Yesterday I announced my 90 Day Focus on Fiction challenge. The challenge started on 2 August and will end on 29 October 2021.
I spent Day 1 setting up the goals for the challenge and making the plan to achieve them.
Outlining the goals give me the focus during the challenge, and sharing them here keeps me accountable.
So without much ado, here are my goals.
Three goals of the challenge.
- Write and publish an anthology of short stories.
- Finish the first draft of the novel.
- Acquire fiction writing skills.
Write and publish an anthology of short stories.
I am aiming for 20 short stories of 500–2000 words in length. This is to get me started on fiction writing, applying my learnings to shorter pieces, and work my way up towards full-length novel writing. I intend to write them early in the challenge to get them edited and published on 29 October (tentatively).
Finish the first draft of the novel.
I started writing a novel six years ago. 80% of it is already done. I have been going in and out of it. The reason I have not been able to finish is not the lack of will but the lack of skills. With a renewed focus on acquiring skills, I should finish the first draft by the 29th of October.
Acquire fiction writing skills.
This is the new approach I am applying to learnings new skills. First, I list basic skills I need to become fluent in and then make a learning plan to get there.
I will approach it as if I am completely new to fiction writing and take copious notes to share with my readers. I might, later on, turn them into a book. I believe the time to write a book about writing (or any other skill) is not when you are a master of it but when you are learning it.
When you become an expert in a skill, you do so many things intuitively that you forget to include them in your book. But when you are learning a skill yourself, you know what you are struggling with and which bits of advice are really helpful.
The learning plan
A learning plan is a secret weapon that you can apply to anything you want to learn by yourself, whether writing, sketching, painting, or playing a musical instrument.
In my article Don’t Make Earning Plans, Make Learning Plans I shared my learning plan for writing on Medium.
I have made a much thorough plan to learn fiction writing skills which I have turned into an infographic and placed it on the pinboard where it is in front of my eyes all the time. Every week I intend to pick something from the list and learn it either by reading about it or watching videos, then implementing it in my writing.
Some of the things will be easy to learn and will be ticked off easily. Others will take months or even years. I will not strike them off until I feel I am confident.
I am working on a more elaborate plan for Authorpreneurs. Let me know if you are interested in getting a copy of that.