Did you guys make any writing related New Year’s Resolutions? We’re almost a month in to 2020, so how have you been getting on?
This year, I chose to focus on streamlining my writing process with a view to keeping my stress-levels low and my productivity high. So far, it seems to be working. I filled a diary with upcoming submission calls for short stories, and the two that stood out with deadlines at the end of January are almost complete. Having the diary has helped me to focus my attention on where it is needed, instead of constantly having ideas floating around my head without any order!
In between submission calls, I’m looking at working more methodically on my novels and full-length scripts. There are a couple of works that require some editing or plot-development before I can take them any further, so I’m blocking out time in between deadlines to work on those. When I have them mapped into my diary, I can forget all about them in the meantime, which is definitely preventing me from panicking or experiencing plot overload!
In terms of my horror novel, I am still plot mapping at the moment. I’ve drafted a few of the key chapters, but want to make sure I have the full structure worked out before I take it any further. I’ve been working to the Save the Cat plotting method which was developed by Blake Snyder, and found that his structure pretty much fit my basic plot plan for this particular work in progress. Having the template in front of me is helping me to focus my ideas and stick to the most important elements of the story. I was pleased to find that I was on the right track according to Snyders development plan, and so it was surprisingly positive to shift from being a complete pantser to a plotter! I’m going to book a solid week or two off work later in the year to finalise the finished draft. Knowing that I’ll have that time in a few months to worry about the finer details is helping me to take a steadier pace this time around. I am training myself to stop charging through the process, and I have to say I am enjoying the change of tack.
I hope that if you made any writing resolutions that they are working out well for you so far. If you did but haven’t been able to utilise them for whatever reason, I hope it’s given you a helpful insight into what may work for you in the future. If you hate making resolutions and already had a positive writing structure going for you, then long may it continue into 2020! And, finally, if you hate making resolutions but still don’t have a writing schedule that works for you, don’t give up on yourself. It will come in time.
Wishing all my fellow writers a positive and productive year ahead.