Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Shifting gears, prioritizing, and goal-setting

Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees, to continue my adage escapade from this week (thanks for noticing, tmso).

I'm a person who focuses well. Multitasking is not one of my major talents, and this is especially true when it comes to writing. I work on something until I finish it, and I hate leaving things unfinished.

But not as much as I loathe feeling like they're not going anywhere. I put a lot of pressure on myself where this is concerned.

To be fair, I've written a lot so far on Rise of the Carrion. So much, in fact, that part of me fought this decision every step of the way. I focus so well that it's hard to think of much else while I'm embroiled in a WIP.

Unfortunately, I'm not nearly as embroiled as I need to be. Despite the progress I've made with it this year, I don't feel confident in how much (read: how little) I've been writing. It's not that I feel like a failure, nowhere near that serious. I just constantly feel that no matter how much I work on it, and no matter how many flimsy deadlines I set (and subsequently break), I am no closer to finishing the first draft.

It's my way to break up a routine when it stops working. So, based on past experience and some brash advice, I've decided to put Rise on hold while I actually accomplish a few things.

Thomas Redpool Goes To Hell only needs a little work, and a bit of design, to be read to self-publish. I want that thing out the door and into the world. I even picked a very probable image for the cover already (which I will not share until closer to release).

Scions of the Shade also only needs a little work, and a different perspective, to be ready to seriously query. I know, frightening when I use the dreaded Q-word, but a wise person recently reminded me that things don't change unless you change them. Could be that I get no response but, based on the lack of activity this year, that would leave me no worse off.

The greatest part of this is that I get to call in reinforcements. Writing is by nature a solo activity, whereas editing is not (or, at least, shouldn't be done completely alone). I'm no good at graphic design and even worse at artistry, so knowing people who can edit, design, and know how things should look. In all ways, this temporary change of direction is about taking some of the pressure off of me.

Of course, that also means I need to stop slacking off in things that I owe others. I have some reading to do, some criticisms to compose and send, and then a lot more reading to do. This time it'll be without feeling guilty that I should be writing.

The goal with this decision is to complete some short-term items, to actually finish them, so that they aren't nagging at the back of my mind. Taking some irons out of the fire, as it were. It's not an easy decision to put a manuscript on hold, but at this point it's the right one to make. I expect the first draft of Rise will be done some time in 2012, preferably before the end of the world, but at least I'll have some excitement to share in the meantime.

Both you and I have some great things to look forward to next year. Let's get to it.

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  1. I was disappointed, but understanding when you first mentioned this to me (the break from Rise)... but given what you're going to work on instead, I'm very happy with the decision.

  2. You've got quite a bit going on your plate. A shift in priotities could do wonders and allow some things to marinate.

  3. I'm like you. Once I start a project, I'm like a dog with a bone. I work on it until it's done. It would be very difficult for me to put something aside. I think that is a good virtue for writers in general. A lot of people can start writing a novel. Not that many actually finish them. But it can work to your detriment if you're fixated on working on something that isn't bearing fruit. Hopefully some time off will give you a new perspective on Rise, and when you get back to it, you get in a groove quickly.

  4. Thanks all. I really appreciate the support :)

  5. Looking forward to reading Redpool. :)

  6. Reinforcements eh? That's a fancy title for someone who grumbles at you a lot, all the while chewing on pen caps ;)

  7. Well my comma usage is grumble worthy, apparently.


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