In my personal and professional life, I’ve always been a pantser rather than a planner. I have a set of psychometric evaluation reports written about me more than 25 years ago that resulted in my setting a personal mission statement: to enjoy life and seek challenges. If I could track down the coach that helped me write that statement, I’d shake her hand. It’s as valid now as it was in 1990.
I don’t think I’ve ever set myself a concrete, specific long-term goal. I do think I’ve been good at recognizing—and grabbing—special opportunities when they’ve crossed my path. The most recent was in 2012, when I’d just finished the first draft of my first contemporary romance, and I read on Jenny Crusie’s blog that she’d agreed to teach the inaugural online postgraduate certificate in romance writing for McDaniel College. The instant I read the post, I knew I had to get myself on that program, and I’ll be forever glad I did. I got a grounding in the basics of romance writing that will last me a lifetime, and I met the Ladies 😀 .
I got one of those important nudges from the Universe this week. I was chatting to my husband about matters unrelated to writing, when he informed me that the RWA conference in 2020 will be held in San Francisco. My focus was on booking for the 2017 event, so I didn’t immediately grasp the significance, until he reminded me that in 2020 (fingers crossed) we’ll celebrate two landmark birthdays and a major wedding anniversary. His idea was that San Francisco would make a good starting point for an adventure, and I had to agree. We bandied around a few ideas, all of which got me really excited.
Which set me to thinking about my writing plans. If I’m going to get the most from a trip of a lifetime, I don’t want to have a WIP on the go. I’d like to be free to take a break from writing, or more likely get inspired by whatever catches my attention on our travels. I know from experience that won’t work for me if I leave an unfinished story at home, alone and abandoned.
A few weeks ago I set myself a watchword for this year—Publish! In that post I said: By next New Year’s Eve, at the very least I should know the specifics of how and when Alexis Book One, and the Caldermor series, will get published.
My current expectation is that I will need six full-length novels and probably three novellas to tell Alexis’s entire story. I’m not the fastest writer in the world, but the first book is mostly there and I know a lot about the first novella, which will be my next WIP. The world is in place, and I have some ideas about the other books. So I think, if I put my head down and really go for it, I could just about have this entire series written and published by summer 2020.
It would be a stretch. In fact it would be one hell of a challenge. But I believe it’s do-able. The timing is so convenient that I’m taking it as a nudge from the story gods.
I am excited and inspired by the idea. I think it would turn a major celebration into the party of a lifetime. It has to be done.
You read it here first. I hope I get to celebrate with you all in Summer 2020.
How about you? What personal victories are on your distant horizon?