Novels and Annual Goals

Last night, when I should have been sound asleep, I decided to test out an outlining tool that was pre-installed on the Mac that my small business bought for video editing. Since that's about all that computer does (video editing, that is), the outlining tool just sat there, unused, for months on end. Curious, for whatever reason at that odd hour, I fired it up.

There isn't much to be said for examining outlining software without some kind of, you know, outline to work with, so I chose to outline my goals for 2008. I figured it would give me a source of a few laughs this time next year, but I digress...

One of the goals I settled on was to have a manuscript ready to submit to a publisher before the end of the year. ("Publisher" in this case might mean a print-on-demand publisher, so maybe "ready to be read by the public" would be more accurate. But I digress, again!) This brought me to the immediate question of, "which one?" There is, unfortunately, only one sane answer -- and I say it's unfortunate because that one answer isn't really the manuscript I want to be working on.

Maybe it's the sense of escape I feel when deeply involved with writing a first draft, but for whatever reason, working on the fourth draft of a novel just isn't very appealing to me. Yet, obviously, a novel that is so far along in its polishing is much more viable to be public-ready by the end of the year than something where I'm halfway (or less) through the first draft.

So... if I'm going to meet this goal, I'm going to have to focus on working on book #5 (see my list of novels in progress), even though I'd rather be working on #6 or #7. Hmm... Maybe when I need to take a break from #5 I'll squeeze in a bit of work on one of the other two.

Of course, this all assumes that I am going to find time to work on any book, and that's a mighty big assumption. So, we'll see... maybe this will all just lead to another laugh or two next January.