First story of the year

Not even out of the first week. A good sign!

Damn it feels good to be a writer.

Creation has been slowed due to all the editing I’ve been doing, so it is a much needed brain flexing to actually work on something new.

Now, back to the grind…

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The first day

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A brand new year! Feels just like the last one, doesn’t it? That’s because the difference is completely arbitrary! So keep doing what you’re doing, keep working toward your dream, and don’t give up because you didn’t make some fictitious deadline. Write on!

The last day

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This year I finished a novel, wrote and mostly edited a novella, wrote a number of short stories that I forgot to keep track of, made a blog post every day this year, read/listened to 34 novels, and helped start an online magazine. It’s been a productive year for writing!

Best novel I read this year: It was a very close call with Crime and Punishment, but I finally had to give my favorite choice this year to Lolita. Not only for the amazing writing, and memorable story, but because it led me to discover Nabokov, and literature in general. My tastes have completely morphed from sci fi/fantasy to mostly literary this year, and Lolita was the trigger.

Best thing I wrote this year: I believe my novella, tentatively called The Observer, is pretty great! It is the story of an artist and the creation of her greatest work, as told by an obsessed fan who also seems to be a disembodied mind. It’s not sci-fi or fantasy or speculative or horror or any genre really–so I’m not sure what I’ll do with it!

What will I do next year?… I guess I’ll find out tomorrow!

What are your resolutions?

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To write more? I bet one of them is to write more. All us writers tend to make that resolution every year. But the trick to keeping those resolutions is to make your goal something measurable, and achievable.

For example, no nebulous ‘write more’ goals. Pick something solid like ‘write a story each month’ or ‘post a blog entry every day’. It’s also important to make it realistic. If you normally only write a chapter or two per month, writing a novel in a year may not be realistic. If February rolls around and you’ve only written two chapters, you may sense that you’ll never make it in time, and give up altogether.

Instead, pick a goal that increases your pace, but not by so much that it requires you to become a whole new person before you can even start. If your current pace is a couple chapters a month, make a plan to write a chapter per week. If you get into the year and that pace seems not so hard, then increase it further.

Here are some goals of mine:

  • Get my novella (finished already) out to beta readers, implement their feedback, and find somewhere to submit it.
  • Complete the second draft of my novel.
  • Write at least 40k words of a new novel.
  • Write six short stories worthy of submission.
  • Read/listen to 40 novels.

 

While that is less writing than I did last year, it is more editing! And overall more attention paid toward writing.

What are your goals for the new year?

2017 EVE

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The end of the year has arrived, and I did not complete my goal of publishing two novellas, but! I am on the way to completing a novel instead, which I am feeling very excited about and loving every minute of.

I did achieve my goal of blogging more thought stuff, instead of just reviews, and that has been going well. It opens up my mind more to try to describe my thoughts, and even seems to be making me have more thoughts than usual, and see the world in a different way. It’s a great feeling!

I also have increased my writing output so much that in the past few months I’ve doubled my word-count on the novella, that paltry 20k that took me a year to write is now at 40k and growing quick.

My goals for this year are to finish the novel, get it edited and begin working on publishing it! I’m not sure how long I’ll try the traditional route before I self-publish it, but I am going to give traditional publishing a try this time. Either way, it will be out in the world for people to read at some point. What reason is the to write if not?

I also plan to continue my post every day action for as long as I can. I think it’s a great exercise, and writing–any writing–every day is a necessity for writers to keep rust off their fingers. Try it yourself!

I hope your 2016 was great and your 2017 is even better. What are your goals this year?

The night before

 

Time sure flies…. the year is almost over, and what have we done with it? Not much, likely. But hopefully what we did do, we enjoyed.

The older we get, the faster time goes, so let’s take some time this weekend to enjoy our family and friends, while we still have the ability to.

Happy Holidays!

Quantity over Quality

The year is almost over, and it’s going to be the worst year–as far as number of views–that my blog has had since its creation.

Probably cause I went three months without making a post.

It is becoming clearer and clearer to me that in the world of unknown writers, quality without quantity is as useless as an army of one. As pointless as a single, perfectly designed, edited and polished shout for help out the window of a burning building.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that quality is useless to worry about at all. Finishing things and putting them out into the world regularly and constantly is the only thing that will get you noticed.

No matter how good your novel is, if you only write one your chances of success are slim.

I’m sure there are millions of brilliant, took-10-years-to-write, life’s work novels sitting unpublished in office drawers around the world out there. Because not every novel gets published. Very few of them do, in fact. And if your odds are so low, why spend 10 years working on it? If you had instead written ten or twenty novels in those ten years, the odds of success would be exponentially higher.

And who wants to write just one thing, anyway? Why not write 2 or 3 novels a year? It’s just words on paper, you can produce those endlessly right? Right. (I say, as I come upon the stunning pinnacle of halfway through one novel in the past year… )

Same goes for blog posts, and short stories, poems, articles, whatever you write. Produce lots of it, or no one will ever know you exist.

If you are worried about improving, though, it just so happens that writing a lot of stuff is the main way to get better at writing. Not, as some may think, sitting around reading about how to write, taking writing classes, and fretting over each sentence until you have the perfect paragraph six hours later.

Write ten ‘crappy’ stories this month instead of one ‘perfectly crafted’ one.  Do that for a few months, then check how good your ‘crappy’ stories are compared to the ‘perfectly crafted’ ones of your past. You may be surprised how quickly you can improve by actually doing the thing you are trying to improve at.

Anyway, my point is, if you are going to focus on some aspect of your writing to improve, your quantity is a pretty good choice.