endings and beginnings

 

At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s time to look back and look forward.  2010 was a great year for my family and I.  We had a lot of changes and surprises.  The other day during a drive my wife and I looked back and inventoried our year.  We were both pretty dang happy.  As I said before, we had a great year.

My biggest regret has to do with my writing.  I set a new years resolution exactly one year ago to finish my novel and submit it for publication.  Between you and me, I did really well for a while.  But, as I am wont to do, I got sidetracked with life and family.

Have you ever wondered what it is about us that keeps us from doing what we most want to do?  Why is it that the easiest things are sometimes the hardest?  I really can’t think of much that I want to do more than be a published author, and yet night after night I find other things to do with my time.

There’s really no excuse for it, though.  I had plenty of time for video games, reading, shopping, playing, sleeping and just general avoidance.  At the end of the day, I just lost my dedication.  I chose to spend my free time doing other things than writing.

I was listening to a podcast recently where the speaker said, in essence, “every time you choose to do something instead of writing, you’re making a value statement that the substitute is more valuable to you than being a writer.”  It seems ridiculous to hear that said because I don’t want anything more than I want to be a writer.  At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

But, the statement is true. 

So, I’m reassessing my priorities and revaluing my values.  I really DO want to become a writer.  Just tonight I read on word press: “if you want to write more, write more.”  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

That’s my goal for this year.  I am going to write.  I am going to finish my novel and get it submitted.  That’s not the end though.  I’m going to start on my second novel.  And then my third.  I want to write, and, dang it, I’m going to WRITE!!!  A LOT!

I’ve been toying with the idea of self-publishing something in the eBook market to sort of test the waters.  I don’t want to do that exclusively, certainly, but I’m considering the possibility of doing that also.  I’ve read a good many articles of late discussing the self-publishing eBook market.  I don’t think things are as dire in the print world as many suggest, but I don’t think we can ignore eBooks either.  They’re here to stay.

So, how will I facilitate this massive production goal, you ask?  I’m just going to do it.  Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy fix.  I’ve just got to sit down and write, each and every night.  I’m setting a goal of 2,000 words per night until my novel is done and it’s time to begin the editing/rewriting process.

I’m part of a couple online writing groups, and I haven’t been doing very well with my participation there, either.  I’m recommitting to that as well.  In one group I post weekly.  The other, twice a month.  In each I have to do several reviews.  It easily takes a good couple hours to do all my reviews.  But, I’ve received invaluable feedback on my draft that will make it much much better than it is.  It’s a tremendous resource that I’m looking forward to taking advantage of.

I’m also going to take advantage of some workshops and symposiums to do some networking and pick up some good tips.  I’m going to the LTU&E conference at BYU in February.  I went last year, and it was outstanding.  I’m going to try to make the Superstars of Writing seminar in a couple weeks in Salt Lake City as well.  That one is pretty expensive, though, so I’m not sure yet.  Either way, I’m going to do what I can to immerse myself back into the writing world so I can get this done.  The more I invest in it, the more invested in it I’ll be. 

2010 was a great year.  2011 is going to be OUTSTANDING!!!

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2 thoughts on “endings and beginnings

  1. If we writers don’t have a new year’s resolution to write more than we did last year, then maybe we should acquiesce and become professional video gamers. I’m in the same boat. I need to write more AND contribute more to a writer’s group.

    We writers need to keep pushing each other to hit those goals. Dean Koontz writes 10 hours a day, Brandon Sanderson was writing 16 hours a day for awhile…us unpublished writers don’t have that luxury or capability, but we should be able to hit a consistent daily total and finish at least a novel a year.

    Good luck in 2011!

    –Mark

  2. Hey guys

    I completely agree. We need to make resolutions to write more (although I try not to classify them as New Years Resolutions – which usually end up on the scrap heap).

    I know that at the moment, I don’t write every day but I won’t accept writing less than a thousand words everytime I sit down to write.

    In terms of the amount of time spent writing – Stephen King maintains that every writer must dedicate at least four to five hours a day to reading or writing, no matter the other demands on their time.

    The same sentence hit me in the gut as well when I was listening to that episode of Writing Excuses. Hearing that both Dan Wells and Howard Tayler had multiple multiple children while trying to break through was good as well for some reason. Shows me that if they can do it then so can I.

    Happy new year, hopefully 2011 is great.

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