IWSG: My Five-Year Plan

I just fell off a miserable word-count failure of a NaNoWriMo. I hit 14,000. The end. I don’t always do well with Nano. Most of the time, it hits while I’m in the middle of other projects, and dragging myself away doesn’t do much for me. But, every now and then, I get a real, live draft out of the deal.

So, my insecurity right now, is finding myself in the sea of all the things I want to be able to do with my life, and getting as many of them done as I can.

Finishing things, boys and girls. Finishing things is the goal. It’s the insecurity, too. I never, ever feel like something is finished. And then, there are the things I know aren’t finished.

I have a desperate need to work faster. Get more done. Revise faster.

The Question of the Month is Where do I see myselfย  career-wise in 5 years, and what do I plan to do to get myself there?

This is a tough one for me. I would like to be agented, and published, or at least moving in that direction. I’m finishing up a novel that I think might get me there. I also want to work on publishing short stories. In actual magazines. Somehow, those always seem to wind up here on the blog, and I’m not sure that’s the best use for them.

I’m hoping to get back into the routine of writing after a bad year, and also to keep up the blog, which is finally gaining a little momentum.

So, what about you? Plans and strategies for your careers? New Goals and Resolutions?


  1. Reply

    14K is still a win, especially if it’s more than you would have written that month otherwise! Bravo, I say.

    Nothing’s ever really “finished” for writers, which can be so frustrating. Please know you’re not alone, and the rest of us are muddling through the same issues. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply

      I’m fairly sure 14k is more than I would have had otherwise. It’s been a slow year on the new material front. And I do need to get back in the habit, so I’m willing to claim victory!

  2. Reply

    There’s always a story that’s not finished – and when it is, there’s another… It’s the best – and the worst – thing about being a writer ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I hope you accomplish your goals. Best wishes for your writing.

    • Reply

      Thanks for all the encouragement. I’m working my way toward finishing. I’m actually in a bad enough state I’m… looking forward to querying again.

  3. Lois Elsden


    Well done for the 14k – it’s something you can work on, go back to, be inspired to write something else from… I learned a big lesson from Nano this year, I only have so many writing hours in any one day – next year I will clear the decks before i start, or not do it at all!
    As for what happens next – finish the thing I should have finished before I embarked on Nano, and then look at what else is on the shelf which needs getting rid of!!
    Good luck with your next writing!

    • Reply

      **sheepish grin** the thing I should have finished before I started Nano terrifies me. It’s absolutely huge. But the break did give me some fresh perspective, so there’s that. I don’t know what I plan to do with the nano novel… we’ll see if I get more plot for it.

  4. Reply

    Hi Karen,
    14k is still a great total. I know it may sound like a cliche, but it is 14k you didn’t have before.
    Good luck with your plan. As far as the short stories go, if it’s any help, it took a long time for the advice people kept giving me to sink in – revise your market; look at what those magazines are publishing as this will tell you what they’re after. Also look at their ads as this tells you who they’re selling to.
    Also there are really useful blogs and magazines aimed at writers (Writing Magazine is one for instance, and I think TheReviewReview.net) that list magazines and such that have submissions open.
    Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚
    A x

    • Reply

      I’m pretty happy with it this year, anyway. It’s been a tough slog getting through 2016.

  5. Reply

    Sorry you weren’t as successful at NaNoWriMo as you had hoped you would be, but 14,000 words is still a lot! However, that being said, December is a new month. Maybe you can get 28,000 words this month? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Best of luck on your new novel!

    • Reply

      I’m back on my revision this month, and with a fresh wind. I’m hoping to get a decent 250 in on a query letter, though!

    • Reply

      I do deserve a cupcake, don’t I? Might even put a sparkler or something on it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Reply

    The reason I don’t do NaNoWriMo is because I don’t want to have to hit a certain number of words. That way of writing has never worked for me. It’s stressful and I end up feeling like poo. But hey, 14K isn’t bad!

    God, navigating life is hard. I get ya. All we can do is our best, stay positive and keep going, right?

  7. Reply

    You did great. I did not make goal for NaNo. 20K but includes blog post, short stories and only a little on the bigger project with some work building and profiling.

  8. Reply

    “Finishing things is the goal.” That pretty much sums it up. First, I think 14,000 words in NaMo is amazing. I am not even going to attempt it until I am Officially Writing Full Time. But even then, their word count “goal” may or may not be mine. Good for you on your own achievement!

  9. drkottaway


    Gosh, I gave up on five year plans because life threw so much weirdness that I could never have predicted that I just thought, I give up on that. Including losing my mother to cancer at 61 and my sister at 49 and then crazy family lawsuits that I had trouble believing. Against me as the executor of my father’s estate. Anyhow, wonderful writing 14, 000 words. I try to do SOMETHING that I enjoy each day because you never know what is next. I learned that goal from my Ex and I think it is a good one.

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