Looking Forward With A Backward Glance

Every year between Christmas and New Years I take an inventory of writing projects I’ve accomplished the past year as well as looking at what I want to tackle in the coming year.

Before I started working the current job I have (one that I love and am thankful for) I wrote full-time for about three years. It was a dream fulfilled as well as a pen’s eye view of the roller coaster ride that is freelance writing. But my writing regime has changed since I’m not writing full-time anymore. Though, ironically, I think I’m still getting quite a bit done because I have to put stricter parameters on my schedule due to my full-time work.

In 2012 I wrote over a fairly wide spectrum of projects and genres. Here’s what it looks like I completed:

  • Published a young adult novel called Lost & Found
  • Published a short story collection called My Eye On Home
  • Was commissioned to write and nearly half-way completed on a biography.
  • Placed four articles in national publications
  • Revised True North, a full-length play and had it selected for a public reading at a regional theatre.
  • Completed Last Run, a new one-act play and began submitting it to contests.
  • Taught a Playwriting class to kids 12 and up.
  • Wrote a new article and two new short stories.
  • Wrote a bunch of corporate writing; web copy, television commercials, brochure copy and some brand writing.
  • Adapted three short stories for the stage for a collection of Christmas plays.

Looking back that seems like a fair amount, given my job, work out on the farm, wrangling an ever-growing menagerie and trying to spend as much time as I can with a cherished wife. And yet, I feel like I wasted so much time. There were projects I wanted to complete that I didn’t even get started.

So looking ahead, here’s what I hope to cross the finish line by the end of the year:

  • A full length play concerning JRR Tolkien & CS Lewis (started)
  • Complete a novel that was started a couple of years ago (about 50 pages in)
  • Write a screenplay (western) that’s been percolating for some time.
  • Complete another play that is in outline form
  • Complete afore-mentioned Biography
  • Continue submitting short stories and articles
  • Be more specified about the corporate writing I take on
  • Blog more

Looking at that list is a little daunting. But I’ve actually scheduled out a minimum number of words I want to get down each week. I also have deadlines for first drafts for each project. So it’s not only possible to accomplish these tasks but even likely. Of course, life comes in now and again to remind us our plans are sometimes good for a snicker. Still, had I not written down my writing goals, I wouldn’t have completed the projects from the previous year.

And that’s why I’m writing this down now; to remind me what I’ve committed to as well as give myself a gentle kick in the butt.

I’ll let you know come December how well I did. . .

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