Friday, January 20, 2017

Writing 2017

I spotted this multi-sub op over in the Paying Markets forum at

"We are a horror fiction magazine open to submissions! This will be for our April Issue, both in Print and on Kindle. It is our second issue. Our Featured Author for this issue is Jack Ketchum. We'll be open for about a month!

Pay for Short Stories is $50 plus a print copy. As an added bonus, we do not maintain copyrights over your work. As soon as we publish, the rights return to you.

We also accept:
Flash Fiction
Creative Non-Fiction

And, if you'd like to review, there may be a spot open for that as well.

Visit us to find out more! We have a bunch of shenanigans going on!"

Instantly reverting rights and shenanigans are always good things in my POV, so you horror writers should check it out.

We're already past the middle of January, which leaves eleven months and eleven days to write in 2017. My count for the month is already 55K, so I feel like I've started as I mean to go on, and I need to. I'm currently working out with the clients what I will write for the next eight months, and beyond that I've been reserved to write until December, so there's even more to do before 2017 wraps.

Working out a writing schedule for an entire year can seem daunting, especially for the organically minded, but it's really just a matter of deciding what you want to do and how much time you want to devote to it. Most pros eventually figure out what they can comfortably/reliably produce, and (unless they're superstars who can do whatever they like and still make millions) map their time out accordingly so they know what and how much to pitch in advance.

Here are some tips to help you plan your 2017 writing year:

Calculate your daily count: Write at a pace that's good for you for a week or a month, and keep track of your total wordcount. Divide the total by the number of days it took you to write that, and you'll learn your daily count, or how much you can write in a day. This should allow you to calculate how long it will take you to finish any project.

Get a writing calendar or planner: 2017 Calendars are super cheap right now, and devoting one strictly to your writing schedule will keep all your plans and quotas in one place. You can also use a digital version on your computer or your phone.

Factor in time off: Unless you live by yourself, write seven days a week, and never leave the house, there will be days when you can't/won't write, so it's a good idea to know when your holidays, family events, vacations, etc. land on your year. Mark these on your writing calendar first so you can see them while you're scheduling your writing time.

Allow recharging space: Try to take a little time off from writing every month to allow the well to refill, recharge your creative batteries, etc. This month I'm taking only be a couple of days, but next month I've reserved a weekend for fun and two days to attend the county quilt show.

Have a reward system for making your goals: I get paid by the clients when I finish their projects, but that's my income. I've found that having a little reward to look forward to helps keep me motivated, so I make a point to give myself one every time I do make those goals. Rewards don't have to be big or expensive things, but they should be something you really like. For example, last week I took my daughter out for lunch at a neat Japanese restaurant we both like, and this pic is the bento box lunch I had, which was a delicious reward.

Are you going to schedule your writing year? Got any tips to share? Let us know in comments.


  1. It sounds like a good place to submit! Thanks for the heads up. And good luck on your own goals. :)

  2. I can't schedule a year. For some reason it intimidates me. But I can do a month or so, & that's what I'm working on so far.
    And that lunch looks delish!


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