Author Stuff, writing goals

2020’s writing bucket list

A complete year has gone by since I started a writing bucket list. There were no deadlines, only things to strive for. It helped me stay focused on my fiction without forcing me into productivity that would eventually be too taxing. I’m very happy for its results. Because this worked pretty nicely for me last year I’m putting together a new bucket list for 2020.

Image of a planner and the words, “Elisa Winther’s Wishes, Dreams & Goals. Reaching the stars.” underneath.

2019 has also been a year of further discovering my own writing process. It’s something that took me a while to realize, that being a writer is not only a long path of learning the craft of storytelling and writing, but also of finding your own creative process. Finding the methods and conditions that work for you. Weather its writing at a specific time, setting daily, weekly or monthly wordcount goals, or finding the right beverage that helps you get into “the zone”.

I plan to write down my own creative process and blog about it, thanks to a lovely Twitter mutual. You can find the first of that series of posts here.

My aspirations for 2020

For some reason whenever I mention struggling with my writing people (usually non-writers) start about inspiration coming hard. Which, I mean, I get it. Inspiration can come hard and rarely for some people, but I am the exact opposite, and plenty of my writing friends are too. The muses visit me obsessively, whispering exciting new story ideas or plot lines. They are overzealous for both story and world-building.

I think I’m going to see if I can do something about that. Not shut out my overactive imagination, but to get more of them down on paper. Less in terms of producing higher wordcounts, but in being more efficient. Draft less scenes that only end up getting scrapped because the story changed for the tenth time during the early drafting stage.

Meaning, I’ll work on my creative process. I’ll start by going over my process and writing it down in blog posts, like I mentioned above. Once I have a clearer idea of what my process contains, I’ll be able to point out problem areas and find ways to improve. I’ve already got an idea that I need to focus on my preparation steps, so, adding to my list:

  • get my creative process down from start to finish,
  • write a summary of the entire story as part of the outline,
  • write an outline of the entire story before drafting,

What would also help get more of all that story fodder out my head is write shorter works. I’ve struggled to do so last year and am hoping to do better this year in that regard. To do that, I plan to write a piece of short fiction once a month, meaning something under 14.000 words. I miss writing shorter fiction the way I had in 2018.

It’s good practice and allows me to submit stuff, which I also plan to do more this year. Last year I submitted 5 different stories, and submitted a total of 8 times. This year I want to submit more, and more stories.

So, adding to my 2020 bucket list:

  • write at least one short story or flash fiction a month,
  • submit at least 6 different stories,
  • submit at least 9 times to online magazines and other publishers,

Then there’s the fact that I’ve got several WIPs at the moment, I’m hoping to finish what I don’t shelve the upcoming year. Meaning I have my ace romance Meet Me Halfway to finish, Salandrine, my Cursed Enemies to Lovers WIP, and some more.

Works that are long enough, so novelettes, novellas, and novels I will give their own book page on my website and add them to my newsletter. This also means I will no longer write a newsletter for my ace romance alone, but for all my works. These newsletters will still contain snippets from my WIPs, some trivia, and maybe some personal updates.

More for my writing bucket list:

  • finish re-writing/revising Meet Me Halfway,
  • finish writing Cursed Enemies to Lovers (working title),
  • finish writing Salandrine,
  • write a monthly newsletter,

Finally I’m hoping to keep challenging myself. Given there’s more than enough that I could write to achieve this this shouldn’t be that hard a goal to achieve. There are some types of stories that I’d really like to try to write, so am adding these following goals to the bucket list for 2020 as well:

  • Write a story with a hard magic system,
  • Write a story which mixes molecular biology or microbiology and fantasy,
  • Write a story which mixed magic and technology,
  • Write a story about online friendship,

Then, for now, last but not least: representation. This is very important to me as someone who’s struggled a lot with not seeing myself reflected in the world around me. It’s greatly impacted my self-esteem, my self-image, and my wellbeing in general and so I first hand have felt what good representation in media can do for a person.

As a writer, who’s done her fair share of sensitivity work and consulting, I’d like to do a little good and add “ownvoices” representation to the books that are already out there by writing marginalized characters in all my works. I’ll use my own experience in writing characters I wish to see more of. I’ll also be writing characters with identities or experiences which comes close to mine or which I have yet to explore for myself.

Won’t make a list for that, but thought it should be mentioned here nonetheless.

I’m ending this list here. If I think of more goals I’d like to add, I’ll add an edit note at the top with details on what I’ve changed or added.

So far I’m liking my writing bucket list for 2020. I will keep referencing them in my monthly goal posts and use them as a reminder to my hopes for the upcoming year.

What about you? Have any goals or bucket lists for the upcoming year?

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