Much like my last blog post, this one also seems somewhat obligatory at this time of year. Yeah, the old resolutions for 2012. For one thing, I need to get serious again about what I eat and how much exercise I can tolerate. I lost 25 pounds in 2011, but put some of it back on at the end ... especially during the holidays. So, sure, one of my resolutions will be to find my discipline again.
But I wanted to come up with some writer-centric resolutions for this post. It wasn't so easy. As a guy who writes for a living, I feel I have my face smashed to the grindstone pretty good most of the time. I generally make deadlines and do my job. Still, there are some trouble spots that could use some work. Here we go.
1. Have more patience. I am NOT by nature a patient person. I feel like I am constantly tapping my foot and waiting for somebody else to get off the dime. I must force myself to realize I am but a single writer and not at the center of my editor/agent/producer's universe.
2. Don't have TOO much patience. Waiting to be sanctioned or waiting for permission isn't a good use of time. I'm going to use that time to GO. Work on SOMETHING rather than sit by the phone or constantly check email to see if my pitch/manuscript/idea was green lit or flushed down the toilet. Writing is a very make-it-happen-yourself business.
3. Finish things. I have eclectic interests. Eclectic is code for scatterbrained. I love science fiction, crime, fantasy. I write comic books, novels and screenplays. The result is I have a bunch of projects started and all in different formats and genres. Time to get organized and see these projects through to the end. I will sit down and prioritize which projects get attention first and for how long, etc. If I have a deadline, then I'm good about meeting it. But the projects I'm working on for myself always seem to sit there half-finished. No more.
4. Clean up/out my office. Declare "this is my writing space" and get to work.
5. Make contact with good artists, inkers, letterers, colorists, etc. Writing for Marvel means I've been privileged to work with some outstanding artists. But as I stumble and bumble my way toward some creator-owned projects, I need to do the legwork of meeting many of these types of professionals myself.
6. Drink more coffee. Is this even possible? We'll see.
7. Find that sweet spot between indulging myself and writing what a large audience might want to read. I always write better and faster when I'm working on something that interests me. I never think of audience. I tried to write a "big commercial thriller" once and it was a huge flop of a smelly turd. Got a hundred pages in and had to abort that puppy before I hurt myself and others. So I write for myself. But that doesn't mean I don't want other readers to like it too. So where is the balance? I hope to find out.
8. Write EVERY day. Sometimes, after I meet a big deadline, I think, "Okay, Dude, you deserve a few days off." As Clint Eastwood said in Unforgiven, "deserve's got nothing to do with it." Even if it's just a paragraph, I will do my damnedest to write every day.
Okay, that's it for now. Not brilliant, earth-shattering stuff. Just some common sense things I hope will help.
What about you? Any resolutions that could help a fellow scribe?