My month without concrete goals yielded quite a bit of productivity! Not only was I consistent with my poetry efforts, but I actually made a lot of progress on the fiction front, more than I have during any other month this year.
With my poetry, I:
- Drafted 41 poems
- Submitted 10 poems. This is the smallest submission month I had in 2012, but I’m in a bit of a limbo period. I try to avoid simultaneous submissions whenever possible, even when journal editors are okay with it. Sometimes I make exceptions, but in general, I prefer not to have the same poem out at multiple places. In June, most of my best work has been out and waiting for responses, meaning I had less to send.
- Submitted my chapbook.
- Applied for a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund to facilitate the completion of my first full-length poetry collection.
On the fiction side, I accomplished two major things:
- I researched and created a comprehensive outline for my novel (possibly novella) Cutting Teeth, which I began writing on July 1st.
- I started a fiction critique group. It’s been nearly a year since I had a regular fiction circle; that part of my writing life fell apart when Reesa, who hosted my previous group, became too ill. But early last month, I realized how much I missed having a fiction group, and how much I needed one if I was going to make any progress on my prose. So I drew together a group of friends, and we had our second meeting yesterday. I already love our dynamic, and I think we’re going to accomplish a lot together.
I currently have three major fiction projects to work on. First and most important is Cutting Teeth. After that I have an historical horror novel. Finally, the epic poem I have tried and failed to write several times this year is going to be turned into a novel. I’m currently referring to that one as a fantasy novel, because that’s the closest possible genre classification, but I’m not planning on keeping it in that box forever.
My tentative writing plan for the rest of the year is as follows:
- Continue my poetry practice. Though that hardly needs to be mentioned at this point. It will happen whether I write it or not.
- Have a beta-reader-ready draft of Cutting Teeth by July 31st.
- Spend August and September researching, outlining, and drafting the historical horror piece.
- Spend October revising Cutting Teeth based on beta reader feedback.
- Spend November and December researching, outlining, and drafting the fantasy novel.
If all goes according to plan, I’ll spend the early months of 2013 finishing the revisions for Cutting Teeth, and then can focus on revisions for the historical and fantasy novels. I like the way this plan is going, and I’m looking forward to making my fiction life as rich as my poetry life.