I still look at the turning of the arbitrary calendar year as a convenient rest stop on our grand road trip to the grave. It's an excellent spot on the space time continuum to grab a cup of coffee and some vending machine carbohydrates, look at the map on the wall to see where the hell we are, and make plans for where we're going. It is also a good time to set goals, only in this overwrought metaphor, we shall replace "Christ, I'd really like to make it to DuBois before we have to stop again" with some writing plans for 2014.
Of course, for me, the lion's share of my time is still being poured in to the procurement of well-paying conventional employment. This, however, is not my blog of random job hunting gibberish. This is a place for writing: a writing place, if you will and I'm going to babble a bit at you here about the writing agenda for the new year.
1. I plan to finish my young adult fantasy novel. My stepson, for whom the original novella was written, has mentioned time and again that I should finish the story and explore the world further. It seems to have legs, and certain elements of the world and plot line have been nagging at the back of my mind for a while. I think it could be an exceedingly worthwhile project.
2. I want to exceed my number of published works from last year. I had 7 pieces accepted in various print and digital publications last year, not including freelance copy writing. My goal is place at least 8.
3. See at least one production through. This is an oddly worded one, and for relatively good reason. I write and have written a variety of scripts. I write for the stage and for screens of all shapes and sizes. There is a very good chance of getting a -horror anthology web series rolling this year (more on that as it unfolds), but I may also be staging a Grand Guignol-style production that I've written. I also have several screenplays that I'm shopping, but that's a whole separate adventure/clusterfornication.
4. More outside of the comfort zone writing and submitting. Last year I set the rather ambitious goal of submitting to one themed anthology each month, especially if that meant stepping outside of my wheelhouse to do so. I didn't hit that mark, but my rigorous quality control standards led to a higher than average acceptance rate. All the same, going to try and increase my submissions pretty dramatically in 2014.
5. This Blog. Gotta get better about updating this. My goal on that front is to post a review of every book that I read this year. This is not necessarily because I think anyone gives a precious damn about what I have to say about books, or because I think I will have some sort of new insight never before set to the page, but I do so in the hopes that doing so will make me a more mindful reader. That mindfulness will hopefully translate to an improvement in my own work. So, in short, I won't be reviewing for you! I'll be reviewing for me, damn it!
I also plan to write more about the markets in which I get published. This seems a good plan if for no other reason than a lot of the places my work appears are on the outer fringes of the publishing scene and deserve a bit more love and attention.
I may also write a bit more about the so-called writing process, though I refuse to commit to doing so. The writing process is a vast and nebulous thing, one that thousands of writers and aspiring writers are blogging about every day. Hundreds of great books have been written on the topic, and compared to many people I know fuck-all about it. Still, I am a writer. I'm cranking out words on a pretty regular basis. I'm getting published in more places each year (with 2013 being a banner year in that regard), so I just might have something to bring to the table on that front. We will see.
As ever, it seems that is the most sensible thing to say. We will see.