Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hello New Year

Today is the day we're supposed to re-evaluate our lives. I think it might have to do with the traditional heavy drinking party the night before, but it might just be dating that first thing 1-1 -- and remembering we need a new calendar.

But looking back, my resolutions for 2010 were:
  • Submit 12 short stories somewhere.
  • Finish my three current longer stories.
  • Re-edit Seeing Zombies
  • Have one of those four long stories ready for submitting by December.
  • Attend a writing conference/seminar/workshop.
  • Choose one non-writing skill to practice/become certified in - possibly tech or library-related.I'd originally thought to get certified in Database Management, but that's a GIANT freaking book. Maybe something smaller to get back into learning with?Any suggestions?

How have I done? I submitted short stories. 


That's it. Nothing else is finished. In fact, the story I'm working on now hadn't even been considered when I wrote those. I stopped working on Seeing Zombies when I realized the story needed a complete rewrite, not just another trip through editing. Long stories choked and stalled. The writing conference idea was tossed over for a trip to Chicago. Non-writing skill.... ??? Well, I'd already been sewing but I do have a new non-writing obsession. That counts right? Of course it does.

So short stories and non-writing obsession-- uhmm-- skill.

For the non-writers reading this I want to start my reflections with a well-known... I don't think it's a proverb, or a quote, but... a saying. A well-known writerly, writing, saying. 

Successful writers are those who submit one more time than they are rejected.

Yes, of course I offer up my excuses first. Because I have stacked up the rejections and rejections hurt even knowing there are a thousand short stories written and offered up for each available slot in magazine or anthology. 16 form rejections and 4 personal rejections (saying they'd love to see my next story). My only story published this year was accepted last year. For those of you who haven't chanced this rejection yet, it's all true about varied tastes. Story1 got a personal rejection from Asimov and a form rejection from Lightspeed. Story4 got a form rejection from Asimov and a personal rejection from Lightspeed

Yeah, I seem to be writing more scifi than usual -- especially in my short stories.

But now to learn from my experiences. 

Rejection is disheartening. And it's harder to stick with writing when you've been... disheartened? The many sick days of the year don't help either, but I can't do anything about them. Also, putting time into submitting stories and writing new shorts for submitting made it harder to concentrate on one primary story. I haven't spent long blocks of time concentrating on any single story this year and I think it shows -- you know, in lack of completed novel.

So this year, I'm narrowing my goals.

This year, I will finish a frakkin' novel.

I'm not saying I won't write or submit any short stories -- I might get inspired by something --  but I'm saying I probably shouldn't and that they're not a goal. 

This year there is only one goal.


And I will. 

How about you?


  1. That's awesome. I'm behind you all the way. Did you ever enter the Writer's of the Future contest? If not, slap that one the goal list, will ya? You've already got some short stories waiting, you can enter the contest once a quarter, and it's free to enter. You can even do it online.

  2. I haven't. Not yet, at least. I will look it up as soon as the last rejections come in -- as long as I'm not so annoyed with the stories by then that I can't figure out why I would have sent them out in the first place. :)


  3. I just realized that I totally sounded like a commercial... It slices, it dices, it waxes your car and gives the kids a bath!

  4. If it also washes the car before it waxes it, I would totally buy it. :)

  5. I'm behind you too! Finishing a novel is no small goal. I don't have anything nearly as lofty in my list of hopes for the new year.

    My own goals are pretty loose, and follow the "reduce, reuse, recycle" theme. I need to reduce my intake - that's true on so many levels - food, products, new stuff in general. I simply don't need it. In the reuse arena, I need to get more stuff out of my house and delivered to goodwill. We're not doing too terrible on the recycle front, but we can certainly do better.

    For 2011 - those goals are going to have to do. Best of luck with yours! I'm cheering for you!

  6. I've been trying to do better about stuff too. We have a lot. And not all of our excess stuff is toys for the children so some of the blame will have to fall on me.

    For absolutely no reason at all I went through our pantry the other day and we had things in there that expired in 2002 -- dry goods mostly that you can miss noticing, but that was a long time ago.

    It's not as simple a goal as you would have us think :) Good luck with it.