I have plans.
I’m a relatively organised person. I have a little calendar plug-in for my Thunderbird email client, in which a spectrum of coloured calendars tracks my progress on specific ventures. Rather like a kaleidoscope of confetti strewn around me.
A couple of nights ago I succumbed to a fever of organisation and created a document in which I will track from now on, month by month, what work I’ve completed (the media, whether it’s new, a rewrite, etc.), and what has gone out to market. For instance, it might take a number of weeks/months of percolation and redrafting before a story is offered up to the wardens of publication after I’ve completed it.
For a few years I’ve recorded my submissions to short story markets, but I wanted an overview of my creative output, especially since I also write screenplays and the occasional play.
February, very unexpectedly, was a solid writing month. Mercury retrograde – ha!
I do not say this with smug satisfaction, but harbouring the superstitious fear that it was just a fluke. My weather-eye watches the horizon for signs of the clouds of distraction and despair.
Generally, the most I plot forward in life is six months. Life is inconstant. It’s best to remember that everything can change without notice. It’s one of life’s charms as well as its sorrows.
So, the arc of my writing path has been established for the coming six months, and after that I can only discern the smoky trails of probabilities, all of which depend upon adherence to my current schedule. What has worked for me lately has not been to obsess over word counts, but to write and see what happens. There are goals in the back of my mind, but they do not dominate the writing process.
I try to remember two things:
1) I like to write
2) Write what I like
We’ll see how this serves me in the coming months.