Friday, January 07, 2011

The Year of Living Ambitiously

"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it." ~ Winston Churchill


It never fails. The New Year begins and the first question out of many people’s mouths is – What’s your New Year’s resolution?

Thing is, I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. They’re too nebulous for me. If I really want to do something, make a change, tackle a new venture, I don’t need a resolution. I need a plan. So several years ago I gave up the resolution making and dove headfirst into the plan. Every holiday I sit down and think about what I want to accomplish in the coming year. Then I figure what I need to do to make that happen. And then I break out the calendar and start planning out the steps to get there.

Now last year things got a bit off the rails. I lost my writing mojo for about the first half of the year. Thankfully it resurrected itself sometime around July, but for the first six months of 2010 I floundered, jumping from one thing to the next, leaving in my wake a trail of almost-finished manuscripts, partially started stories, and scribbled ideas. By July I realized I needed to get myself straightened out. Shortly thereafter THE OUTLAW BRIDE sold to Carina Press. That seemed to be the spark I needed. It lit a fire under me and made me realize now that the ball was rolling, I might want to stay on top of it, capitalize on my first publishing success and build it into more.

Hence (that’s right, I said ‘hence’), when it came time to make my plan for 2011, I looked at what I had on hand. Invitation to Scandal was 80% done. Brimstone was done but still needed a bit of tweaking to tighten up a few areas. Salvation Falls was going through one last tidy up revision. Fractured Sight and The Widow Bride were in the first draft stages. The plots required some reworking before I could go further. And then there was Finding Home, a story with characters I loved, loved, loved but a plot that was bland, bland, bland. I had a brain storm on how to fix it – finally! There were also the follow up books to Invitation and Brimstone that were outlined and ready to go.

I decided it was time to clean up my partials and send them out into the world before I sat down and started writing anything new. So my plan for this year is simply that – finish ITS, Brimstone, Salvation Falls, The Widow Bride and Fractured Sight. Once that’s done, I’ll sit down and start reworking the plot on Finding Home.

It’s a bit ambitious, given that I only have 1.5 hours every morning to write, and it may mean giving up some weekend or evening time to get it done, but there’s been enough lollygagging. It’s time to go big, or go home. And it’s like my mom always said – ‘You never did like to do the easy thing.’

Well, no…what fun would that be?

9 comments:

Janet said...

Great 'plan', Kelly. I discovered a blogpost about creating a word, instead of a resolution, for the year. Keep it close to you and you'll stay focused. I think you're word is Ambitious :)

Love the enthusiasm and excitement. And good luck with the plan - looking forward to hearing about your progress and success going forward.

Patricia Preston said...

Hang in there, Kelly. I, too, now have limited writing time and I've got to come up with a schedule.

Pamela Callow said...

So excited that you are getting all those mss ready to go out - by 2012 your plan will be how to manage all your new contracts! :)

Cathryn Fox said...

Good plan, Kelly and good luck!!

Soon enough all those books will have a home!

Bev Pettersen said...

Fantastic, Kelly! It's great you have all those books you're excited about. You've definitely been a busy and committed writer, and it's impressive how you can accomplish so much in limited writing hours. Your enthusiasm is contagious. Thanks!

Jennie Marsland said...

You've got quite a year ahead, Kelly. You can do it!

Julia Smith said...

Happy Year of Living Ambitiously, Kelly!

Maxx said...

Go Go Gadget... uh... I'll get back to you on that.

Anne MacFarlane said...

Glad you found your Mojo! Good luck with all your MSs. I know you can make the time work for you.