Jan 18, 2014

Writer Ramblings: Impossible Goals

After a recent conversation on Facebook with the witty Anne-Mhairi Simpson about setting goals that can’t be achieved, I am going to jump on that challenge. She already began her impossible goals, so I am going to do something similar.

Photo from Kristin Nador on WANACommons
My first impossible goal is to finish the book of notes I’m currently writing. My first intention was to just gather all my two decades worth of notes into one location so that I can pick up my old fantasy series project again. I wanted to write both the Devil Dog series, which is not a fantasy series, alongside an epic high fantasy series. Since late November, I’ve been compiling notes, trying to uniform ideas, and basically make some sense of the chaos twenty plus years of daydreaming has created. I’ve been world building. This task in itself would normally be what I call my life’s work, but I have a lot of other series, like Devil Dog, that also needs to be written. So, I’ve decided to create a “guide” to the fantasy world which describes everything from religions, cultures, races, magic, creatures, maps, history, etc. I’m currently at 30,000 words, and I’m anticipating it to reach close to 150,000 words (approximately 500 pages). The easy part of this book is it is for my own personal use as a guide to this huge fantasy world. I won’t have to edit it for grammar or anything else. It’s just massive and full of pictures. I want to finish the entire thing by March. That’s my impossible goal. That’s a month and a half away.

500 pages of notes should be very doable, but here’s the catch. I’ve already written a brand new first chapter for Devil Dog. I’ve got two more to write from scratch before I start hitting material from the last rewrite. Starting February, I’m going to complete two chapters of Devil Dog each week, before jumping back into the world building. I will also edit each chapter twice that week. Once right after writing it, and again before I start the next week’s chapters. Once March comes along, and if I’ve reached my goal of 150,000 words or if I just finished it before hitting that, I’ll increase the number of chapters to three.

All of this is still doable, although I will be swamped with all that, I am going to throw in another task that will make this challenge impossible. I’m going to use my fantasy world building to play Dungeons & Dragons with a group of friends, which means I’ll be developing adventures and losing a few days a month to set these up and then play them out. I may even blog those adventures someday. So I’ll be documenting every adventure. That’s three writing tasks. The good thing about the D&D is that it will help with detailing out the world building on a more personal level.

Then I’m throwing in another task. I’m going to try completing 5 pictures a month for the Weapons & Warriors posts that have no artwork. Some of the weapons are fairly easy and I’ve picked up a lot of speed with the art program I’m using. Designing that “Back to the Future” cover back in November was really educational, and one day I'll add finishing that Short Story to my goals. One of my first projects is for the Tessen. I originally had a picture of Kitana from Mortal Kombat there, so I’m attempting a drawing of Kitana to replace it with. So far I like the progress, but this is the toughest thing I’ve drawn up yet. She's going to take a little while to finish.

Let’s summarize this.
Task 1: Write another 120,000 words in 41 days for world building. That’s an average 2,927 words a day.
Task 2: Write and Edit two chapters of Devil Dog every week. I estimate it to be around 34 more chapters, so I should be sending it out to editors around June, if I am able to keep up. Could be much sooner if the world building stays on schedule.
Task 3: Create, play, and document D&D adventures with friends throughout all tasks.
Task 4: Draw 5 pictures a month for the Weapons & Warriors posts that are missing them.

Once a month I’ll report my status here on the blog, and adjust the impossible goals as needed. I truly believe that nothing is impossible; some things just take longer or require a little more hard work. With that thought, I have every intention of reaching all of these impossible goals, as wells as spend plenty of quality time with the wife and kids, work full time, and somehow squeeze in sleep. Bring it!

See everyone soon, if nothing grabs me enough to blog it, I’ll see you at the next Weapons & Warriors post!

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