Monday, December 31, 2012

2013: The Year That Will Be

I find New Year's resolutions cliche and unnecessary. If you're going to do something, why wait?

Therefore, while this may look like The Making of Resolutions, it's simply the timing. I've been talking myself into planning my writing year for the last month. Oh dear Spaghetti Monster, planning. The notorious non-planner is talking about plans?

It's that non-planning that's got me into a whole heap of trouble, mainly with myself. I thought being solely responsible to myself would be Teh Awesome. But it's not. I'm not impressed with my momentum. I'm not getting enough done, I'm not progressing in my technique, and I'm not making as many sales as I would like.

It's time to get Srs Bznss.

So here it is: for the next year, starting today, the 31st of December 2013, I am determined to write 5000 new words a week. That works out to around 700 words a day. I am going to keep a daily and weekly tally.  I will post that tally every Sunday night here on the blog. It doesn't matter if anyone is reading, I'm simply using the blog as accountability.

I will not beat myself up if I have an exceedingly difficult week, and I don't make the count - I'll take what I have written and see it as a win for the week, then get back on the bicycle. I will give myself the flexibility of time off for good behaviour once I reach the count, or if I feel particularly inspired I will keep going. There will be time off for holidays, especially for my planned Disneyland trip in April.

The flexibility in this plan is what I will write. I have a lot of UFOs and half formed ideas to draw on. I will continue to write the short form. If this means I will turn out approximately one short story a week, awesome! If I go longer into novella territory if the inspiration strikes me, I'll go with it. I will attempt to plot a little better, instead of winging it on inspiration and running out of puff halfway through. I will attempt to make each work submission ready, but I will also not get upset if it doesn't work. Every word written is practice.

I'm scared. No, scrap that. I'm absolutely terrified. I'm not actually sure what I'm afraid of, because it's not failure - I'm used to the rejection by now. Perhaps I'm afraid of turning a passion into work, because I don't want to end up hating a job I really want. I don't want writing to be full of the tedium, the have-tos, and the sapping of mental energy that a day job entails. I still want this to be fun. And part of the battle of this year is to work out how to retain that spark of fun.

I have to do this if I'm to find out if I can do it planned and steady. I have to do this to find out what sort of person I can be. I have to try, or I will never be true to myself.

So, 365 days from now, let's check back in and see how 2013 went. It's a date.

YES, Ize WERKING. Ize in teh PLANNING stage.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012: The Year That Was

Barring a miracle in the next twenty-four hours, here's how my writing year has shaped up.

Stories Published:
This is strange to say, but in what has been my most successful writing year yet, I only had two new stories published: "The City of Sand and Knives" in The Future Fire's February issue, and "Cartography and the Death of Shoes" in Crossed Genres "Fat Girl in a Strange Land".

Stories Accepted:
I had six stories accepted, which is equal to my 2011 acceptance rate, but the deal breaker was my first pro sale.

I've only had one reprint, "Twixt", which was included in the M-Brane SF Quarterly #4.

New Stories Released to the Traps:
I prepped eleven stories I was happy enough to begin submitting around the traps, only one of which I've trunked.

I had seventy-seven rejections, including four no replies.

Current WiPs:
I can't accurately count how many stories I have in various states of plan, write or repair, but I'd guess it's around fifteen to twenty.

Huzzah to 2012!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays, However You Like To Celebrate

It's been a quiet December in Pickles Land but things have been strange and busy in the Real Life.

I took extra RL responsibility on myself by negotiating through a house purchase. It was a difficult process especially this close to Christmas and in the Christchurch housing environment, but hooray I got there and I'll be moving house in the new year.

This meant a lot of my mental energy at a busy time of year got even more sapped, and my writing suffered. On the tailcoat of not seeing anything published or accepted  by the end of the year (well, still a week left!), I was feeling a bit despondent. I really do miss the buzz writing gives me, but there's only so much of me to go around. And boy was I tired after the last month!

Seeing how I crumbled during a crunch time, I decided to do something I really hate to do: make some resolutions. I don't like jumping on the old cliche bandwagon, it just so happens that some self realizations about energy and writing came at the end of a year.

It would have been nice to close out the year with something big, but such is the writer life - plans change. It looks like the first quarter is shaping up to be a big one - with some publishing deadlines pushed back, I'll be seeing pieces in two anthologies, a magazine, and The Big One all coming out in early 2013. It'll look like I've been very busy when if fact I've been waiting for Teh Splosion of Orsumness for quite some time!

2013 is going to be awesome and different. For one, I'm going to have my own office - a writing space all of my own I can clutter with books and inspirational detritus and I don't have to share. My first pro sale is going to be released - you have no idea how excited I am about that one. There's going to be Au Contraire 2 and the SJVs, stories coming out in venues I'm pleased as punch about, start doing something with this blog (yeah, I got it wrong this year) and, dammit all, more awesome writing.

So here's to a happy holiday, cool yule, fabulous festivus, however you like to celebrate, and thanks for sticking round with this wee whisper of an author. You'll be seeing bigger things from me in the new year.

Iz long story. Jus pull, pleez.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fantastique Unfettered #5 Delayed

The expected release date of Fantastique Unfettered #5, which would feature my story "In Bloom", has been pushed back.

The magazine was originally going to appear in November, but unforeseen circumstances has delayed the release date until sometime in early 2013. Sorry, no hard and fast date yet.

Oh well, just means instead of lots happening at the end of this year, there will be lots happening at the start of next year! Bring on a big 2013!