This has been a crazy year for the publishing industry, and a crazy year for me as well. I find myself at a crossroads. Multiple doors are opening, and it’s intimidating for me, to have all these options. In the past I’ve worked so hard for even one option. There were no open doors. At times, I was lucky if I caught a draft. With all these things changing, I thought I’d share some of my goals and accomplishments – and maybe some of my journey getting here.
Over the course of 2008, I had some broad goals:
- To write and finish a novel (Shatterbox)
- To gain some exposure, contacts, publishing credits, and generally get myself known in the writing/publishing world
- To learn to write under a deadline
- To create some kind of web presence
- To begin writing regularly again
- To finish the handful of short stories and novellas I’d started
Some of these goals were huge for me. In 2007, I had sunk into type of writer’s block that was really more of a writing-life-crisis. And in the early months of 08, I was still in the middle of it. I started two (unfinished) novels before I began Shatterbox. Which, by the way, is some kind of miracle-novel all by itself. It was the un-attainable goal. The un-writable story. It became my own inner mountain – if I could climb it, I could believe in myself again.
Conceived sometime in 2005, Shatterbox started out as “The Dust Story,” and has been rewritten six or seven times since then. None of them were ever right. This time I decided that I would get it written if it killed me. Two thirds of what I wrote had to be discarded, in the first three months alone. That was 43k of work and 17k of story.
But for six months: I’ll write this if it kills me.
And for a while I thought it was. But holy croak, by golly gee, I was writing. And now I’m done. All I need to do is type up an outline for the last chapters – which simply can’t be written at this point. Then I’m finished. Big, big sigh of relief there.
I grew in a lot of other ways this year – for one, I started blogging! And continued. And grew a readership :)
I finished two long-loved, never-finishable novellas. I won two minor contests and placed in a third.
I got my first rejection – and seven more.
I got published in a local newspaper. Had my first interview. Had an article accepted into a magazine, but then dropped when they hit difficulties.
At the same time, I let some opportunities slide, and I regret that. I never pursued column writing. I didn’t submit work regularly. I had aususpicious comments that I let go unanswered. At times, anxiety and inexperience got the best of me. At times, I believed it when people told me I wasn’t ready. I had my successes and I made my mistakes. In a way, I didn’t accomplish things this year as much as I paved the way for next year’s accomplishments. Which segues into my goals for 2009…
Goals for 2009:
- Rewrite Shatterbox to near-final draft, polish
- Begin querying agents (!!!)
- Revise & submit novella 27 Dead to target markets
- Revise & submit short story Delirium
- Revise & do something with flash-fiction piece, The Eye
- Start (and complete) a brand new novel
- Continue to re-imagine, revise, and resubmit old pieces with potential
- Continue to stretch myself as a writer
I had a lot of fun blogging for you guys this year. It was hard – but rewarding. Thanks for making that happen. And now, I hope you’ll talk about some of your goals and accomplishments. I love it when you all share. :)
Happy New Year!