New Year, New Look (sort of) and New Attitude – or – This Year, Last Year, and the Year Before.

It’s a new year, so time for all those resolutions.  I WILL get fitter than I am, and cut down on junk food, and I will finally decorate the bathroom, but the resolution that really means something is the writing one.  Or the writing ones.  Plural.

Resolution (part) one – write more

Last year I didn’t get an awful lot done.  I won’t moan too much about the lack of time but, really, I didn’t have much time.  I like to think I used the time I did have wisely, which was to finish a few stories, write a few articles, and research the novel(s) (more of that later), but the truth of it is I didn’t get anywhere near as much done as I did the year before.  That was a good year, with a run of publications, a best of, and even a translation.  Last year wasn’t so great.  I sold what I wrote, so I shouldn’t complain, but I didn’t write much.  Partly it’s because of the other job I have, which is teaching.  Which is ridiculously demanding and stressful and time-consuming.  I don’t call it the real job anymore, so that’s progress, but I’m still prepping lessons or marking scripts when I shouldn’t be.  I shouldn’t be because I’m at home, and I shouldn’t be because I should be writing.  So, got to sort that.

Resolution (part) two – focus

I’ve always had lots of projects on the go, but that might need to change.  Currently I have about half a dozen stories on-going, an article on women’s journalism (don’t get me started on that gender possessive), a novella, a graphic novel adaptation, and two novels.  Usually I like that variety; I focus on what I’m in the mood for, or what has the most looming deadline, and sometimes those things even coincide.  The plus side is I often finish lots of things at around the same time, which makes me feel great.  The down side is that it can take a while to finish anything, and the whole time I’m not sending anything out, I get Grumpling.  It’s not the same as Grumpy, but close.  Grumpy’s little sibling, if you like (the older one is Grumpor).  So, got to focus on one thing at a time.  Mostly.

Resolution (part) three – the damn novel(s)

Every writer seems to have a trilogy in them (jeez, I’ve even split my writing resolution into three parts) but I honestly never meant to go down that route.  The thing is, the novel I’ve been working on accidentally went and became one of three – not strictly a trilogy, but part of a series set in the same place with some of the same characters (maybe we can debate the definition of trilogy in another blog).  I see the fact that this happened accidentally as a good thing, that it was meant to happen.  There are various plus sides to this – I’ll get more out of my character and location prep – but it does mean it’s all a bit, er, big.  So compared to the quick hit of a short story, it doesn’t always get priority.  Which it should.  If I don’t write it, it won’t get published – it’s that simple (and please note, that’s not the same as saying when it is written it will get published – I’m hopeful, not deluded).  So, got to focus on writing more of it.  Oh look, resolutions one and two.

So, not a trilogy of resolutions after all, just one.  And if you want to tell me a trilogy is really just one story anyway, save it for the trilogy blog I mentioned above.  It might happen.  I just need to write another blog first…

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4 Responses to New Year, New Look (sort of) and New Attitude – or – This Year, Last Year, and the Year Before.

  1. Cate Gardner says:

    Further proof that teachers aren’t paid enough.

  2. Ray,

    Best of luck with it all. Especially the bathroom. You’ve being talking about finishing that for a while now. 🙂

    Oh, I just read “Fata Morgana.” Brilliant stuff, Ray. Really enjoyed it. Such a rich piece, and very moving.


  3. Ray Cluley says:

    Thanks Mike.
    And the bathroom will DEFINITELY be done this half term. Honest.

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