Thursday, December 29, 2011

Let's Review


            Just enough time and space left in 2011 for me to squeeze in one last ranty blog post.
            This was a big year for me.  For the first time in my life, I spent the entire year writing fiction.  I’ve spent over five years as a full-time writer, but a lot of those years were writing magazine articles as well as my own stuff.  This was the first year of nothing but my fiction and living (well, squeaking by) on the money I made off that.
            Which also meant this was the first year I had no schedule.  I had a few broad deadlines for projects, but even most of those had a 30 day buffer built into the contract.  So anything I got done this year—or didn’t get done—was all my responsibility.  If I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done.
            How did I do with all the extra pressure of living the dream life?

            --I started the year by finishing up the last draft of Ex-Patriots, which hopefully two or three of you have since picked up and enjoyed.
            --Then I wrote The Junkie Quatrain as part of a bonus material deal with Audible.com.  Four interlocking/ overlapping short stories that form a pretty solid-sized novella (about 37,000 words) in six weeks.  I was pretty darned proud of that.  It reminded me of tales about Ray Bradbury and Robert Lewis Stevenson writing stories specifically to pay rent.  Permuted Press is putting out The Junkie Quatrain as an ebook next month (shameless plug), and I think Audible.com is going to release them as a collected piece as well.
            --I wrote -14-, which was a whopping 149,000+ words in the first draft.  It went through five more drafts that cut a lot and added some more.  The 129,000 word manuscript is under the keen eyes of the Permuted editor right now.
            --I did about a dozen DVD reviews for the Cinema Blend website.  I wanted to do more, actually, but they’re shifting over to Blu-Rays and I haven’t gotten around to picking up a Blu-Ray player yet.  Maybe for my birthday...
            --I wrote forty-eight entries for the ranty blog (counting this one).  There’s also a half dozen on the H.P. Legocraft site and another nineteen entries on another blog I do.  Plus a few lengthy diatribes on the Permuted Press message boards and the Facebook fan page I’ve got going.
            --At the moment I’m 20,000 word into Ex-Communication, the third Ex- book.  To be honest I’d hoped to be a lot further along at this point, but then there were holidays and traveling and this monster eggnog my brother makes with lighter fluid...
            --And as soon as I finish this post I’m going to try to grind out a superhero story for an upcoming anthology called Corrupts Absolutely.  It’s due by December 31st, so we’ll see how I do.

            So, that's what I wrote this year. 
            How about you?
            Yeah, I had the advantage of writing fiction full time as my day job.  I’m guessing most of you didn’t have that.  Still, you’ve written something, right?
            Hopefully the answer is yes.  If it isn’t, here’s a simple New Year’s resolution, one I suggest every year about this time.
            Write a page a day.  That's all.  Tell yourself you’re going to do that and stick to it.  It’s about three hundred words, depending on your formatting. 
            If you write one page a day, you can have a short story by the end of January.  You could have a screenplay by the end of April, giving you plenty of time to enter some of the big contests.  Next Christmas you could have a very solid novel on your computer.  All from writing just one page a day. 
            If you're actually serious about being a writer, this should be the equivalent of resolving to sleep in the months to come.  Not sleep more or sleep better.  Just to sleep.  In other words, it should be something you couldn’t stop yourself from doing if you wanted to.
            Happy New Year to the double-handful of you who keep stopping by to read this.  Next time will be the first post of 2012, so I thought I'd do a quick recap about the history of the ranty blog and why I keep scribbling here once a week for several years now.
            Until then, go drink some champagne, kiss someone you love, and toast the new year.
            Then go write. 
            Just write one page.

3 comments:

  1. I'm glad you had such a prolific year and thanks for the encouragement/advice, one page a day. Sometimes the simplest things work the best (like diet and exercise...dammit). Hope you have another great year and hurry every chance you get with Ex-Communication. best regards, Paul Worley
    Lake Jackson, TX

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  2. "Still, you’ve written something, right?"

    Yessir! I've got a few things coming out in ZMagazine! Very proud of that! :)

    Evan

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  3. Just for the sake of argument:

    06:00-08:00, Morning rituals, ready for work etc.
    08:00-09:00, commute
    09:00-18:00, work (on a good day)
    18:00-19:00, commute
    19:00-20:00, change out of work clothes, help get dinner on the table
    20:00-21:00, eat dinner
    21:00-23:00, catch up on a couple of DVR shows on the sofa with the Mrs
    23:00, nighty-night

    Not 100% accurate, of course (most days I work past 18:00, for example), and there are the weekends for writing--except there's that whole exhausted thing to deal with then.

    I've got to the point that I consider it progress when I write a page a week.

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