Sunday, January 8, 2012

A writer looks backward and forward

My quick writerly recap for 2011:

a) Had my first professional sale (thanks again, Dr. Henry Gee, at Nature: Futures)
b) Cracked the code on writing flash length fiction, something that has vexed me for years
c) Wrote about 3 new short stories and dangled them before various editors
d) Ground out some chapters on Vortex, the novel
e) Published Dark Doses, an anthology of 7 short, sci-fi stories, on Amazon
f) Promptly signed up Dark Doses for Amazon’s KDP Select program and started exploiting that program’s offerings
g) Joined SFWA

In addition I could also say that I continued expanding my writer network. All-in-all, not too shabby of a year, if I do say so myself.

New Year’s resolutions and I don’t mix well. I can’t say they’re my bag really. I just don’t see why there is anything particularly compelling about January 1 that you cannot also devote yourself to any of the other 364 days of the year.

Still, there are some writing focal areas I have in mind for 2012. Let’s call them my Writer’s Code of Conduct to live by. They are summarized as follows.

Todd’s Writing Code of Conduct:
1) Write more often. This is how a writer strengthens their DNA.
2) Don’t dwell on WIPs that are progressing slowly. A story takes as long as it’s going to take to reach THE END in a satisfactory way.
3) Write a variety of works. This is how a writer avoids getting stuck in a rut.
4) Market your finished products. Because marketing is a way to generate demand.
5) Network. Strength, enlightenment, inspiration and passion are contagious and are to be found in your connections to other writers.
6) Show love to all outstanding submissions. Sure they get rejected, but with a kiss and a quick touch-up, they can be aspiring beauty queen candidates again for other editors.
7) Learn more about the craft of writing. Once you stop learning, you start stagnating.
8) Seed the idea farm. Capture worldly inspirations and store them in a bank of ideas where they can mature and have sex, which ultimately gives rise to great new stories.
9) Take holidays from writing. This is how a writer avoids burn-out.
10) Pay it forward. Every chance you get, because others are doing it for you and we’ll all win in the end.

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