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Old 12-26-2012, 02:12 PM   #1
kennyc
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Did you accomplish your writing goals for 2012?

I'm sitting here evaluating my results/goals and planning/considering my future -- a very dangerous thing to do in many ways.

as some of you know I left my CCP (Corporate Computer Programmer) job somewhat abruptly at the beginning of March. It was my choice -- just couldn't handle the BS any more. I rearranged my finances a bit to reduce both my short and long term expenses in that I got completely debt free (including paying off my mortgage) and have been doing my best to live frugally. For the most part all that is working. The 'surprise' came with having to find health care insurance and the associated costs -- just totally sucks! But I'm under a high-risk plan for now at some $200/month -- but it doesn't cover much of anything and has a high deductible. I've been living on my savings since then. Anyway....the plan was to restart my writing career that was put on hold almost 20 years ago with only minimal publications since. It's been a hard go of it, but do feel like I've accomplished some good.

I revised and got a collection of my poetry together that had been shopped around in various forms and published it myself on Amazon. I've had a few sales of it but nothing to even really matter. And that's the end result actually of the past ten months of effort -- little to no income from it. ....

but....

- I got that collection No Longer Dressed in Black self published,

- completed a short story that is part of what is a series of stories which will be collected together and published (I'd hoped to have that completed by now but it hasn't happened)

- I completed several creative non-fiction essays which also are ultimately intended for a collection

- as well as several personal memoir essays that are intended for a separate collection.

- I've sketched at least two novel ideas and started them but no further progress -- I seem much more drawn to the shorter works despite the fact that income may be more possible with novel-length work.

- had a couple of poems published - one even paid a few bucks.

- I got completely distracted for a couple of months and focused exclusively on my pencil drawing and completed 10 or so drawings. I've decided to actually offer for sale my original drawings (which I've never done before) and had updated and listed all my work at my Fine Art America site. No sales in the art world effort either at this point. In addition I put together a book of my drawings with stories about each one offered for free download in hopes of generating interest in my art originals and prints and interestingly enough I've sold more of these on Amazon (even though it is free on my website) than my other works (poetry, stories, essays). Go figgure.

in addition, I've done and continue to do a hell of a lot of reading/studying/analyzing/learning in both fiction and non-fiction which will continue.

so I do feel I've accomplished a lot, but I did not get the novel completed that I thought I would, nor did I get a collection of short stories completed as I'd hoped.

I'm feeling that part of my fall-down is simply not cranking the words out. I do fine if I'm inspired on a particular project but am far from producing a regular daily word-count.

So at this point I'm considering what direction to go, whether to continue to push ahead (with possible changes in effort/detail) or to possibly turn to other means of generating income (back to CCP or other full-time work) to put food in the dog bowl or to continue to push forward with the the writing and to the bitter end. I'm not completely tapped out yet money-wise, but there are a number of unknowns at this point - in particular what my tax situation is going to look like once I begin to figure out what the result is for 2012 and all the change that took place.

Well, TMI eh? Anyone have comments or want to post your results/plans this last week of 2012?

Last edited by kennyc; 12-26-2012 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:41 PM   #2
David Munch
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No. But 2013 will be the year I finish my first story!
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:49 PM   #3
kennyc
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No. But 2013 will be the year I finish my first story!


Mee too I think!

one way or another.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:37 PM   #4
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Nope. Life gets in the way. Like always. Waddya gonna do?

I'll make progress next year, but accomplish my writing goals? Probably not.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:53 PM   #5
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I didn't really have serious goals for the year - the previous few years have not given me any reason to suspect goals are going to work for me. ... But, for all that, I'm not unhappy. Curiously, I was feeling a little unsatisfied unitl I read this thread title and decided to glance back through my writing diary and saw just what took place. (So thanks for that, Kenny, I'm a happier man now than I was before I looked at this thread. )

I finished the first and second drafts of the second book in my series (it was a bit more than half done this time last year). I got my first book through some more revisions and finally opted to try self-publishing AND got it out there (only just, but it's out). And the third book, after getting nowhere for months, is finally taking shape; I'm probably around 25-33% done in terms of the anticipated word-count, but the progress in my head is more significant (though I'm still not setting dates for expected completion, there are some big challenges yet to surmount).

I didn't get much shorter work done. I'm not really a short-work person anyway, but in the past few years, while working on the main series, I've written some short stories and essays - specifically for my own background and gratification. That hasn't happened much this year. Not sure why.

For the coming year? ... I started to write some hopes down, but then decided that I've got enough deadlines with the job that actually puts food on the table, so I'll avoid putting anything down here in case I jinx it.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:02 AM   #6
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Kenny, I admire your courage. I also shudder to think of what huge decision you've made in quitting your job. So, while I admire your courage I also think you've been a bit mad (please don't take offence I don't mean it in the psychiatric way).
But I'm not you, I don't know your circumstances so I can't really judge (and I wouldn't want to judge even if I would know all about you).
There is also the fact that many worthy things have been achieved only after a moment of madness. In fact, a great deal of fiction has been and is written in support of this trope.
Still, when I read that you quit your job I got a sudden bat feeling in my stomach. I'm terrified of losing my job.

As for writing, I like to pretend (to myself and definitely to others) that I'm not really into writing at all and and I have no intention of writing, or not now anyway.

And yet, at least once a year, I get a new idea and an urge for "the novel" (nothing literary, I would like to write Fantasy or SF), I spend a week or so having it churn in my brain, then I spend 2-3 days writing notes and a lumpy outline. I then write a scene or two and then...
And then I stop, after reading the rubbish scenes and after reading the outline and realizing that I'm not a writer.
I'm also really good at finding excuses of why I can't write now and that after I deal with <insert current family/work problem here> I'll definitely start and finish my book.

And so this happened in 2012 too...
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:13 AM   #7
kennyc
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Thanks Corkobo. Yes it is a bit 'mad,' but also not done on the spur of the moment. Just for a bit of background I spent a few years attempting to make money writing some 20 years ago and it ended with me going back to the corporate world and swearing that I'd only write what I wanted to and what my muse directed me to and I've done that over those years. Still I always thought I'd get back to it at some point and had semi-serious intentions of doing it in 2013 -- so though this happened a year early -- it was somewhat on the radar. I've actually been working towards it pretty seriously for the last 10 years, getting my finances in order etc. And while it is a risk, I'm not doing it without some small resources and planning. Still it has not gone as well as I'd hoped. I'm in the process of evaluating and and may be doing so the next few weeks. Nothing is set in stone.

Your situation sounds pretty typical, I think many follow that same pattern. The real difference in being a writer is pushing ahead despite the unknowns and getting the words on the page. I would definitely recommend reading Stephen Pressfield's "The War of Art" -- it might inspire you to fight the resistance
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
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[...]
And yet, at least once a year, I get a new idea and an urge for "the novel" (nothing literary, I would like to write Fantasy or SF), I spend a week or so having it churn in my brain, then I spend 2-3 days writing notes and a lumpy outline. I then write a scene or two and then...
And then I stop, after reading the rubbish scenes and after reading the outline and realizing that I'm not a writer.
I'm also really good at finding excuses of why I can't write now and that after I deal with <insert current family/work problem here> I'll definitely start and finish my book.[...]
Don't stop trying (unless you want to of course). Over the years I've had a lot of ideas and written a lot of rubbish that never went anywhere, but eventually I found something that wouldn't let me put it away. It was only when I found the idea that obsessed me that I finally seemed to get past that big road-block. I'm not saying the result was great literature (it was never meant to be that), but I am quite proud of what it eventually turned into (and is still turning into). But you will only find that idea if you keep your mind open to the possibility and keep nudging each idea to see if it has claws.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:25 AM   #9
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Nope. I planed to have vol4 out ... but looks like it will be early feb now. It is completed and has been to the editor and back again, I just need to work through the edits now, and I am waiting the cover art.

Ah well.. my NEXT book will be on time... right?
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:26 AM   #10
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Nope. I planed to have vol4 out ... but looks like it will be early feb now. It is completed and has been to the editor and back again, I just need to work through the edits now, and I am waiting the cover art.

Ah well.. my NEXT book will be on time... right?
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:28 PM   #11
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I have absolutely not met any of my (modest) writing goals for this year. I'm really going to try for 2013 though. My biggest problem is just overcoming the initial resistance to sitting down to write.

Kennyc: Congrats on having the courage to jump so fully into writing, I'm a little envious. There was a period for me when I was seriously thinking of doing that but ended up getting cold feet and just switching to a less awful job.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:05 PM   #12
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Two years ago, I thought our business would be slow and I mapped out an aggressive writing plan. Things picked up and now I find myself a year and a half behind on that plan.

So much for planning!
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:59 AM   #13
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wow! That's awesome. The fact you've been able to do that is quite admirable. Hopefully in the near future it will pay off.

Writing goals for 2013: Finish my two stories I'm working on. I've got one short that is my main focus right now (shifting away from the larger work just for the time being). And KEEP WRITING. That's the important thing for me.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:13 AM   #14
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I made good progress during the first nine months of the year, but have done nearly nothing since October 1.

I hope to get back into the swing of things soon.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:27 AM   #15
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For the most part, I met my writing goals, quantity and quality. I even made some progress improving my writing, smoothing some rough areas. On the periphery, though, outside of things that are strictly 'writing' (like submissions), I failed miserably.

Part of it is a propensity to plan and overthink that can become all-consuming at the cost of progress. I'll a little more balance between planning and action this year. I have no problem leaving bad projects behind, and I've had plenty, but this year I really don't want to leave good projects forever gathering dust.

Good luck this year kenny. I admire your pluck and I hope find what you're after.
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