I don't make New Year's Resolution of the "Must do better, be slimmer, sweeter, nicer, harder working and learn to windsurf" sort. But a writer friend whose work I really admire, and so do lots of proper critics, said recently that at one stage when she was insanely broke and insanely busy, she realised that if she was going to keep her writing ticking over at all, all she could manage was a haiku. So she made a resolution to write a haiku every day, for a year. And did.
So my New Year's Decision, shall we say, has been to write a 100 word story every day, before I get up. They don't have to be good, or useful for my "proper" writing, or anything. They just have to happen. I bought a dedicated new notebook which lives by the bed so that I don't have the excuse that I've got nothing to write in. And now I have 19 of them...
(Although actually the pages of my new notebook take more like 200 words, so that's what they're ending up as, mostly.)
Anyone else made any New Year's Decisions, Resolutions or suchlike?
I never decide to learn to windsurf, either, Emma. Best to keep well away from that, I think, tempting though it is.
I love your 100-word story idea. I've been trying to write a good one of those, because I want to enter this, although time is running out:
(I only want to enter it because it's a brilliant prize for something of 100 words!)
Yes, I have a writing resolution this year. Oddly enough it's a little bit like yours; it's to do 100 submissions. I don't care what they are - old stories, new stories, fiction, non-fiction, poems, flash - whatever. Just as long as I send 100 things out - they have to be worthwhile things that have a good chance of acceptance somewhere decent, though; not just anything to anywhere. I only did a pathetic 26 last year, so this resolution is supposed to motivate me to do better in 2015.
A 100 word story a day is a great resolution, Emma. When I have more time, I might give it a go myself.
Good luck with your 100 submissions, Catkin. I'm sure you can do it.
My main resolution this year (apart from finishing current wip and starting something new) is to try to read more, especially 'classics' that I've never read. I'm currently reading 'The Rainbow' by D. H. Lawrence on my Kindle app. It will probably take me forever, as I have so little time these days, but I shall keep up with it and hopefully will have read a handful by the end of the year!
I might try writing a haiku a day as well - I did used to do this, but got distracted by other writing goals and forgot about it. I think I might try it again though, as I remember it being a challenge to say something in so few syllables. Thanks for reminding me, Emma.
All the best,
I'm afraid I'm well past New Year's Revolutions to lose weight or be a nice person but I was intrigued by the plans mentioned here.
As I'm not into 100 word stories, I'm afraid I'll have to give it a miss. And checking my submission list I sent off 142 stories last year with enough success to keep me keen and writing so I'll probably send about the same number off but being more selective - targeting the mags that publish my wierd stories.
I guess my main aim (not actually a revolution) is to try and make Woman's Fiction a busier group. The support I had from some lovely Writeworders in 2014 was encouraging but I'd like to see new people join who want to be active. Possibly my OTT approach might scare some members off but one thing I've learnt about myself over the years is that I'm me and I'll never be any different.
I enjoy this site and sharing ideas with other like-minded people. It's helped boost my writing confidence and style.
Oh yeah. I'd like to be a successful writer but that's more a dream than a practical possibility. Still ... there's nothing wrong with dreams. Is there?
My resolution is as earnest as it is clumsily profound, "write more, write better, happy more, happy better."
Can't go wrong with that :)
I sent off 142 stories last year
Wow, Alan - that's a lot! Well done!
i work on the concept that the more I send, the greater the chance of one getting picked up. Sending a lot isn't a sign of a decent writer, just a persistent/desperate one.
My hit rate isn't all that high, maybe 1 in 12. I need to be more discerning on what I send where. Unfortunately I don't have that skill,
Good luck to Catkin and all competition enterers, subbers and all.
Bazz, love yours! So true.
Alan, TBH, I'm not into 100 word stories either - I have trouble keeping my novels down to 120,000, and write very few stories.
I think what's been liberating is exactly that it's not the form that I think of as my proper writing. Highly unlikely that any of them will be in Catkin's league, for example, and I'm not editing or polishing: if a word doesn't show itself as wrong as my pen writes it, it doesn't get changed. In other words, it doesn't matter what these little stories are, only that they exist... But if I thought of myself as a short fic writer I suspect I'd find it much harder to let go of the outcome like that.
Jennifer, good luck with the reading - the world is full of books I would love to read, I say to myself, and never get round to. I have started a series of reviews on my blog, partly as a way to encourage me to finish a book at least to the point of thinking of something to say about it. Though, again, I've only been able to commit to the series by putting boundaries round it: the posts don't have to be my full, considered opinion, only a few ideas of what one might take, as a writer, from this book. Less daunting...
Sorry to be so late, but am hoping to finish adult thriller by end of March - waht a brilliant idea Emma, I do hope it's going well. Sort of like Artist's Way? Or is it more structured?
Sorry - can't read - saw you'd put 100 word stories. :)
I definitely don't think of it as being Artist's Way-like, in that it IS trying to be a story.
On the other hand, some of the ways that free writing works my stories do to: that there's nothing riding on it, it's not judging or measuring, the value is in showing up to the page, every morning, not in the outcome...
I think my wife's decided that our family New Year Resolution is to eat less, but more healthily :)
I don't go in for New Year resolutions, as such, but I do occasionally set myself goals that aim to broaden my horizons. Partway through last year, I decided I wanted to try reading a complete novel in Russian. Several months later, that novel is sitting around 50% read on my iPad Kindle app. That's partly down to it being a really old iPad that can only run an aging and not-particularly-usable version of the Oxford Concise Russian Dictionary, and partly down to the story not being the kind I would normally choose to read. (It's called "Tikhaya Ryeka", which translates as "Silent River", and it's by Natalia Salnikova, for anyone who's interested.)
I think my Russian is improving, though, so I'm achieving something.