Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Resolve or Resign?

So our Writer’s Ramble this month is supposed to be about our writing goals and resolutions for 2014. Before I can get to that, I have to address a challenge that I’m currently faced with.

See, I’ve been writing pretty consistently since 2006. Almost eight years. I've written dozens of stories. And in all that time, I have exactly one publication to show for it. A publication that only came late this last year, in September 2013. And even then, it was a “paid by exposure” publication, for which I earned no money, and have seen no “exposure” benefits from. No one has contacted me to tell me they liked the story, my blog traffic remained as pitiful as it has ever been. Nothing has come from this, my first publication.

Except: Proof that I can do this. Someone out there enjoyed my writing enough to include it in their magazine. So I have hope, and believe me, I’m eternally grateful to Promptly for giving me my first boost.

Unfortunately, that boost hasn’t been enough. The end of 2013 saw my biggest writing slump to date. In the last three months, the most I’ve written are a few Drabbles (100 word stories) and Twabbles (100 character stories excluding spaces) on the Drabblecast forums. Don’t get me wrong, writing these ridiculously short stories is highly entertaining and extremely challenging, but they’re not really publication material. They’re just for fun. I haven’t written a serious story in months.

I started a new job recently, which I would love to blame for my current slump, “It’s not my fault, this new job is so demanding, I just don’t have the time or energy to write…” But it would be a lie. In reality, this new job gives me ridiculous amounts of free time with nothing to do but sit in front of the computer. ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD TO WRITE. And what do I do? Watch Netflix and play browser RPGs. (Card Hunter is a great one for anyone interested.;))

I try to write, really I do. But every time I start, I very quickly find some excuse to do something else. Why am I having such a hard time? Who knows? Maybe eight years of rejection is getting to me. Maybe the freedom at work is more than my willpower is able to withstand. Maybe there’s something in the air here that just sucks all my creative juices right out through my ears. I don’t know.

But I do know one thing: I’m not going to quit. I’m never going to quit. I love writing. Maybe not as much as I should. Not enough at this point to convince me to choose writing over playing the Xbox when such free time at home allows. But I still love it.

So here are my goals for 2014: Quit being lazy. Quit coming up with excuses. Quit not being paid for my stories. Quit sucking.

More specifically, I have some exact goals I want to accomplish as well. Penumbra Ezine is running a Superhero issue in May. I want my Superhero story, Lullaby (the name will be changed before submission) to be in that magazine. If/when EscapePod runs their next flash fiction contest, I want to win. I want to have both a Drabble and a Twabble accepted and read on episodes of the Drabblecast. And, as always, I want to win the Writers of the Future contest.

Now, I may not accomplish all of these in 2014, but I’m sure gonna try.

On the Escape Artists forums, someone recently started a topic entitled “6-Word Memoirs” challenging everyone to write a summation of 2013 in six words. Mine was this:
“Too much Xbox, not enough writing.”

I followed that up with a 6-word Resolution:
“Write more, game less, be successful.”

And that’s exactly what I intend to do. Even if it takes me all year; all decade; all of my life.  

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