Thursday, January 10, 2013

My 8 Writer Resolutions for 2013 (Because you care and you know you do):


These are in no particular order.

Work on getting past my resentment of the e-reader phenomenon. I am an old school sorta cat when it comes to reading, preferring the crinkle, smell and look of an actual printed page to a screen. However, e-readers and their kindred have ensured that reading, an endangered species since the Eighties, will continue to occur. Plus, although it seems to have plateaued, it ain't goin' nowhere, so I might as well learn to embrace, if not love, its impersonal butt.

Place focus back on novels. 2011 was a phenomenal year for me in terms of published short stories. 2012 wasn't too shabby either. I firmly believe in bending with the breeze, and in those years it was definitely blowing in the short fiction direction. However, I have neglected three unfinished novels and they deserve my attention.

Prioritize my life. As the great Joe Lansdale recently posted on Facebook, writing is important to a writer, but it's not the only thing. For years I have placed undue emphasis on writing as if it defined me and everything else was merely time spent away from my true path. Recent awakenings have shown me how wrong I was and I have lots of catch-up to play!

Return to my favorite Genre. The focus on novels will actually cause this to happen but, despite my enjoyment of horror and recent publishing success with it, it's a genre I sort of fell into on the way to dark urban fantasy. For those not in the know, that means stories taking place in current times, generally in a city setting that usually does away with the dragons and wizards of typical, traditional fantasy lore, but still involves some form of magical realism. Most of my stuff fits that category or even what I reluctantly call dark urban science fiction, which is probably a good name for my “Infinity's Core” trilogy.

To not jump at every opportunity for publicity. If there is such a thing as a free lunch, it probably doesn't taste very good. If being a writer has taught me anything, it is that many people think they're doing you a favor by “letting”you write for them or even by discussing your work in a public forum. There is a sickening devaluation of the author in this country (U.S.) Sadly, a chance to pimp one's work is often too good to be true, as I recently rediscovered. Caution is the watch word for 2013.

To Read more Non-fiction. I don't dwell in a world of pervasive fiction, but I also find those who read naught but non-fiction to be collosal bores and wastes of time. Still, I do enjoy a riveting piece of non-fiction, including biographies. One can never be too well-read regarding the real world when writing about the world in one's head. Besides, a well-written non-fiction piece is a real prize, as most of it tends to skew towards the dry and dull.

To continue to strive for originality. Despite that one-hit wonder Shakespeare's assertions to the contrary, there are still new things under the sun, they just aren't as new as they once were. I'll let that one sink in for a moment before continuing...Anyway, I'm not interested in treading ground that's filled with the footprints of those who walked through before me. Nor am I interested in jostling for position with others eager to trod upon said ground like pilgrims to Mecca. When I write a story, I try to come up with something I haven't seen before. I don't just mean a new spin on a familiar concept, I mean something I truly have not seen or, at the least, has not been done often enough to yet be considered a staple. That's me, of course. Ya'll other writers do what ya'll want.

Write more of the types of stories I want to see. For the past couple of years, I've been tailoring much of of my fiction to the guidelines and requirements of others. Nothing wrong with that; it's often how one gets published. However, as mentioned above, my phenomenal year and a half of publishing opportunities began to dictate what I wrote. Often instead of finding markets for my written work, I was looking for what anthology and magazine editors wanted and writing stories to suit them. As a friend said to me years ago,“You used to write adventure stories.” I miss those. Time to rediscover what caused me to love the written word in the first place.

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