New year, new plans

It was a little surreal, typing the date I wanted this to publish into the little box where I schedule posts. I only scheduled it for the next morning; it’s almost bedtime now, 10:27 on New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s means less as an adult. As a parent, especially. I’m not interested in staying up until midnight–if I get lucky, I’ll fall asleep before the fireworks start and be able to sleep through them. But I’m not counting on it. I’m going to bed sick, feeling feverish for a third day in a row.

Happy New Year.

I can’t be all negative, though. Tomorrow is a fresh start I’ve been looking forward to. I’ve been poking at my goals, but I like having clearly defined start and end dates. And I already planned my start and end dates for the whole year.

My writing schedule will be ambitious, to say the least. I’ll be juggling a few projects and I’m not sure how I’ll break them up. I printed a calendar and highlighted days, weeks, months to show what I should be working on at each point in time. I don’t know if I’ll hit the deadlines. I’ll probably have to stop and reevaluate things around March, as I usually do.

Heck, this year, I may need to revise my schedule at the end of January.

But because I enjoy sharing my plans, have a look anyway: The monstrosity that is my 2019 writing plan.

My 2019 writing plan

I wrapped up my last big project–the tenth revision of Serpent’s Mark–in mid-December. I won’t be touching it again until 2020, unless something goes horribly wrong.

From January 1 to February 9 (as seen in green highlighter) I’ll be revising what is now the second book in that series, Serpent’s Tears. I’m excited to start and at the same time, I fear what I’ll find when I do. If I can revise a chapter a day, I’ll finish on the 22nd and that should leave me plenty of time to add in the additional chapters and sections the book should have. It’s 89,485 words right now, before I touch it; I expect it’ll be at least 100,000 words long by the time I am done.

But I’ll be writing and editing at the same time, because I feel a need to move forward with both. So from January 1 to March 9 (shown in blue highlighter) I’ll be working on the first draft of Spectrum Blade. I’ve tried to plan for lighter work days, aiming for around 500-750 words per day. When I’m in practice, that takes me all of two or three 15-minute sprints, so hopefully that’s well within the realm of what I can do. The hardest part will be writing the first week, here, since my little one will be out of school until the 7th. I have loved having her here, but she misses school and is eager to get back to her routine. Routine is good for me, too.

From February 10 to the 16th, I plan to assess what was originally the second book in the Snakesblood Saga (shown in yellow highlighter) and figure out where to break it up so it can grow, like the first book did. I will begin work on revising/rewriting what will now be book 3. That time frame (shown in pink highlighter) should run from February 17 to March 31.

From March 10 to March 23 (shown in yellow highlighter) I’ll be working on the outline for the sequel to Spectrum Blade.

The end of March offers a break to evaluate how fast I am working and how I need to adjust. See? I even planned for schedule revisions.

From April 1 to May 18 (shown in green) I will be working on revising/rewriting the fourth book in the Snakesblood Saga. From April 1 to August 31 (shown in orange) I will be writing that Spectrum sequel I just mentioned. And from May 19 to August 17 (shown in pink) I will be working on splitting what was originally the third and final Snakesblood book, with that time devoted to book 5.

You’ll notice that’s a much longer stretch of work than the earlier parts of the year. Part of that is because I already started Spectrum Blade and won’t need as much time to finish it. And part is because I’m planning for summer break, where Eevee will be home and eager to play, and I want to have enough room to spare for these important years of her life.

From August 18 to August 31 (shown in yellow) I plan to outline the third book in the Spectrum series.

From September 1 to December 31 (shown in blue) I’ll write that third book. And from September 1 to December 14 (shown in green) I’ll be revising the sixth and final book in my dear Snakesblood Saga.

The last section of the year–December 15 to December 31, which is highlighted in yellow–will be for finishing any spillover projects, and for tentatively planning what will come after that.

It’s weird to look that far into the future, but it’s exciting, too. If all goes according to plan, I’ll finish 2019 with nine epic fantasy novels in two separate series, all ready for editor attention and publication some time in 2020. It’s a long way off and it’s a little ambitious… okay, a lot ambitious. But if you don’t aim high, where are you going?

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