The Obligatory New Years Post

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had an excellent 2012 and are looking forward to 2013.  I know I am.

Of course, at this time of year every blog and every writer is thinking about goals - those set for the previous year and the ones we'll focus on now.  In fact, I'm pretty sure goals are on most people's minds.  So I'm here to join the party!

I'm still not a big New Year's Resolution person, at least not for my personal life, but it is a convenient marker to look at what I hoped to accomplish and what I actually did.

So, first off, let's look at the passing year.  If you want to see a complete explanation of what I wanted for last year, you can read my first post of 2012.  But essentially, it breaks down like this:

1. Submit King's Mark to agents.
Done.  I haven't submitted to all, but I've submitted to enough.  My story didn't sell, but that wasn't the goal - the goal was to submit.  Yay for success!

2. Submit completed stories to available markets.
Done-ish.  I have done a decent job keeping my stories on rotation, but I haven't been quite as snappy at keeping them out there (there were multiple week stretches where I let stories languish in the stables).  

3. Write and revise my second novel.
Almost done.  Still not ready for beta readers, but it is so close I can taste it.

4. Read through my shelf of writing books, don't buy any more until I've completed the ones I have.
Fail!  I did read about 60% of them, but it is kind of hard to tell... I didn't stop buying them.  Oops.

5. Complete half-finished stories on my hard drive.
Mostly fail.  I did 2 of them, and I am quite happy with them, but I left many behind.

6. Avoid burning out by maintaining a life beyond work and writing.
Done.  I'm still a pretty insular and solitary person, but I've got a life and friends, and I have not become a complete hermit.  And I even read some books for pleasure and went outside.

So, not 100%, but I'm happy with it.  75% is pretty decent, especially since I honestly attempted all of them..  Not only that, but I'm incredibly encouraged by the successes of my friends and associates in the Wordslingers - everyone's hard work is slowly beginning to pay off, and it makes me proud and confident about my own future.

On to 2013.  I have big plans for this year!

First off, the repeats:

1. Finish up and ship Cliff with no Edge to agents, start the next book in the trilogy.

2. Keep my completed stories out on rotation, finish at least 4 more (new or from the vault).

3. Finish the rest of my writing books, don't buy more until this is done.

4. Avoid burning out and continue to maintain (or hopefully expand) my life beyond work and writing.

And now the new ones.

5. Research, develop a marketing plan, and independently publish King's Mark.
I put it away for a year, pulled it back out, and discovered I still believe in it.  I am confident that it is worth putting out there, and that making it available to people can only help my career, not hurt it.  I have a lot to learn before I'm ready to do this, but I intend to get it done this year.

6. Become a slush reader for a magazine.
Apart from learning from other people's writing, I quite like critiquing and have discovered an interest in editing in general.  The bottom of that ladder is slush reading - usually a volunteer position with a magazine where I would help to sort submitted pieces into might-be-what-they-want and definitely-not-what-they-want.  So I'll search out and apply to positions in the kind of magazines I enjoy, and if possible, try out this slush reading thing.

7. Save up to attend World Fantasy Convention in 2014
It's a big convention.  And with my life, I have to plan this far in advance.  But if I can make it there, I think it will be extremely worthwhile.

And that's my list.  See you all soon!

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