Writing

Summing up; looking back, looking forward

Work has been spanking me like a bad child despite being a short week. I’m quickly taking a breather now though to do my year in review given that everyone else is. Only a few days before it will be too late.

First, lets look back at the year. Starting with the New Years resolutions I made, that seemed all so reasonable and achievable at the time;

#1, Enter the Interactive Fiction 2009 competition.
#2, Get Tyson published.
#3, Enter Nanowrimo 2009.
#4, Enter the Huia 2009 competition.

Number 1 is entirely off there. I did think about it, I did work on it, but no, didn’t enter the contest. No biggie. Not overly bothered by that, although I love Interactive Fiction.

Number 2. Get Tyson published. Well, I would have actually had to finish him, which I did work at. No I didn’t finish that, and no he’s not published.

Number 3. Enter Nano. Well, erm. I did enter Nano. No I didn’t finish. Can’t really tick that off. Not bothered. I entered and finished the NZ version of this, so that’s ok.

Number 4. Yes! I did enter that contest. Didn’t make the grade, but I did enter it. There isn’t one for 2010. Not until 2011. Well, I got one of these goals done.

I’m not overly bothered by this all. New Years resolutions are never easy to keep. They are more of a wishlist, and although they were entirely achievable. Given my problems with writing and asking myself the hard questions when it comes to me and my future in writing I’m not bothered too much by my lack of achievement in this area.

What did I achieve? Plenty. 168,000 words in one year. I started and maintained a web serial series that I ran for a good part of the year, being Agents Provocateurs. Although it’s no longer running, I learned a great deal about the craft.

I entered SOCNOC and finished. Out of it came Skycity (k)Nights, a novella set in the AP setting, Orbitals, another novella set in the AP world. Also Dirty Heroes, another novella/web serial idea.

I finished Kiwiwriters New Year novella challenge (which I’m entering this coming year too). Also completed a number of other challenges on the site.

That’s all I remember. There’s probably other stuff. But that’ll do.

I’d give ya’ll my top 5 posts this year by hits, but it’s not worth it. All the pages I expected would turn out tops did, so it doesn’t make for interesting reading. My About Me page came out hot, but that’s expected. The Agents Provocateurs page also. Not surprising. My free fiction Glimpse of Heaven and Hell.

Thanks to keywords and such, other random pages got far too many hits. A useless exercise, I’m afraid!

Right. Now the year ahead.

No resolutions. Not this time!

I’m doing the New Years novella, but I have no ideas. I’ll start 1st January. I’ll pull 3 tarot cards for the main character, 2 for the secondary character, and 1 for the plot. Tada. Fly by the seat of my pants, and see where I go.

I mentioned asking myself the hard questions on writing earlier. I’ve hit a slump the last two months for which I blame any number of things. I gave myself that time off to sort out my shit, and a few days ago I asked myself the question (that everyone who writes needs to ask); ‘what do you want to get out of writing, what is your goal?’

My answer was ‘I have no idea’.

That was followed by; ‘do you want to publish novels? Or short stories, or web fiction? What?’.

Still, I had no idea.

Seriously. Stumped entirely.

‘Well,’ said the sagely voices in my head. ‘Get back to me when you do know.’.

Thanks for that.

But that’s really what it comes down to in writing. You need goals, you need reasons. Yes, it is a loveless, hard, and painful slog, but if you don’t know why you’re doing it, and what you want to achieve, you better find out. And quick.

Thankfully, the answer smoothly loops back to the beginning of this rather lengthy post. Tyson. After thinking about it I came back to the answer I think I probably had when I wrote Tyson’s story. That is, get that story published locally. His is a story that I figure needs telling, and publishing locally. How many books are there locally about local gay characters, and maori ones at that? Not many, if any.

If I need a goal, that’s it.

So, obviously this year isn’t going to be so much about word counts, and probably not about entering anything at all. It’s about the hard work of getting that draft sorted, shortened and polished better than ever. Tyson’s story is 90k, and given the length of time since I wrote it, I know I can write it better. It’s a story that needs telling, and damn, I miss him.

So, there’s the plan. Good to get that sorted before New Year!

If you haven’t already, obviously this is a timely reminder to look back on your year and look forward to the next.

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