Hello and happy Wednesday!
Last week I shared the writing projects I worked on in 2021 (you can find that post, here). While I didn’t reach all the goals I’d set for myself, it was a year of huge learning and growth, and I’m still trying to figure out how much writing I can realistically fit into a year. I’m hopeful that 2022 will be another year of growth, and that I can set some more achievable goals, haha.
So, with that, here are my writing goals for 2022! I have a lot of projects I’m hoping to outline, write, edit, and even publish this year, and I’m excited to give you a first glimpse at them. I’d also like to hear about your goals – writing or otherwise – for this year, so stick around and let me know what you’d like to accomplish!
Publish Cabin Girl
If you’ve been around much of my site at all, you’ve probably seen me mention (and go on and on about…) my pirate novel, Cabin Girl. Publishing it was also first on my list of writing goals for 2021, but obviously, that didn’t happen. In fact, we’re about a year after when I’d originally hoped to publish. And while I do wish I’d gotten more time to work on it in 2021, I’m honestly thankful for the delay.
2020 was a huge writing year for me (due partially to so many cancellations in my schedule), and after finishing so many projects and making so much progress on my goals, I went a bit overboard with my expectations for last year. But 2021 didn’t go as planned. My schedule exploded with two jobs, teaching a class, working with my church, volunteering, and numerous other things I hadn’t expected. And they were all very good, but served as a pretty clear wake-up call that I couldn’t get to everything.
So Cabin Girl was moved to this year, to give me more time to prepare. And I’m glad to say I feel much more prepared for it now! I’ve learned so much, about writing, formatting, and publishing, and am far better equipped to publish than if I’d gone through with it last year. It’s at the top of my writing priorities this year. There’s not much more left to do! And to all the wonderful people who’ve reached out with their support, thank you for your patience and understanding!
I’ve yet to make a huge formal announcement for this novel, but Cabin Girl also has a prequel: Gills. I wrote it in the fall of 2020 for NaNoWriMo, and had a blast doing it. My absolute favorite character from Cabin Girl was the pirate captain, and after hearing the same thing from many people who’d read it, I couldn’t resist giving him an ‘origin story’. His is the most fun I’ve ever had with narrative voice, and I’m looking forward to sharing it!
That said, it’s still hardly more than a first draft. It finished at about 70,000 words, and so far, I’ve only put it through one round of plot troubleshooting and realized that there are some pretty big inconsistencies I need to work out. So this year, I want to get through one full rewrite, and at least two rounds of solid editing, with the goal of having it at least almost finished by the end of 2022.
Write Cabin Girl sequel
Okay, I’m not going to give many any details for this yet, but after a lot of reader feedback (from people who’ve read both Cabin Girl and Gills), and a lot of thought and plotting, my plan is for there to be three books in the Cabin Girl series. And I think I’m still justified in calling it a trilogy, even though one is a prequel. Maybe not, but that’s what I’m calling it right now, haha.
When I first finished Cabin Girl, I was adamant that it would be a standalone. I really didn’t want to risk ruining the story by adding in more books, and felt that finding a brilliant idea for a continuation that would enhance the story and not cheapen it was impossible. Even writing the prequel was something I debated about for months before actually writing it. But now, several years later, I believe I finally have a plot that’s at least worth a shot at writing. Maybe it won’t work, but my goal is to finish that first draft this year and just see.
Finish & publish To Buy a Bike
One of my largest writing accomplishments last year was publishing my short story, The Toymaker’s Doll! Though it was a last-minute decision, everything fell into place really well, and I’ve greatly enjoyed the experience. It’s been nice to have it more easily available for others to read. This year, I’d like to do the same thing again with another ‘short story’ (actually slightly over 10,000 words).
While The Toymaker’s Doll is an allegory, To Buy a Bike is set around the Great Depression era, and centers on a young boy saving up to buy the bike of his dreams. In the process, his life is impacted by a struggling girl from school, and he learns some valuable lessons about friendship, humility, and generosity. I wrote it during a write-a-thon fundraiser in 2020, as a gift for donors, and it just needs some final edits. It was a fun challenge (especially writing from the perspective of an eight-year-old boy), and I enjoyed it. I’d love to share it soon!
Finish one other first draft
I’m trying to be more realistic with my goals this year, but I also do have high hopes and some new productivity strategies that I think will work a lot better for me. So, in addition to the projects above, I’m also aiming to finish one other first draft of a novel. I have four that I’ve started, and even more that I’ve already heavily outlined, so I’m not sure which one I’ll choose, but I’d like to get to one of them!
2020 was a year full of writing new things, leaving 2021 packed to the brim with rewrites and edits. But I’ve learned that I don’t do very well when I can’t use my imagination for new things sometimes, so I want 2022 to be a bit more even between new drafts and editing. Just another attempt of mine to regain some balance in my writing life. We’ll see how it goes!
Blog 1-3 times weekly
These have all been fiction goals so far, seeing as I want to get to a lot of fiction in 2022. But I do also want to keep up with this blog too! Fiction and nonfiction have both been huge blessings to me, so I want to find better balance here too. 2020 was pretty bad in terms of my consistency, and 2021’s rigorous posting schedule led to me burning out, so this year, I’m going to look for a good in-between.
What I’m imagining this will look like is more frequent posting in the colder months, and slowing down (intentionally) once summer approaches. My summer schedule is often a bit more sporadic, and I’d like to allow myself to be flexible as much as possible, without also guilt-tripping myself if I don’t post as much. In general, you can expect 1-3 blog posts a week.
Well, those are my biggest writing goals for 2022! Did any of them interest you? If there are specific topics you’d like to see on the blog, please let me know! I’m always looking for good ideas.
What are YOUR goals for 2022? Do you have writing aspirations, or is there something else you hope to accomplish this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to chat with me in the comments below!