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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Planning September-December

Did you know there's only three and a half months before we wave 2012 goodbye and welcome in 2013? The revelation caused a slight explosion in my head as I realised all I want to achieve before New Year's Eve and how improbable that's looking right now. But there are always ways for me to stretch my limits (or, as friends often put it, be 'impossible' and 'stubborn'). So I've come up with a little traffic light code for what I need to get done by 2013, what I want to get done and what I'd be grateful to get done.

  • My PhD has to take up one of the priority slots. I'm currently working on my second chapter (on disability representation in the works of Wilkie Collins and Edmund Yates, if anyone's interested) and I want to have that finished by the end of the year. Polished up to the hilt too. Got 3000 words which just need tinkering with then only another...10,000 of analysis or so. Easy. 
  • The novel that helped me get an agent is in the middle of a complete rewrite. When I say 'in the middle' I mean that I've only rewritten around 15,000 words so far. It was a 70,000 word novel and it's now shaping up to be around 85,000 I think. That makes me not so much 'in the middle' as 'somewhere near the beginning'. Nevertheless, I want this redraft to be finished by the end of the year.

  • National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is soon going to be upon us again. I've achieved the 50,000 target two out of three attempts and I am determined to give it a go this year. I already have my idea and everything. I enjoy taking part in NaNoWriMo because it gives me a first draft in the bag in a month which I can then work on later. I haven't yet had time to look at the one I finished last year but it's there waiting patiently in line!
  • I'm around 36,000 words into another first draft (the one which I keep abandoning and picking up again). I'd tell you about it in detail but then I'd have to go and chop off my fingers from the sheer embarrassment of it. However, I would like to finish the first draft of this novel by the end of the year, and I don't see it stretching beyond 60,000 words. So that's doable.

  • I've been thinking over the second draft of another novel I've got on the go. Although I was surprisingly pleased with the way the first draft worked out, I know I've got to make some fundamental changes to the background of the piece and that'll impact the front story. So far I've got a few thousand words of the rewrite which I had to abandon after other areas of my life took precedence but I'd love to have a second draft finished by the end of the year. 
  • Blogging is an important part of my weekly routine and I'm not given it up. After consultation, I've decided to aim for at least 40 posts in the next few months. At least. They will probably mostly consist of book and classic film reviews because I'm doing, well, a lot of reading of books and watching of classic films. In a way, blogging counts as the fun part of this list though, of course, it's all fun.

There are a couple of things I couldn't put on this list. My work for 2020UK, for instance, is fluid. One week I may have to write one blog post but the next things may go haywire. Family commitments, too, can't be set in stone and they invariably take precedence when they crop up. But this list is at least something to work towards. And I think I need to stop writing about doing these things and actually go and do them. So...going. 

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