New Year, Same Me?

Happy New Year 2017 everyone! How has your first week of 2017 been? As for me, I can pretty much say nothing has differed too much in how I usually do things. I.e. procrastination and distractions abound.

I started 2017 off with the ambition of increasing my writing throughput. One short story every month with various word limits of 5000-12,000 words (just shy of novella range). We’re 1 week into January, and well, besides some editing work, I really haven’t started on my next piece of fiction yet.

While we’re on the topic, exactly what are the various word limits for the different formats of writing? Writer’s Digest, a great resource for writers, puts short stories between 1500 and 30,000 words, novellas 30000 – 50000 and novels from 55000 – 300000 words. While that’s a great guide, I tend to go by this one that I found in Writing World. Micro fiction (up to 100 words), flash fiction (100 – 1000), short story (1000 – 7500), novellete (7500 – 20000), novella (20000 – 50000), novel (50000 – 110000) and epics (>110000). Whichever way you do it, I find it’s best not to worry too much about a word count unless you’re intent on submitting your piece to a magazine or for a competition. Just really write the story as long as it needs to be. The amount of words that you need to tell the story from start to finish.

Back to my ‘resolution’, so to speak. I initially started out self-publishing in Smashwords back in May last year, with this idea of publishing once a month in mind. But somehow, I think procrastination and a general lack of a steady writing led to me only publishing 3 short stories in that space of 7 months. The response though has been really encouraging. I’ve gotten a few reviews on some of the stories and that really has given me some confidence that I’m not just writing pure drivel.

But steady writing as a habit is really important, as highlighted by Reddit user shnit123 in his/her post here. 1 piece of flash fiction per day is a fantastic achievement. I can only hope that I manage to maintain a steady pipeline of stories over the months to come. So far, the results have not been too good. New year, same me in a way. I looked back at my latest story, Wish You Were Here, after some comments from my beta readers and realized I had a few plot holes and continuity errors to fix. I’ll be writing about those another day, but for now, here’s to a great 2017 and may you keep whatever resolutions you’ve made. If you haven’t got any resolutions, here’s to a happier and more productive year all around!