Wednesday, January 6, 2016

IWSG January 2016: New Year's Goals

The Insecure Writers Support Group meets digitally the first day of every month.  This being the first of the new year, I figured I'd discuss goals and how I intend to approach them...

I've pushed myself for so long wanting and expecting and needing a paying future in writing that I've sometimes been hysterical about it.  I couldn't see a future where I'd be happy doing anything else.  Strangely, last year taught me a different way in the most unlikely circumstances possible.  First I thought I might never write again, and then I found a new job, one I'd never thought I was remotely qualified for: helping raise a baby. 

I won't regale you with the wonders I've already experienced in that regard here.  Instead, I'll talk about my new perspective (same as the old one), and what it means about my writing future.

I will try and not push myself so hard, and not be so hard on myself.  I will try to write, and let that be its own reward.

That's the short of it.  The long of it is a series of projects, some old and some new.  One of the old ones is Brute, a story I've talked about here in the past, previously entitled The Pond War.  It's the manuscript I was working on a year ago that I ended up abandoning for a variety of reasons, one of them being guilt (I won't be talking about the reasons for that again).  I always say that when a story has trouble being put into words, it's the story telling you that something is wrong, that if you persist with it as you're currently thinking about it, it's a mistake.  Every story eventually takes on a life of it's own.  I think most of the stories I've read that feel wrong are ones that were written without taking this into consideration.

So I had put it aside, and continued thinking about it, and eventually new thoughts came to me.  Among them is the new narrator, Miss Simon.  This old gal will be narrating a lot of my manuscripts, including About the Moxie Incident..., which concerns an amnesiac president strolling about Washington, D.C.  Miss Simon is intended to help me find a consistent comedic voice.  She made her debut in Mouldwarp Press Presents: Barbarian Translation - The Trojan War, which took care of two birds as a result (I have a jones to write about the Trojan War).  I liked the results, so the idea seems like a go.

I've been thinking about my Space Corps saga lately, thanks to my sister's feedback on the Seven Thunders manuscript I've had sitting around for a few years.  She wanted to know if the main characters were going to pop up in later books.  The more I thought about it (one of them was always going to star in one already, but the main character was only going to make a cameo at best), the more I knew what to do about that. 

So I've become more interested in getting around to writing more Space Corps books.  The only thing I want to do before I get into that (besides, probably, the Brute and About the Moxie Incident... manuscripts) is take one last stab at the Star Trek writing contests I've been entering for fifteen years (with a gap, mind you).  There's another one for this year's fiftieth anniversary of the franchise.  I've got a handful of days to write an entry.  If I win entry into the anthology, there's a publishing deal that comes with it.  I will go ahead with Seven Thunders, which has always been my baby.  If I don't, I will self-publish Seven Thunders, something I've been long reluctant to do.  But things have changed.  I kind of no longer expect big readership.  If I'm going to write this stuff, and be such a coward (and/or completely incompetent) in the submissions process, it might as well be at least available

It's not quite the same with my comics goals.  I lost another contest, but I'm sticking around the venue, which is kind of like what I was doing a decade ago.  If someone notices whether or not I have talent and/or potential, so be it.  But I guess I'm no longer absolutely concerned as to whether or not I have a future in comics.  I don't know whether it's because I've written so many novel manuscripts since the last time I pursued this particular goal, and not written nearly as much material in comic script form, but at the moment I'm just wondering if this one's at all reasonable at this point.  The guy who beat me (y'know, relatively speaking), has obviously made a lot more progress, with or without the win.  (His name?  Deniz Camp.  If he turns out like Drew Melbourne, at least I'll get to talk about things like Double Steak Day!)

I haven't talked about comic books nearly as much as I have prose fiction here.  That may change in the coming year, too. 

But I'm officially taking the pressure off myself.  If nothing really happens for me, so be it.  There's an adorable little girl who probably won't really care anyway. 
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