Monday, January 6, 2014

Introductions and New Directions

I have never been one to begin a new year with a list of resolutions. I think it's a bit cliché, and it's a difficult thing to do. After all, I could say that I want to be healthier or have a better diet or make the bed every morning in this new year and see what happens. Resolutions are one of those things that I just never got. I also never officially resolved to do anything on any given day. When I decide to do something, I just try to do it and sometimes I am met with success.

I do, however change the focus of my blog every year starting the beginning of January. Out with the old, and in with the new? Not exactly. It's just this: I look at this blog several times a week, it helps to focus what I do everyday I come to work and it's my way of organizing my thoughts. For those of you who read my The Writer and the Blog post, you will remember that I put a great deal of importance on the blog description as a major way of telling the blog's purpose and the writer's task. I chose “Writing and the Marketing of Writing” this year. I chose this simply because I need to learn to market myself and my publications more. After all, I do have 2 novels published, and I hope to have more. If not more published novels, then at least more sales of the two that exist. We'll see. I do think that a writer who has a handle on personal marketing probably has much better returns than those writers who do not.

However, mere marketing is not what I want to do with all of my working hours. I want to continue building my writer's community (the 2013 goal) and I want to continue my pursuit of publication (the 2012 goal). It's a funny thing too, here in 2014, I still have refinement in my work habits and in my work output to consider. I cannot, simply cannot, work the way I have in the past. Life has a tendency to change, this I was just beginning to understand in recent months. I consider this: in 2009 after graduate school, I spent all day, everyday, writing. I didn't have many bills, nor many cares. Now, five years later, I have family, and I have a job and I have bills. I have less time in any given day than I have ever had. But, I have gotten better and more efficient at what I do. So, here we are: what will I do in 2014?

Well, I hope to get back to my seasonal reading lists, I made a big departure from them last year. I hope to focus on new material. In addition to the weekly post here, I will continue to work with Sophia Ballou weekly too. I hope to write a new novel this year. I want to have fun with things again. These are not strenuous goals, I know. This year is the year I organize the hundreds of files of my work that stretch back over the last 20 years. I doubt there will be anything of value in my 1992 words, but there may be.

For the first time since the inception of Umbrella Factory Magazine I hope to get the most out of it. This is the very nature of building a writer's community and the second side of it is reaching out to other literary magazines. I want to join up with some writers' organizations, give a few lectures and maybe even start to teach again.

Lofty ambitions, right? Yeah, maybe.

A year can be a long time. 365 days in this great year 2014. It's a wonderful period of time, this one revolution around the sun. For those of you who are writers, think about your career this year. What do you want to do? And what do you think you can accomplish? A great amount. All it takes is a little focus, a lot of discipline and some faith in knowing that one page leads to the next to the next to the next. For those of you who are not writers, you have your own things to consider. If the activity is different, the building and execution of goals is the same.  

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