Obligatory New Year’s Post

We survived a Mayan Apocalypse, a stalemated congress, and another year of the Kardashians still managing to grab headlines (Mayan apocalypse be damned, this is indeed a sign of the end of days.) To celebrate that fact, I threw a party. It was the first time I’d thrown a party in ages and I made the mistake of asking others what their New Year’s resolutions would be. In a room with a few writers, a techie, a project manager, future nurse, psych grad student, etc. etc. well, it didn’t blossom into the normal sharing. I think it sidetracked into a metaphysical discussion about time and calendars and well, random topics.

That got me thinking – people always share New Year’s resolutions but they rarely share the results. I know, usually it’s because things never work out as planned. For this post, I want to highlight some things from 2012 that DID go according to plan…mostly. More a wrap-up of things I have accomplished. And yes, there have been plenty I haven’t. There have been rejection letters, false starts, and scrapped tales a plenty. But I’m bringing in the New Year on a positive note here!

My original plan was to complete a manuscript – the first draft for my current project. I mentioned a few months back that I had set a goal of 80k words by the end of the year. (Stay tuned because next week I answer some questions about it). However, something else I’ve confessed to, I’m not a big plotter. I’m a seat of the pants sort of writer. I rarely know exactly where a story is going to take me. It leads to some bad habits – like writing my way into scenes, having a bunch of choppable stuff up front. It has also led me past the 80k limit. Mission accomplished.

It was an arbitrary limit anyway, so no big loss. However, it does mean I need to double down and get a completed draft done ASAP. I want to get started on revisions as soon as possible and there’s a growing mental “to-do” list that’s weighing on me.

Secondly, I intended to work on this novel and publish a short story every month. I began that goal about halfway through the year. So far, I’ve published two with a third accepted for publication and a fourth that has been sent on to futher review for a popular zine. One other story I’m awaiting a reply, and a final story just got a rejection in the late stages of review. That one, a flash piece, will be touched up and submitted elsewhere post-haste.

There it is, my bragging rights. My writerly accomplishments for 2012. I started the year with an online short story class and honestly, no clue where it would take me. So for 2013, it will be tough for me to plan out exactly how it will go. This year exceeded my wildest expectations and I don’t particularly WANT to have expectations for the next. I want to continue what I’m doing, that’s it. Nothing special. I even expect to wake up and find last year was a pleasant exception and not the rule. But of all these things, if I could voice one resolution it would be this:

I will write. Write like a muthafucka. Write until my eyes bleed, my fingertips sting and my keyboard is nothing but a field of empty black squares. Then I’ll write some more.

4 thoughts on “Obligatory New Year’s Post

  1. The Notorious B.E.N.

    Maybe I’ve been too encouraging in the “write by the seat of your pants” aspect. We can’t all be Annie Neugebauer though.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it as long as you chop / condense well.

    Ever try writing without pants at all?

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