Why Are Years So Short for Writers?
If you ask me, a year is a hopelessly short period of time.
Like many people, I'm looking at my plans for 2023 and trying to come up with a tangible strategy for the year. I found myself frustrated by there only being 12 months in a year (and 4 weeks in a month, 7 days in a week, 24 hours in a day).
My general rule is that I can work on one project per month. There's only a finite amount of time within a typical week that I can devote to writing, and I usually find I can complete a draft, rewrite or set of final edits within 30 days.
So, 12 months equals 12 projects, right? Well, almost.
I work on some projects multiple times during the year. For example, next year I plan on rewriting the fourth book in the Valerie Series in February or March then editing it again prior to release. That book will take up two months of my precious writing schedule.
January is already covered because I'm focusing on my next release, plus another forthcoming release will need two months allocated in 2023. That means five months are already accounted for.
With those remaining seven months, what do I want to do?
I've got plenty of novels drafts in the pipeline. Some of my novels have an incredibly long incubation period, and so I need to make time to "bump" them from one level to the next.
Right now, there are:
3 drafts that are in fairly good shape and just need enhancing
1 draft that might be okay but it would be part of a series so I need to be gentle with it
7 drafts that I need to spend a lot of time with to figure out what the heck is going on
This isn't counting the "series" books I've got planned and need to work on. Suddenly, those seven months are looking mighty crowded.
I've become a little more open about discussing my writing practices in recent years. Sure, I don't do things the same as other people, but authors are peculiar like that. What works for me wouldn't work for everyone, and I'm positive that some writers couldn't leave novel drafts for as long as I do without touching them.
I feel like I have an innate ability to judge when a novel draft has taken the leap and when it's in the form it should be in. Such Crooked Wood took a decade to get to that stage, and Nights at the Majestic around the same amount of time. It's all about trusting the process for me. If something isn't right, I'm not going to release it.
2023 looks like it'll be a hectic one. If I can stick to my schedules, you might have some fresh sapphic fiction to read at several points within the year!