Last year's annual ritual of writing resolution self-disappointment looked something like this:
- A - Will write at least N pages a Day
- B - If failing with A, write at least N pages a Week
- C - Will submit at least one completed work a month
- D - If failing with C, will submit at least one completed work a quarter
- E - Will attend at least one writing, publishing, industry-related event (seminar, lecture, public presentation) a quarter
- F - Will complete rewrites of both of those completed and unpublished novels
- G - Will complete rewrites of at least five stories from that mothballed pile of twenty-plus unpublished short stories
As I looked back on the previous year, I realized that I had only completed two of the above list of seven fabulous writing goals. But it was not lack of effort. Yes, I got one story published. And yes, I did rewrite six stories, submit another seven or more, and I finally did complete the rewrite of one of my two novels. So where did I come up short? And how would I use this to chart the course for a more productive, more successful 2011?
To put it simply, I changed the rules as I went along. Was that failure? As I looked back, I was not sure. I decided that this year instead of measuring my failures, I would change the metrics. Rather than counting how many of this I wrote, how many of that I rewrote, how many submissions, seminars, edits, etc., etc., I decided to simply test for "activity". A car analogy: I decided to stop looking at the odometer and started looking at the speedometer.
Here are some simplified indicators I figured to be more useful than a detailed, guilt-inducing, blockage-creating checklist:
- Have I spent some hours writing this week?
- Have I spent some time this week networking with other writers, publishers, or readers?
- Have I spent some hours this month researching the market, background information for a story or novel, or exploring business-of-writing issues?
- Have I spent some hours this month on establishing and developing long term writing success foundations?
Orson Scott Card Recovering from Mild New Years Day Stroke
An article on Locus, referring to yet another article on Orson Scott Card's official website, says Orson suffered a mild stroke on New Year's Day. While he is apparently expecting a full recovery, it has impacted his travel plans. He will be focusing on writing at home for the few months, where he will be "retraining his brain so that the fingers of his left hand strike the keys he's aiming for."
Our best wishes to Orson for a speedy recovery.