This whole year-long experiment might make it seem, to someone who doesn’t really know me, like I’m a lot more organized and future-oriented than I really am. The truth is, deciding to produce and publish an ebook every month for a year was a half-baked, eleventh-hour New Year’s Resolution.
In other words, I may be a plotter or outliner when it comes to writing fiction, but that shouldn’t be taken as an indication that I actually have something resembling a grand master plan for my life. Aside from some highly-flexible goals, I’m making that up pretty much as I go.
Of course, all of this rambling is just a prelude to admitting that I’m going to have to change my plans. Just a bit.
Along with self-publishing an eBook each month, I also wanted to continue to judiciously submit work to small independent presses. I was invited to submit to an upcoming anthology of space adventure stories by World Weaver Press. I had a story idea that I fell in love with, and have been working fairly steadily on all month. The deadline for that submission is the end of March. Along with that, progress has resumed on the launch of Once Upon a Clockwork Tale, an anthology of steampunk retellings of classic fairy tales by Echelon Press. This has meant that I’ve had to spend some time doing final line edits on Bitter Cold, my first steampunk fairy tale retelling, and planning some promotion of the book, like guest posts on other blogs. I’ve also had two trips out of town for work.
At the beginning of the month, I decided to brush off a previous NaNoWriMo attempt as a starting point for my March eBook. As I started working in earnest on Black Water, it soon became clear that this wasn’t going to be another short story or novelette-length tale. At this point, I’m almost 4,ooo words into it, but only maybe a tenth of the way through the plot. I don’t see any way I can write Black Water as less than a full-length novel. Nor can I write a full length novel in the week that remains of March.
Can I just take a moment to tell you, this situation has stressed me out to a ridiculous degree? Yes, I recognize this is a self-imposed deadline. Yes, I recognize that having my New Year’s Resolution last until the end of March puts me ahead of 99% of the people who set New Year’s Resolutions with much more forethought than I gave this one. Yes, I realize I’m being stupidly hard on myself. I don’t know how to be any other way. But I think most of what was stressing me out was the lack of a backup plan. Since I barely had a Plan A, it’s probably not surprising I had no Plan B.
So, here is my freshly-minted Plan B:
- By the time you read this on Monday, I’ll have finished my space adventure story for submission.
- I’m going to take a stab at writing another steampunk fairy tale short story for March.
- If I don’t get it done exactly by the end of March, that’s okay. As my own publisher, I’m willing to give myself an extension to the first week of April.
- It’s extremely likely that Once Upon a Clockwork Tale will come out in April. I’ve always planned to count that as one month’s book release in whatever month it came out, to avoid competing with myself.
- That gives me almost all of April and May to work on Black Water. Instead of being my March eBook, it will be my May eBook (and very possibly, I’ll put it on CreateSpace and make it available in print).
I considered just declaring a March Mulligan. I still might, if something else unexpected pops up. But at this point, I’m not ready to give up on achieving my goal just yet. I just have to change the order of my Works-In-Progress.
Have a great Holy Week! I’ll post an update when I can.