I have declared 2014 my Write or Die Year.
Of course I don’t plan to physically die, but I do plan to let the dream of becoming a full-time, novel/short-story writer die if I can’t prove to myself that I can be totally committed and disciplined to write—not just regularly—but on a daily basis.
My vision board for 2014 is all about writing, submitting and applying to contests, publications, residencies and MFA programs. I promised myself to complete two short stories that have been on my computer for over a year and begin the rigorous process of writing a novel. To be sure I stay focused, I have even sworn off Facebook for the first six months of this year (with a few exceptions).
My personal goal is 1000 words a day. To the seasoned novelist, I am sure this goal is equivalent to a text message word count. I get it. However, what I am really aiming for is a consistent writing schedule instead of sporadic, manic writing fits where I type 3000 words in one night, but won’t fit in another writing day for two or more weeks.
Those stories are usually left untold.
In addition to signing out of my most addictive social media site, I also did a few other things to prepare for my PEN-ULTIMATE Year. Here’s a glance at my plan:
- Taking advice from Pinar Tarhan who had a feature in the November 8th Funds for Writers newsletter (if you’re a writer and you don’t already receive this free weekly newsletter, you absolutely should subscribe!), I decided to commit to a part-time retail job for the months that I will be writing. My job provides enough flexibility to allow me to stay up late nights to write while also being lucrative enough to pay the bills.
- I scaled back on social time, allowing myself only certain days and times for play. Before, I jumped at too many events without considering my work first. This year, I intend to maintain a good balance of work and play.
- I decided to take a break from freelancing, journalist gigs and blogging until my stories are complete.
Ten days into the year and my writing commitment and I am feeling pretty good. However, I have decided to keep my blog going, contributing to it at least once a week. I am very excited about this endeavor and I think sharing my writing experiences—or whatever other stories I feel compelled to share— here on lastletterfirstword will also help me build brain muscle!
What are your writing goals for 2014? Could this be your Write or Die Year, too? Pens up!