Sunday, May 1, 2022

Writer’s New Year: 2022

It was now nine years ago today that I made a renewed decision to write more stories. I had an idea that began with an image—a man, wearing a fedora, knocking on a door, and bullets ripping through the wood—and that idea became my first published novel, WADING INTO WAR.

Every May First, I commemorate that decision and take stock of my writing life. Some years are good ones. Others not so much. But on 1 May, I allow myself a chance to reset and forge ahead.

In past years, I laid out my plans for the new Writer’s Year. Again, in re-reading those past entries, I cringe at missed opportunities and goals not fulfilled. Now, I used to really beat myself up about missing those milestones but I don’t do that anymore. It’s not constructive and obscures a more positive outlook on my writing life.

I have big plans for Writer’s Year 2022, and this time, taking a cue from Kristine Kathryn Rusch, I am actually scheduling my books and stories on a calendar. That is, in effect, making a business plan for my writing. I have to tell you, the amount of relief that washed over me as I actually mapped out the rest of the year—and especially the summer months leading to Labor Day 2022–made me smile and got me excited for my next projects.

And those projects are not merely new stories to write. I have also planned on a publishing schedule as well. I’ll admit I’ve fallen behind on where I wanted to be in terms of publishing stories for the public to read. As such, my name has fallen by the wayside in the minds of future readers, including folks in my own newsletter group.

That’s on me. I have recently begun to realize, with a huge assist by Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art book, that I’ve been treating my fiction and publication more as a hobby than a business. I’ve had an amateur’s mindset. Which is weird because from Day One, back in 2015 when I published my first book, I created my own company.

But the amateur’s mindset kept being dominant. I’m not sure why, but if Pressfield were sitting across the table from me, he’d tell me it was Resistance. Veteran writer Dean Wesley Smith would concur and throw in fear. Smith would also toss in the variable of “fun.” He’d tell me I’m not having any fun with my writing.

Both of them are correct. I need to conquer Resistance and become more professional with my fiction and have fun along the way. After all, I’m the first reader of my stories and I’m supposed to have fun writing them for myself. That I get to share them with others is a bonus.

So that’s where my head is at on this Writer’s New Year’s Day 2022. Each day this year, I will strive to overcome Resistance and Fear in my writing. I will strive to have fun with the stories I tell. And I will strive to make them available on a more regular schedule.

No comments: