Well, it's been a year since I made my last set of New Year writer resolutions. So, how did I do?
1) I will start/finish the damn book
Did that. I completed my short novel 'The Hotel Galileo' back in August and sent it to small US small press Wolfsinger in early September. No response yet...
2) I will always have at least three stories on submission, while working on a fourth
This has been a year for taking a breather, taking stock of the past four years and then going back into it with renewed energy. I see the last two stories which are still on submission as the end of a "first phase", and the new stories I'm working on are part of a new phase. Suffice to say I'm quietly excited about the new stuff.
3) I will attend at least one writer's conference, and introduce myself to agents, editors, and other writers
FantasyCon 2008 back in Septemeber. This is the achievement of 2008 I am most proud of. It took a lot for me to go out into the world and meet other writers and publishers, being a shy, retiring type.
4) I will subscribe to the magazines I submit to
Subscribed to Black Static for six issues, but that has now lapsed. Need to either renew my subscription or subscribe to something else. Murky Depths, maybe...?
5) I will join a critique group. If one doesn't exist, I will start one at the local bookstore or library
Joined Critters Online Critique Group three months ago. First experience has been phenomenally good.
6) I will finish every story I start
Still working on that.
7) I will listen to criticism
Something I've always striven to do. As well as needing a colossal amount of self-belief, the other important quality for an upcoming writer is having the humility to listen to criticism. And act upon it.
8) I will create/update my website
Voila: the Steam-Powered Typewriter. I would still love to have a purpose-built website but this will do for now.
9) I will master the query process and find an agent
Not quite ready for that, yet. Soon, though, fingers crossed.
10) I'll quit procrastinating in the form of research, outlines, synopses, taking classes, reading how-to books, talking about writing, and actually write something
Yes, add to that the process of social networking. Necessary in these modern times, but oh-so-time-consuming. Damn you Facebook!
11) I will refuse to get discouraged, because I know JA Konrath wrote 9 novels, received almost 500 rejections, and penned over 1 million words before he sold a thing--and I'm a lot more talented than that guy
Refuse to get discouraged? The thought never entered my head.
And that's me for 2008. Not bad, I think, even if I say so myself. Not a very big year for publication credits admittedly, but as I've mentioned before, this year has seen me take a deep breath before coming back at it. I've never suffered from writer's block, because part of me thinks it doesn't actually exist. I think all writers get jaded occassionally, and at some point all writers suddenly find that what they're writing has lost it's mojo. That's right and proper and part of the process of improving. That's the time to go away, read some good books, read some good short stories, watch some good movies. And whilst doing this you will find yourself in quiet moments thinking to yourself, "wow, that was really good. If I'd written it, I would have done this . . ." And before you know it, you're back at the writing desk again. It can't be all output. There has to be input, too.
Have a great 2009, everyone.