This year was a surprisingly productive year. I saw myself in print for the first time in over a decade. It’s something I hope to repeat in 2016. I’ve been actively writing short stories (have several which need an eyeball before I start them on the submission grinder), and I’ve been submitting regularly.
I’ve also written over 60K words in Metaphysical Graffiti. There will be much cutting when I get to the editing phase. I’m finding myself writing out scenes which could be trimmed down, just to get the emotions of the characters out. And I’ve found myself adding more interludes from outside the main character’s perspective. So it will be an interesting process.
The writing of Metaphysical Graffiti also brought me to my first NaNoWriMo win. I suspect that may be tied to some of the bloat. But Tis better to have more and trim down, than to have less and add more.
What did not go so well this year: I’ve only had one publication acceptance. Several flash fiction pieces and short stories are now in the ‘bin’ for recycling. One may get resubmitted this year as over the last year, I’ve made substantial changes to it.
And my photography has not done so well. I’ve had less time to process photos than I’d like, and what I have still feels pedestrian at best. There’s only so many times you can hear about your lovely photos of landscapes and statuary without gritting your teeth.
Lastly, my networking… I’m convinced now that I need to keep a hip flask filled with rakia and Xanax nearby. Maybe mixed in a cocktail. Much as with my photography (for anything involving photos of the living), when it comes to promoting myself and my writing every bit of social anxiety I’ve developed over the years kicks into overdrive. My bar cons sound like blues songs: sitting in the corner, drinking, looking to get up the courage to do what needs to be done.
So, this brings me to my plans for next year. I’ll keep them simple:
- WRITE: Keep writing and finish Metaphysical Graffiti. Finish a short story every two months. Write Flash Fiction any time I can. This will likely be impossible, given I’m getting married next year, but I need to keep working to a steady output.
- REVISE: I must revise faster. Not sure how to do it, but I need to figure this out. For short stories, it’s easy enough. It’s the novels which get me. Also, I need to force moe of my friends to read things I’ve written. My writer’s group has more stories to crit than it can handle, so I can’t monopolize them.
- SUBMIT: Keep submitting. And hope I keep getting very nice, helpful replies. The folks from Uncanny, Apex&Abyss, and Urban Fantasy magazine took the time to reply to me directly on my stories and I greatly appreciate their commentary. I just need to find places to submit the weirder fiction.
- PHOTOGRAPH: I need to face a fear of mine and, once again, try to photograph humans.
Most of all, I need to keep writing and finding my voice. What was that old quote? “There’s no future in the past?” I have to keep marching forward no matter what.
Here’s to another trip around the sun.