Like many bloggers out there, I start off a new year by sharing a list of my goals for the upcoming 365 days (or 366 in this case).
I also like to go over that list at the start of June to see where I’m at. That way, I can hold myself accountable and acknowledge my accomplishments, but also change my plans as needed to make those goals more doable.
For 2020, I had a few things on the docket in terms of writing and editing:
Finish the first draft of Forged in the Salle
Make a dent in plotting my next writing project
Get through the first round of edits for Bound to the Heart
Maybe start a second round of Bound to the Heart edits
Get Bound to the Heart beta-ready
Start taking the next steps towards publication
And now it’s time to see how things are coming along.
It goes without saying that 2020 has been a wonky year given the global health situation, so I’m allowing myself to be a little more lenient. In March, my workplace closed indefinitely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning I’ve had virtually unlimited time to focus on writing, but that was a mental shift that took some time to make because the situation was overwhelming at first and coupled with my own feelings of guilt towards it because I didn’t feel like this time off should necessarily be enjoyed (which you can read more about in this opinion piece).
I do want to recognize my accomplishments thus far, but I’m also going to be more forgiving towards myself since things have changed drastically since these goals were set.
Bound to the Heart
Perhaps my greatest accomplishment thus far in 2020 is being able to say I have finished two rounds of edits for Bound to the Heart and that it is currently in the hands of a few beta readers.
I cannot ignore that this is in part related to the pandemic. While I was hoping to have reached the beta reader phase for Bound to the Heart by this point, I was not sure how possible it would have been when I set these goals for myself at the end of last year. With no outside obligations, I’ve been able to make writing and editing my main focus, so I’ve gotten more done than I anticipated I would have with responsibilities like my day job that are normally prioritized.
To be perfectly honest, I’m still wrapping my head around this. It’s almost surreal to be able to say I’ve taken this next step.
As far as publishing goes, that’s still a long way off.
I’m only just beginning the preliminary research for the process in a more serious manner than in the past, when it was just a casual Google search to get the gist of it all. Not to mention there is still plenty of work to do including more self-edits and revisions and a professional edit before I’ll feel ready to start working on materials like query letters and a synopsis.
Bound to the Heart remains my priority since I am aiming to begin the querying process by the end of this year and going into 2021, but I am also going to be working on things like Forged in the Salle, too, especially as I’m waiting for feedback because taking my mind off of waiting will be the thing that will make that period of uncertainty easier to endure.
Forged in the Salle
I’ve had some difficulties with this particular project, as you might know from past posts, and ended up setting it aside for a few weeks, which let me focus entirely on Bound to the Heart.
After sending Bound to the Heart out to its first round of betas, I turned my attention to Forged in the Salle. I went through and reworked some areas of my outline, and I find myself experimenting with a new approach to my overall process for this particular project (something I’ll be going more in depth with in an upcoming blog post).
My hope of finishing the first draft by the end of the year still stands, but I’m not sure if that will happen because I’m still so focused on Bound to the Heart. At the time of writing this post, I’m creeping up on the halfway point of this new project with about sixteen of my projected thirty-four written.
This will also be the next story I edit, so expect some notes on that score in my post gearing up for 2021.
The Next Project
I’ve known which story idea I intend to tackle next for a while now. It was actually one of the first ideas I had when I was working on Bound to the Heart, but ended up working on Against His Vows and Forged in the Salle because they felt better fleshed out at the time and more ready to be written, so I am eager to finally dive into it after pushing it aside more than once.
I don’t have much plotted for this one yet, but I am generating more and more ideas and scribbling down whatever notes come to mind.
Starting the first draft is contingent on finishing Forged in the Salle because even though I like working on multiple things at a time, I don’t think I would fare as well with writing multiple first drafts at a time.
I’m making it my goal to have at the very least an outline for this new story if not a couple of chapters written by the time of my 2020 Wrap-Up, and I’m anticipating it will be one of my primary focal points for 2021.
On the whole, I think I can be reasonably pleased with the progress I have made so far, even if the circumstances are unfortunate. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m still adjusting to the world and where my writing fits into it now that I am getting a sudden taste of full-time author life.
I will say that I hope to one day be writing full-time because it is my profession rather than the result of a global pandemic, and that what I have managed to accomplish in just a few short months of this experience has shown me that the transition will be difficult but worth it and something I still aspire to.
But that’s something of a long-term goal. For now, I’ll be focusing on the rest of 2020 and working to check more off the list by December.