Saturday, December 31, 2011

RESOLVED

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?

12 comments:

Jack Bludis said...

Simple: Make more money.
Finish this book I have been working on for thirty years, while I wrote about 30 others.

I think I deciced now that my thirty-year book is actually a trilogy. With the instigating idea being the third in the series.

And one more thing. Finish my damn blog and web page.

Have a great year, Victor.

blakemp said...

I'm just trying to improve my consistency. For 2011, my goal was to write SOMETHING every day. I only missed one.

In 2012, I'm gonna ramp it up. I'm aiming for a minimum of 1,000 words a day. Totally doable, when I can force myself to freaking get it done.

johndumond said...

I usually avoid resolutions, as doing so prevents me from letting myself down. But this year I'm going to give it a try. Your numbers 3 and 8 kind of hit the nail on the head for me. I need to stop being a lazy-ass and get to work. I have a bunch of partially completed projects sitting on my hard drive, and even more story ideas bouncing around in my head. It's high time I make like the Nike commercial and "Just do it!"

Have a Happy New Year, Victor.

joe_caramagna said...

Like you, I want to finish some of my own projects that I'be started and get my own thing going rather and not just focus on work-for-hire.

And to be more positive. I'm generally positive. but I complain a lot. Sometimes helps to vent, but I want to focus more on the solutions and less on the problems.

R. D. Harless said...

Stop beating myself up. I'm tired of the cycle of breakthrough, ecstasy, writer's block, self-loathing, feeling I write garbage, then breakthrough and the cycle repeats itself. It's not conducive to getting anything done and makes the blocks worse.

Finally got the book I've been working on for three years done and self-published this year; so my other resolution is to take what I've learned and finish another book for submission to publishers by the end of 2012.

J. R. McLemore said...

I'm trying to finish up a novel for self-publication by the end of January. After that, there are several half-finished projects I need to wrap up and get out to my readers, what few there are.

Which is something else I need to work on, getting a larger audience. Maybe that'll happen this next year.

I've had an idea for a Southern Gothic/crime caper rattling around in my head for some time. Perhaps this is the year I see that puppy in print.

Like you, I went on a diet this year and lost a significant amount of weight. I didn't reach my goal to see myself at 200lbs, but came within 20 pounds of it. I added a couple back when I went on vacation during Christmas. I resolve to reach 200 (and stay there, or below) this coming year.

Happy New Year, Victor!

Storm Harbison said...

Great stuff Victor!

I'm a beginer when it comes to writing, but I sure love it when I get in that groove and churn out pages.

Holding down a full time job with a wife and two kids makes finding time to write a tough task. My writing time usually falls between 9pm and as long as I can stay awake. Sadly, 2011 was almost completely "writing free" for me, save for a couple of sessions working on a friends screenplay. I want to return to writing in 2012, so I'm making my resolutions now!

1. I want to make the time to write SOMETHING everyday.
2. I need to finish editing the two short crime stories I have written. I think they are decent stories and would like to try to submit them to one of the online crime fiction sites to see if they are worthy.
3. Complete the re-writes of my short screenplays, "A Night Full of Blues" and "The Caper", both of which won Best Short Screenplay in a couple of national film festivals in 2008 and 2009.
4. Return to work on the feature screenplay I've been working on for about two years.
5. I want to play more golf! I travel a good bit for work and should take some time to play a few rounds when I'm close to a nice course.

Thanks for the inspiration Victor! Maybe I can buy you a coffee one day in B.R.

Happy New Year!

loveandbooks said...

Item 7. "I write for myself. But this does not mean I do not want other readers like it too."

Yes, it is understandable. But your personality in what you write is so irrepressible, that makes you a rare writer. So, please, do not change. And if it really must be, that is for the better. Happy New Year, Vic.

PS I read all your books. Tell me now, what should I do?
:P
Valentina

Anonymous said...

i am so #3. I have 3 books, all vastly different (fantasy, memoir, suspense), in various stages of completion, two of which I will definitely self-publish. Those two books will be a priority this year. It's exciting to be able to write a book without the restrictions, real or imagined, that traditional publishing brings with it.

theresa weir/anne frasier

plastic.santa said...

1. Finish the book
2. Finish the damn book already
3. Repeat as necessary

Crabby MC said...

Less drinking more writing
Less smoking dope more writing
less on-line poker more writing
less casino gambling more writing
less porn more writing
less time with parole officer more writing
less court time more writing
less jail time more writing
less time bothering comic writers to incorporate my silliness more writing
less time chasing hookers more writing
less time vandalizing more writing
less time occupying random places more writing

Thus swears Crabby MC

Eh who am I kidding, it won't happen

Crabby Glutton for gluttony" MC

Andrez Bergen said...

Actually, I threw all my resolutions out the window on Day One. Bah! ;)