Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Writing Goals

We've been to the beach. I found enough part time work to afford my basic needs (rent, summer ales, tofu). The garden is thriving and I've spotted our first jalapeno peppers. Strawberries are on sale every week. It's official, y'all: summer has arrived.

And it really feels like summer. This is probably because I'm a full time student again, so my life from May to August is drastically different than during the other nine months of the year. It's tempting to rest of my laurels, tell myself that I've earned a break after busting my ass all semester, and simply enjoy the slow pace of summer in the south.

But this is me we're talking about. I'm not happy unless I'm productive. And so, I've made some writing goals for the summer.

These goals aren't too different from the rest of the year - write daily, submit often, read a bunch - but I like to think they're more ambitious. During the year, when classes and teaching are in full swing, I'm in survival mode. I write when I can, mostly under workshop deadlines and around my other obligations. Now, though, I am beholden to no one but myself and my desk. It's time to make some real progress, and then go to the beach. Here is how I plan to do just that:

Summer Writing Goals

1. Write a minimum of 1,000 words a day. So far, so good. I've been pretty consistent with this goal since the end of May and as of May 22 (I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of my word counts) I've clocked 15,8008 words. Not quite a thousand a day, but pretty close.

2. Make Fridays my Business Day. I got this idea from a professor at UNCW, who claimed to have two personas. The main one is Forest Creature, who spends her days writing in a dark cave, cut off from the whole and engulfed in her own imagined worlds. The other is Veronica, a savvy business woman who appears once a week (on Fridays) and gets shit done. I love this idea, and so I am straight up copying it. This summer, I will spend Fridays submitting to journals, researching contests, writing outlines for stories and novels, and anything else that is related to the business side of writing.

3. Write an outline for my maybe-novel. This would be the novel I've been pretending to write on and off since spring break. I just broke 20,000 words, and I still have only a vague idea of what it's actually about or where it might be going. I think this will be the novel I work on during next year's Novel Writing Workshop, will spans both the fall and spring semesters. The only way to know if it's worth my time is to know what the hell I'm writing. Outline it is! 

4. Write syllabus and prepare lesson plans for Introduction to Fiction Writing. This is the class I'm teaching in the fall. Teaching can take up a lot of time (A LOT OF TIME) if you're creating lesson plans as you go. Planning ahead saves a lot of headache and stress. I hope to have this completed by the beginning of August.

That's pretty much it. Not too extensive and definitely manageable. Basically, just enough to keep me productive and happy which, for me, go hand in hand.

And speaking of being productive, I still have to write today's one thousand words, which will happen as soon as I hit post. While I'm doing that, tell me about your summer goals or upcoming projects. I like to know what dreams other people are chasing - it inspires me to keep chasing mine.