about s second flash fiction challenge hosted by Clarion West that’s happening this summer. This one has a participation fee associated with it ($25). It’s actually a fundraiser that supports Clarion West’s programs for emerging and underrepresented writers. Registration opens on June 12th. Sounds awesome. I’m doing it.
So, between those two community hosted events, I should end up with a bunch of new flash stories.
Goal #3: Finish a Rough Draft of a Novel-in-Progress
Okay, I might be biting off more than I can chew here. Of course I am. I’m a Try Hard, YOLO, overachieving Extra by nature. Do all the things! All of them!! In that spirit, I’ve got a half-finished draft of a middle grade adventure story that I really want to finish writing, and I really want it to be good, not sucky. Rather than discovery write my way into 70,000 words of bloated rambling nothingness (which has been my failed strategy with my last two novels), I need a plan. I need to actually map out the story before I write it. Unfortunately, I suck at plot structure. Fortunately, I’ll have a SFWA mentor who will be able to help me out with tips and tricks and regular check-ins to keep me honest.
So those are my goals for this coming summer. Write, write, and write some more. I’m sure I’ll also want to spend time with the fam and do some gardening and hiking and beaching, etc. Are you a writer or creative artist? Do you have a “season of productivity” like I do? If so, how do you keep yourself on track and productive so you don’t lose time and opportunity?
Thanks for stopping by, and as always, happy writing!