First, Happy New Year, everyone.
Second, I’m not doing a best of the year post this year. I simply didn’t read enough new books to have a clue what the best material was.
I am going to give a recap of my year and lay out some goals for 2018.
From a writing and blogging perspective, the year wasn’t a good one, although it did start off well. I was making progress on several projects. Then in the spring, someone in the department retired; I got to pick up most of their job duties. No, I didn’t get additional compensation. That ate into a lot of my time.
I managed to get a couple of things done over the summer. I also placed some stories, but nothing I had written in the last year. They should be appearing sometime this year. I’ll announce them when they’re published.
The fall was especially rough, with too many evenings and weekends spent at the office getting caught up on stuff I wasn’t able to finish during regular hours. We lost an international graduate teaching assistant who gave an invited presentation in her home country and then wasn’t allowed back in the US (for reasons that had nothing to do with any travel bans). She had to be replaced, and we were already shorthanded. A university police officer was shot and killed while processing a suspect, which prompted a departmental revision of emergency procedures (which were implemented in the Evacuate the Entire Campus for Five Minutes bomb scare at the beginning of the month).
Things aren’t going to get better if certain rumors are true.
There were also some positive things that interfered with writing, namely my son’s marching band went to state, the first time any high school in town has managed that in 35 years. That involved a time commitment I gladly made.
This next year some things need to change. First, I need to get more sleep, eat better, exercise more, and lose some weight. That way I maybe I can focus at the end of the day instead of being asleep on my feet. Work will stay at work. No more evenings and weekends. Students can see me during office hours. Other times my door will be closed.
My writing goal is to get at least 5,000 words written a week. I think that’s a doable thing. I’m going to use a calendar to mark my progress. I’ve not done this before, but I hope this will be a form of positive motivation.
Since the novelette and novella seem to be my natural length, those are what I’m probably going to focus on. What I mean by that is the story will be as long as the story needs to be. I’ve got several things almost ready to go, they just need to be edited and cleaned up. If I can hit at least 5,000 words a week, I should be able to complete at least one story a month, unless I make a go at a novel. I’m still going to try to write short stories. If there’s an open read for an anthology, I’ll submit if I’ve got something complete that fits the theme. Otherwise, I’m probably going to take a pass and write what I want. If nothing else, it will be good practice for me. I won’t restrict myself to one genre, but will write fantasy, science fiction, horror, crime, and whatever else strikes my fancy.
I’m going to try to blog more, and not just here but on my other blogs as well. That ties into my reading goals, which I’ll discuss tomorrow.