New Year

‘Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful soul to solitude retires…’

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Edward Fitzgerald translation, first edition.

Ok my apologies, wordpress ate this post, which I had scheduled on it as I had to be away.

It’s been a time, a happy time, of seeing my kids and their wives again, of (surprise) eating too much, and (double surprise) a degree of intestinal discomfort, of the ‘oooh I ate too much’ kind. Of noise, of conversation, of laughter, and, well, for someone who lives more than a mile from his nearest neighbor, lots of people. I gather this is typically true even for people who live like tinned sardines, (close-packed, nose to tail, not necessarily in oil).

A new year is traditionally a time of starting things afresh, even if this really is nothing more logical than an excuse or rationalization to do so. After all, we could have the ‘start’ to the year at for example, the beginning of spring, which would make a whole lot more sense. But then, I’m a writer. Not long on sense, so let’s go with it. Much of this starting afresh, at least for me, is a desire to do a bit better on projects I’ve started on, or in some cases finally start on them (like this getting fit and losing weight thing I have threatened for a few generations).

Part of my list involves getting a few more books done than last year and possibly making some money, a substance of which I heard, but sometimes wonder if exists. I’ve got the edits of CHANGELING’S ISLAND, and the next KARRES book to write for Baen in the near future. Then, before I can write what I swear will be the last HEIRS book, Eric has to finish his input on the one I turned over to him last year. So the three new sf/fantasy novels which I’ve been working on (in bits) need to get done. And the Bolg stories (yes, the next novella is largely done) need to get woven into a book, with some more material. And no doubt other stories will demand to be told.

Some folk may even get demanding about me writing a few. It happens. In between which I will have to continue my chaotic self-sufficiency with its associated adventures into the sea and the night with a rifle, or day with a shotgun. And then there is working toward the home of our own, as well as various ‘improvements’ that need doing – to smokers, pigpens, boats, nets etc. It all takes time, and a measure of determination.
And mostly, that rests on not losing heart. ‘It’s a good life if you don’t weaken’ is nowhere more true than in writing. My kids will be going off to their homes soon. I’ll miss them, terribly. Life will slowly sink back to its normal tenor. I’ll have the solitude I need to write, so long as I muster the discipline. I’ll have that if I muster the determination.

So: who is with me? Are we going beat 2015 into suitable submission (or many submissions)? It is a good land. Grape vines grow wild there, and the fields are full of self-sown wheat.

My target for 2015 is 300 000 new words published (or at least as far as the publishers), if the Skraelings do not drive us to retreat (which is what I managed last year. More would be good) and to see what advance I can manage on that.

It’s a lot. Longer than a couple of PhD dissertations, and less boring, and possibly more factual. Putting it up here is something of a public challenge to myself.

So: what sort of goals are the rest you setting? Maybe I can draw some inspiration from that.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “New Year

  1. Angus Trim

    Happy New Year Dave

    I have followed MGC most of last year, from the time I stumbled on it. I’ve learned a lot following you guys, and need to thank the bunch of you. Thank you and Happy New Year.

    I wrote over 400k words last year, not including revisions and my own editing. I haven’t got any of it published.

    So this year, I need to get seven novels published fairly early in the year. My goal for writing is a bit smaller this year, because just letting my obsession for writing run free doesn’t actually get things finished.

    I’m going to shoot for five novels this year, topping 350k words. I think that’s doable,even taking the time to get things through the cover work, the editing, and the rest of the work after the fun of writing is over. In other words, somehow this year I need to learn to manage one of my obsessions.

    Thanks for taking the time for this blog…….

    • Angus, one of my personal adages is ‘If you can’t pay back, pay forward.’ So I am glad if it has been of some help. 🙂 Seven is a lot – I presume you’re working up some of the writing from last year?

      • Angus Trim

        Hi Dave

        Not sure exactly what you asked me, so I’m going to respond where each is.
        I have the first one edited and has a cover. Still needs formatting.
        I have another one edited. Needs cover etc.
        I have five at the editor’s.

        I’ve decided to put five up at once, then one a month until putting them up catches up to my writing. I’m half way through the eighth one. I have a five novel series, and two series starters. I followed something I saw Sarah say, the first story of a series being shorter. Both the first pieces for new series are about 45k.

        Considering the amount of time going into the editing, I expect it’ll be the first week of February before the first five are ready to publish.

  2. My goal for the year is to get two Cat Among Dragons books published, plus the other things that are closer to the front burner. One of the Cat book sis already written and ready, the other will need more work as I’m taking older short stories and re-working them into a novel. Which also requires retconning, because the main character is a LOT different now than when she first showed up 7 [really? 15 minus 07 is . . . ye gads and little fishes] years ago. And my writing style is different (less stilted and fewer adverbs) than it was 900,000 words ago.

    Otherwise? I just want another year without major illnesses or accidents, no financial disasters, and less dentist than 2014. (Note, please, Boss, that doesn’t mean more doctor to balance out the less dentist, please kthanksby.)

    • Well, I’d wish for less need for dentists, doctors, and downtime too… but it’s mostly not something I can do anything about.

      I empathise with the changes-over-time issue. I’ve had the same problem re-editing my first adult full length book. It would have flown… in 1965.

  3. BobtheRegisterredFool

    I’ve just about got four thousand lancers in order, ready to kill and burn.

  4. We’re going for 4 books out this year (the first one is about 20K from done, not counting edits or publishing end.)

  5. Dan Lane

    Whelp, I’ve got one hell of a fresh start on 2015: last weekend, a power outage ate my hard drive.

    With my backup running. But I have the old-old backups, but those are rather out of date now.

    That was the most problematic- other things like refrigerators, alarm clocks, and the like are more easily fixed with a little electrical tape and a few bits from the hardware store. And the axle (and supporting arm) going out on my car while I had my truck lent out to my father while *his* truck was getting transmission work done was interesting, but I’d been hoping that would hold off for a few weeks so I could spend a quiet weekend on it. Ah, well.

    But on the upside, everyone *except for me* (fingers crossed) has the flu. Well, it’s good for me that I’m healthy, and while I hate like all heck that folks are sick, it means I can keep working (ah, who am I kidding, I work when I’m sick, too).

    So! The goal for 2015 is to find all my handwritten notes, pile and sort them, and re-write the stuff I lost. And, most importantly, finish something good. Ideas are alright, but if they don’t ever come out into the real world, what good are they? *grin*

  6. Goal: actually act like I’m serious about this writing thing. I’ve got one book to edit, and am picking two to go from ‘bare bones’ to ‘finished real first draft.’ if I get the editing and one draft done I’ll call it a good start.

  7. naleta

    *perks up* Karres book? Cool! Looking forward to it!