Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Resolve for the New Year


I don't want to let 2007 go.

It isn't a fear of aging thing, or some psychological inability to accept the inevitability of change. It's just that 2007 was a very good year for me as a writer. Not only did I get my first three acceptance emails (two of which have translated into published stories, while the third languishes under the looming collapse of the e-zine that accepted it), but I also successfully completed National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a Herculean achievement that taught me as much about myself as a person and a writer as it did about my characters and storyline.

It's hard to let go of a year that brought me so much. But time marches on and I need to get in step with it. In that spirit, I submit my GOALS FOR 2008.

#1 ~ Design and implement an effective blog.

Everyone knows the web is the place to be for writers. It's time to befriend technology with a warm and open heart. I hope this blog will be a friend to those who visit it, as well, instead of just a self-serving, self-aggrandizing monologue.

#2 ~ Get 4 more publishing credits.

Yep, I know this sounds like a pitiful accomplishment for a year, rather like hoping to roll out of bed most days, but those of you who write know how tough this is. The short fiction market is shrinking, according to the experts. That means less opportunity for newbies like me, struggling to learn their craft.

#3 ~ Get paid for a piece of writing.

Again, pitiful. Even more pitiful is that I'd do it for free.

#4 ~ 1 publishing credit in a semi-prestigious market.

I'd even settle for a meaningful personal rejection or, better yet, a rewrite request from some lofty grand dame like Ploughshares. My personal favorite of 2007 (not from Ploughshares) was the form rejection thrust into an envelope so hastily that the form got glued into the seal. Tell me, please: what kind of editor doesn't have time to seal a paper in an envelope properly?

#5 ~ Finish a novel. Any novel.

Confession time: I have two first drafts of novels in various stages of the revision process. One has been landlocked for 4 years as I pick at it as ruthlessly as a pageant mom. The other, of course, is my NaNoWriMo baby. Point being: how many first drafts do I plan to accumulate? It's time to get something finished and out there.

#6 ~ Successful 2008 NaNoWriMo.

Apparently, I so enjoyed trying to write a 50K novel in 30 days while undergoing two weeks of painful (make that excruciating) dental work that I'm inspired to do it again. Yep, I'm a glutton for punishment. It just felt so good when it stopped--both the dentistry and NaNoWriMo.

As the year progresses, I hope I'll be able to tick these off under your watchful eyes. Looking back, 2007 felt good in spite of the frustrations, every halting, babystep of the way. I want that feeling again, that feeling of breaking new ground, of rediscovering my own abilities as I stumble as naively hopeful as a white-frocked debutante through rigors of 2008.

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