I usually take the last couple of weeks of the year off from writing, primarily because I’m busy with other things and the year-end holidays disrupt my usual routine, but I also think it helps to take a creative break to refresh my senses. Although I’m on a break, I’m still thinking of ideas, but I’m not in my chair every morning clacking away on my laptop pounding ideas into coherent stories. Instead, I’m just relaxing or doing other things while I give my mind a break.
I think it helps because I usually feel much more excited about beginning or continuing work once I put myself back in my chair after New Year’s Day. Even something I enjoy can be a slog sometimes, especially when I’m stuck on a particular project or story line. The past year was no different. I spent the entirety of the year working on Into the Caldera as it morphed from one perspective to another. I’ve been working on the novel for a year and a half, and I’m on major revision number three. I think I’m on the right path now, and I hope to finish it in the first half of 2018.
As with every new year since I got serious about being a writer in 2012, I’ve set goals for this year. I like to keep my goals simple to stay focused, so this year, my goals are as follows:
- Take one class or seminar to improve my writing
- Finish Into the Caldera
- Find an agent to take on my book
Finishing Caldera is a holdover from 2017 as it has taken much longer and had many more twists and turns than I had expected at this point last year. Despite the trials and tribulations with that novel, I’ve learned a lot in the process. My biggest accomplishment from 2017 was completing The Fifth Semester program, which taught me a lot about what it takes to write compelling fiction. I think it’s important to move forward every year, and 2017 certainly gave me that. Now, I hope the lessons learned last year provide a springboard for a successful 2018.