Happy New Beginnings Year

Ah, Happy New Year. Can you feel it? That quiver of expectation in the air? Breathe in that new year smell. Do you catch a whiff of excitement? Energy? Or is it more like DOOOOM….

I always face the new year with a hint of foreboding. It’s less this year, but it’s there. A full 365…well, okay 362, days that will come. Anything could happen in 2007. Anything at all. Good or bad. It freaks me out, not knowing the unknown.

(Man…I must be more tired than I thought. “Not knowing the unknownsheeshbear with me folks. It’s been several days since I wrote anything; I gave myself a mini-vacation from writing so as to spend more time with the family. My mind is still adjusting back to work.)

I should be more optimistic. After all, 2006 was a year full of surprises for our household. Daniel having two febrile seizures, my sister-in-law and my mother getting married, hubbie getting a job. It’s been quite a year. How will 2007 follow that up? Will it be nice and quiet, giving us a chance to adjust to normal life? Or will it be full of pitfalls? Will we wind up living on the streets? Will someone in our family wind up in the hospital? or even die?

Ick. It’s too early in the morning to think of morose thoughts. I really must’ve been away from writing too long. Come on, LaShawn, Happy thoughts.

Okay. Maybe I’ll finish Willow at the end of this year. That’s a start. I did dig out my writing resolutions from last year just for fun. This is what I did around January 10, 2006:

Long Term:
1. Finish Willow novel rough draft by end of year 2007. Write and submit at least 5 short stories and 2 essays by end of year.

Short term:
1. Do two hours of writing every day, except Sundays.
2. Work on 1 novel chapter and one short story per week
3. Critique two stories per month for writing lists.
4. Set aside some times each month for Happy Fun Freewrites, where I don’t worry about writing quotas or projects. I just write for fun!
5. Do at least 5 minutes of situps 🙂

Well, lookyhere. I’m beginning to feel better already. I’m considering 2006 as the first year that I took my writing seriously, and I’ve pretty much achieved a lot. In fact, I’ve surpassed my long term goals. It’s the beginning of 2007 and I am almost halfway through the novel, so I’m on track with that. I wrote 5 short stories and submitted them, with one being published. I wrote 5 essays and one got published, and I wrote 2 poems, and one of those got published. So three things published in 2006. Not too shabby.

I did somewhat well on the short term goals, too. In 2006, I wrote on the average of five hours a day, taking off for Saturdays and Sundays. I did work on 1 novel chapter per week, except in November, when I increased that to two. And I actually worked on two other works per week, either short story, essay or poem. When it comes to critiquing other people’s works, though, I started off strong, but then started to lag behind. I think it’s been quite a while since I’ve critiqued something. The Happy Fun Freewrites somewhat fizzled out too, which is not good. I think I do need to keep those up just to keep the creativity flowing. And I don’t even want to get into the situp one…that fizzled out somewhere in March…

So in looking over my goals for 2007, I can certainly increase my input of submissions. I believe I’m getting better in writing, so editing time should take less. But I also think that I need to add other things to my goals, too. For instance, I want to start entering contests, not just the free-entry ones, but also at least one where you pay a fee. I want to start learning more about the craft of writing, so I would like to attend at least one workshop or at least a class to sharpen my skills. Maybe even attend a fantasy convention, see what else is out there. I need to also focus my skills by reading other works, too. You think that being a writer, I have plenty of time to read. Yeah, you try doing that too with an active two-year-old. But I need to become more serious about that.

So, with all that in mind, for the record, here are my writing resolutions/goals for 2007:

Finish rough draft by end of this year. Spend 14 hours or write 2 chapters per week. (With Daniel going to daycare starting this month, my hours should increase.)

Short stories/Essays/Poetry:
Write six stories, five essays, three poems and submit them. Spend at least 10 hours on 2 other works (short story/poem/essay).

Do 2 critiques per month for my email writing lists.

Enter at least 1 entry-fee contest and 3 non-entry fee.

Take at least one class in writing
Go to two workshops, one free, one paid. There’s an Indiana workshop that I can try getting into for free (that can be part of the contest goal). There’s also the Midwest Literary Festival. I want to save money to go to the full-day seminar they have the day before. There should also be free workshops at Schaumburg library.
Consider going to a fantasy convention? Windycon maybe.

-Read two books a month, one fantasy, one other genre. Every other month, read craft book, like Stephen King’s On Writing.

Wow. That’s a lot, and those are just writing goals. I haven’t even gotten to spiritual or health goals, yet. But this proves something. I have a better handle on what I’m doing, and this shows I’m learning something from all this writing. Anything can happen in 2007. I just have to see where it takes me.

I’m feeling more optimistic already.


2 Responses

  1. “As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know. “

  2. […] sorts. I’m applying for a scholarship to go to a writing workshop in July. This is one of my goals I set up for this year. One of the things they require is a writing sample and a biographical […]

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