A few of my writerly friends are posting year-end recaps and listing their writing goals for the year. I don't usually make resolutions, it's too depressing when I don't succeed, but I like this one. Achievable goals, that's a good motto for 2015.
So here goes.
Short stories submitted this year: 40
Wow... that's a record for me. Three were accepted giving me a 7% acceptance rate. I got a few VERY nice rejection letters this year too, the "it's almost there" kind that encourage me to keep writing.
New short stories: 3 brand new and 3 complete rewrites of older stories.
- I rewrote Equilibrium (my first novel, a supernatural thriller) to get under the 'magic' 100K words. It started at 108K, shrank to 105K, was turned down by a handful of agents and is currently at 99K. After a critique buddy gets finished with it, I'm hoping to get it down even further.
- I finished rewriting my screenplay after losing the last 40 pages when I downloaded Windows 8 and my laptop died. It still needs work but the premise is sound, I think. It's a comedy about a ghost chef.
- I found a market for my novella, a fairytale retelling and sent it out. There isn't a very large market for novellas, unfortunately. Twice now it's been turned down but with lovely comments added so I'm still hopeful.
- I also applied for a writer's grant this year for my 2nd novel, The Gully Years. I didn't get it but maybe next year. Two of my short story sales came out of this novel.
Become a more visible member of the writing community.
- I attended my first convention, Ad Astra and went to Inspire, Toronto's Book Fair.
- I applied for a couple of slush reader positions and have been reading for Apex Magazine since September. I'm amazed at how much I've learned already. There is a similarity to many of the stories Apex turns down: not starting in the right place and unsatisfactory endings. I've spent the last couple of years focusing on my beginnings and quite a few of my rejection letters have said, "the end didn't work for me". Which tells me 2 things... first, that the beginning DID work (they read the whole thing!) and second, I need to strengthen my endings.
So my "resolutions" this year:
1. Write every day. At least 1 page, preferably 2 or 3 (blog posts are acceptable.)
2. Submit a story every week. (52 in a year? I can do that.)
3. Apply for grants!
4. Read more. Novels, short stories. My TBR pile is completely out of control.
5. Rewrite screenplay, adding more comedic elements and find someone to help critique it.
6. Start querying Equilibrium again after the next round of edits.
7. Start outlining the new SF novel or rewrite one of the trunk stories that is salvageable.
8. Keep attending conventions and meeting other writers/editors.
9. Downgrade FB time to 1-2 hours per day otherwise I'll never have time for the rest!
Happy New Year!