I recently finished reading The Black Prism by Brent Weeks. A great novel that is full of characters you can relate to and a plot that is imaginative and engaging to the reader. It has a well thought out world that has depth and dynamic. The magic is believable and based a bit on real life. In other words, you should go by this novel if you have any love for Fantasy novels. You can wait until you finish reading my post, but as soon as you are done, go buy it.
Like every great story I finish, I find myself sad it is over. But, I also find myself inspired to write a great novel of my own. I also find myself looking at my latest novel and wondering why I have not done much to advance it. When I undertook writing with a serious intention of being published this past March, I told myself I would complete one short story a month and a novel by the end of the year.
That means I should have written nine short stories and one novel. Currently I have completed four short stories and about 2,500 words into the second draft of my novel (the first draft was written years ago, so really this is a rewrite first draft). I also completed a Children’s picture book my son and I wrote together. A far cry from being where I wanted to be.
There are some pluses. First, two of those four stories were published this year. The other two are currently out to markets. The children’s book is currently waiting on the illustrator to complete the drawings. It has a scheduled release for the early part of 2012. Both of which I think are good accomplishments for a writer in his first serious year of writing.
But, why I have fallen so short of my goals? When I finished The Black Prism, I really began to quiz myself of the true cause of my short comings. The answer was simple: Distractions.
I have a long list of distractions. Many of those distractions are worth it and they have to to come first. Those include: My kids, my wife, my health, my chores, my job (when I had one), and searching for a job. But there are some I could trim out. Such as: Television, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Battlefield 3, and the internet.
Of course, the real trouble is actually making those cuts. Every time I power up this laptop the first sight I go to is Facebook. I can’t help it. Then I have to check Twitter now (a site I used to hate and now for some reason I can’t avoid it). Then I go look for work, then I go check out all the sites related to Battlefield 3, then I check my writers forum, then check the site stats for this blog, then I go back to Facebook, and then I check Google+. By then I am tired of the internet, so I shut off my lap top and turn on the TV. Through all of this my children need my attention. I cook dinner, put the kids to bed, my wife comes home from work, we watch TV, and then off to bed. And I always say, “Tomorrow I will have to get some writing done.”
Perhaps I am not taking writing serious enough. I don’t think so. I like doing it and I enjoy seeing the positive reviews of the things people have read of mine. The truth is, and I have mentioned this before, I just have to make the time. Most of the time there is nothing on TV, but I watch it anyway. Most of the time there is nothing new on Facebook, but I check it anyway. I am finding Google+ useless but I still check it. And I don’t know why I am so addicted to Twitter now.
Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are great for me to get in touch with my fans and fellow writers. I won’t cut them out completely. I certainly won’t be able to cut out Battlefield 3 for a while. I enjoy the game. But, I can limit them. I intend to limit them and focus on my novel.
One thousand words a day would reach novel length in just forty days. Of course my novel may be longer and I almost never just write 1000 words in a writing session, but that certainly seems like a reasonable goal. However goals are not worth much if you don’t try. I will try to hold to that goal, and you can always follow me on Facebook and Twitter to see how I do.
So I know have two 2012 resolutions: 1) Exercise and lose weight, 2) Write more.
Of course I have more, but I will save that for another post.