Gone are the days when a Photoshopped Happy New Year! greeting will do on a weblog this last day of the year. Everyone seems to be listing achievements, successes, plans for the year ahead that will be both a challenge and an inspiration to bother working even harder next year.
2010 was a great year for me in the area of my writing. About 30 pieces published, including a hypertext and some images among the fiction. Might’ve even done better had I been organized enough to submit more work to more places. But the satisfaction of realizing a hope that you’re good enough to be published is both a blessing and a curse. You really need to keep up on it, not sit back and relax.
The highlight of the year has to be the coming-in-close in the Bartleby Snopes Dialogue Contest. No, wait–here’s the real thrill, winning the Eighth Glass Woman prize for “Wanderer.” Knowing so much more through Fictionaut about the writers I’m humbled to be alongside may be the biggest compliment and stamp of approval yet. These are writers, real writers. I feel like maybe I snuck in through the side door.
Anyway, my “list of literary accomplishments” is as always, on the “My Work” link. Beyond that, I wrote a story and made up an image every day for 100 days through the summer. I found myself listed in the Electronic Literature Organization Directory for the 100 Days Project of 100 hypertexts done in 2009. I’ve written a story each week for the 52/250 project since May, and will continue on that through May of this year. I wrote another 24 stories for another month-long project. All in all, I likely wrote about 150 stories this past year. Oh, and at the Tunxis 24-hour marathon in April, I produced a new hypertext piece.
Aside from writing, my other endeavors have not been as fruitful. I’ll learn, I suppose (and that’ll be a New Year’s resolution) not to keep knocking on doors that are closed to me. I’ve applied so many times for openings at a local college that they likely fear I’m a stalker. Same thing with writing; I’m learning that no, my work doesn’t “fit” at all at some venues, and why don’t I believe them? Rejections are never happy things, but it’s senseless to set yourself up for a fall when your style of writing is not only not what they want, but their literary tastes simply aren’t yours either. That’s diversity. That’s a good thing. Focus and research is the key, as every writer is told and for some reason, it doesn’t get through until the bright light pops on with the newsflash.
So there will be some dedicated focus this new year so not as much time and effort is wasted. I won’t send my resume out to places I wouldn’t want to work just to punish myself nor hit on places I’ve been turned down at a dozen times. Same thing with the writing. Organization, whether by Tinderbox software or by Duotrope Digest, will be the very first thing I do.
Projects, yes, I’m planning some projects. Personally, a new business of sorts. In writing, learning–no really, spending the time and finally learning–to more easily understand and implement HTML5, CSS3, JQuery, audio, and visuals into my work. Not written in stone, but somewhat man-made concrete: a hypertext novel; a traditional novel; putting together and marketing an anthology of short stories; an online new media magazine; and work that I love to do, am good at, and will produce some bit of income–in that order of importance. In addition, getting back into reading and reviewing my literature collection of classics on a regular basis. Though I’ve in truth spent more time reading than writing this year; hundreds and hundreds of flash and short fiction and poetry over at Fictionaut and 52/250 and many online zines. They’re really what has honed my own edge of writing as well as offered hours of delight in reading.
So I close the old year with some successes, many failures, but knowledge that promises. I will make time for old friends, make myself try some new things, spend less time on social networks and give reality more.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy, successfully satisfying New Year.