FOCUS is the catch word for my 2014
I am going to write less and accomplish more.
What I mean by this is I am not going to stretch myself too thin by working on a whole lot of plots/stories at the same time. This was my mistake in 2013 and it overwhelmed me and burnt me out.
No more monkey writer brain.
N.I.P. (Novel in Progress)
This year I am focusing on one plot at a time. The Tattooist (my WIP) is my no. 1 fiction focus this year. This is the story and characters that shout loudest in my mind. This is the story my agent wants me to focus on. This is the story and the characters that is going to define me as an author. This is the story that we – my agent and I – will be pitching for publication. Watch this space for little snapshots on this one.
I am going to keep my mental muscles sharpened by playing in short stories. My aim is 6 short stories this year – not necessarily published but definitely written. I love the focus and discipline that short stories require. I find that writing short stories keeps my plot brain in focus for my full-length fiction.
Monkey writer brain:
When new plots threaten to distract and tempt me I am not going to ignore them. This is impossible. I am going to keep an active future fiction notebook going. The distracting ideas, themes, plots and characters will be put into the safe pages of this notebook. This will be the monkey brain Moleskine notebook.
I write full time – this is my occupation. For the last 2.5 years writing has reigned supreme. In a sense I have checked out of real life. I need to come out of the writing nest and feel sunshine on my face, stretch my legs and have adventures.
This year I am going to take two days off every week. Two days of not even thinking of writing. Two days of remembering that to write a writer must live, laugh, cry and seek out new experiences. I must engage in the outside world again. This means time to do new things, challenge myself with fresh experiences, make time to go on road trips and have adventures. So I aim to write 5 days a week. I am not putting a word count on these 5 days. As any writer knows, sometimes the best writing occurs when we’re not writing. But I do aim to sit at my desk 5 days a week (or on my laptop if I am away from home) and write.
Happy New Year!
What is your FOCUS for 2014?