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Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Writer’s 3 New Year’s Resolutions

I apologize for not posting for the past two weeks. My schedule has been filled up with more client projects than before and I’m just learning the details of a new platform I’m doing freelance blogging for (not my own blogging, but clients’). I’m trying to get things settled with these projects so I can go back to posting here once a week again.

The first month of a new year has just flown by! Can you believe it? I said in my last blog post that I would have a list of my New Year’s resolutions for writing and so you’ll find it below. But I think I would like to look back on key points from last year before looking ahead, which is partly what New Year’s is about: looking back so you can look ahead to see what you can do better. And so it goes along with the Roman myth of Janus, the god with two faces: one face looks forward while the other looks back.

Looking Back At 2014

2014 was a great year. Besides selling several copies of The Fool’s Illusion, I sold my first one to be displayed in a brick-and-mortar bookstore, the Avid Reader in downtown Davis. I started my first novel ever. It’s actually a novella but my longest fiction project yet. I don’t count Fool’s Illusion because that’s an anthology and so consists of several short stories I did as separate projects to begin with. I also don’t count a 90 minute screenplay I wrote with a friend several years ago (that I don’t think ever got filmed, at least not yet) since screenplays are not primarily made to be read by a mass audience.

I didn’t quite keep this resolution from last year: to write a new short story at least every two weeks. However, I think I did write more short stories in 2014 than in any other year. I plan to make that resolution follow through completely this year.

Looking Ahead to 2015: New Year’s Resolutions

A zombie head with a gaping mouth.
Looking A Head.
Photo Credit:

My first resolution is to make precise deadlines for my writing projects, and this includes both fiction and non-fiction but more so fiction. When I’m writing fiction I’m doing it more for myself than when I’m writing my non-fiction journalism projects (which I’m doing for specific clients or sources such as, so I don’t feel as rushed. But when I take advantage of that luxury of flexibility it means less books written and published in a life time. As a creative writing instructor told me during my junior college years, your writing will be as successful as your self-discipline.

So I’m going to not only set deadlines on a calendar but also break up each project into, what one source I write for calls, milestones. Therefore I’m going to set deadlines for aspects of a project. For example, I’ve set an August deadline for the completion of my next book of short stories  but I’ve also set up early deadlines for phases of the production. Therefore I have deadlines for phases such as the final revision of each story and for the cover illustration. Within the cover illustration project, I’ve set deadlines when to have particular concept sketches done such as a February 20th deadline for the final concept sketch. I’ll probably post that sketch here.

My second resolution is to make a blog for topics other than those of writing and literature. Yes, you will likely see a new blog of mine this year sometime. (I don’t know when yet. I still have to apply my first resolution to that one.) I’ve noticed that the Fantastic Site has been getting visitations to posts on writing and reading fiction more than posts on other topics. So to accommodate for those visitors who are more into the other blog posts--which are mostly on topics of other types of pop culture such as movies, TV and video games--I’m going to create a new blog for those topics.

Bear in mind, those of you who are into other types of popular culture such as movies and anime, that, because writing and genre literature are my main subjects, I probably won’t be posting at the second blog as frequently.  But at least there will be a place where you know you will find posts on those topics you enjoy most. If you have any ideas for the new blog then please let me know in the comments box. I want to make sure you’re getting your time’s and bite’s worth!

My third and final resolution for this new year is to finish at least the first draft of my novella, a space opera. I don’t like leaving projects unfinished unless they are totally not going anywhere. But because I have had so much on my hands since December, I’ve put the novella on hiatus, a hiatus I’ll have to end soon if I want to keep that resolution. I’ll keep you updated on that.

The Now

I just got done with an oral proofreading of my current short story that I’m sending off for critiquing. One of the best ways to search out mistakes or short comings in your stories is to read them aloud. If it sounds good out loud as well as when you read it silently (in mind) to yourself, you most likely have a winner. Maybe not a bestseller, but a winner of some sort. In my opinion, the best stories are those that can be read both silently as well as verbally. After all, the very first tales were told out loud and so a story should read good both silently to the reader as well as orally to an audience.

And so now I am going forward into this new year to work these projects that you’ll hear more about. It will be a very busy year for me.

Again, have a Happy Year of 2015 and . . .

Until next time. 

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