The holidays went well for me this year. I ate less that I’d feared, and wrote more than I’d hoped, so all in all: a success!
I thought like a writer over the holidays too: not once did I worry about my day job (the one that still pays the bills). Instead, I planned what short stories I’d write in the coming months, picked which agents I’d send my next queries to, added up my freelance writing earnings for the past year (peanuts, at this stage, but growing!), and saw story ideas everywhere I went over that two week period.
In retrospect, I can’t believe how good I had it for those 14 days (helped by the fact that the in-laws were occupying the kids, which granted me that time to just… think – thanks guys!).
New Year’s eve came and went (we were playing a game of Quelf with friends as the clock struck midnight), and I purposely didn’t make any resolutions. Instead, I decided (subtly, though – not really admitting it, even to myself) to simply continue the habit of ‘being’ a writer, for the rest of the year.
So far, my (non)-resolution has been easy… After all, I want to be a writer! …
(…wait a sec – did I just crack the secret to New Year’s resolutions!?!)
Top 5 Writing Goals for 2016
With this new habit of ‘being’ a writer, what would I like to accomplish this year?
1. Get Published
Specifically, get a short story published (or recognized somehow – contest or otherwise). Currently, my bio is conspicuously free of any writing credits, which means any and all queries I send out – either for my novel, or my short stories – show me as an unpublished rube. It’s not helping my success rate… or my confidence!
2. Get Representation
(ie: agent representation) Yep. My career as a novelist is basically hinging on this step right now. But I’m up to my 4th batch of agent queries, bringing my total to just about 30. My agent is out there. Hopefully in this time frame, spatial dimension, and planet.
3. Get More Freelance Writing Work
So far, my fiction writing has not paid many bills (precise number of bills paid: zero). But freelancing does! I’m a regular contributor to Gay Parent Magazine (gayparentmag.com), and I’m looking to expand that significantly, as 2016 progresses. Key word: self-marketing.
4. Get More Readership
To paraphrase Julia Roberts, social media is like yelling into the wind. Sure. Sorta. Just make sure you’re facing the right way when you do so. And listen to others who are doing the same thing. I need to spend more time seeking out like-minded individuals, and join their secret leagues.
5. Get More Writing Done
As I ‘think’ more like a writer, I think up more little tasks that need doing – many of which do not include writing. I can’t forget that the whole point of this endeavour is to write more. And so I really need to focus a part of each and every day just for plain, unadulterated w r i t i n g.
Should be easy, right?