I’m not a big fan of resolutions, though you wouldn’t know it from this blog. Last year I wrote a post on my writing resolutions. I met some and didn’t meet others, you can be the judge.
Anyway, this year I want to keep things simple. And I want to make sure they’re achievable no matter what others do—in other words, do these resolutions pass the Epictetus (as I’ve discussed, Epictetus is the Man) test? Are they achievable no matter what others, or the world, throws at me? Are they something I have control over? I think most of them pass the test, or come darn close. So, here are my resolutions for this year.
1. Write More, Blog Less.
This one is sort of a bummer, but it’s necessary. This blog is a bit of a heavy lift. What with the day job, family, fiction writing, sleep, etc. There’s little time left for other stuff. Unfortunately, this blog is one of them. And every minute I spend blogging is a minute taken away from writing fiction. I’ve mentioned this before, but now is the time to do something about it. So…
…Starting this year, instead of trying to write a new post every week, I’m going to write a new post every two weeks. These may only be brief “Works in Progress” posts, but they will go up. On the off week, or as a special post, I may blog about more substantive things: books I’ve read, the state of publishing, The Craft of writing fiction, Rare B Sides, whatever strikes me. I think, in the end, it can make the blog better by having me write only when I want to. And it will definitely give me more time to write fiction—which is what this blog is supposed to be about anyway.
2. Limit the Analysis and Let It Flow.
I wrote about this recently. The limit of reason in helping to write fiction, to explain the creative process is limited. This has crept up and up in my consciousness this past year. There’s lots in the creative process that’s must stay beneath the surface. Like a deep-sea fish, it can’t survive if you bring it up from the depths—it just melts away into nothing like some Lovecraftian beast.
There are things I can explain about the writing process, but the most important things will always remain beyond explanation and, perhaps, beyond comprehension. You simply live the story. As a reader, we’ve all experienced this: being swept up in a narrative and forgetting your subway stop, losing track of time and missing an appointment. It’s only when you’ve been disrupted that you come back to yourself. A strange sort of hypnosis. It’s the same with WRITING fiction. When the prose is really coming, the writer gets swept up, too. You just float along with the characters, like you’re witnessing it, instead of creating it. It’s an odd sensation, very intimate, but it’s one of the best things about writing I’ve ever experienced.
So, this year, I’m going to dial back the analysis. I’m still going to try to learn, but I’m also going to let it go and just let the prose flow. That’s the way it ought to be.
3. Go to 3 “Writing” Cons.
Cons—want to go to more of those as long as they have a strong writing track. After going to RavenCon in 2014, this year I want to go to 3 Cons:
- RavenCon. Richmond, Virginia. April.
- BaltiCon. Baltimore, Maryland. May.
- DragonCon. Atlanta, Georgia. September.
I hope see you there. Drop me a line if you’re going to any of these—I’d love to meet up. Who knows? I might even buy you a beer.
4. Learn More about Speechwriting and Sinology.
It’s no secret: I write in my day job, too. I’ve been assigned to new projects in the next year. One involves writing speeches and the other involves China. I don’t know much about either.
So, I’m going to use it as an opportunity to learn a little more about each. Maybe pick up a book about Demosthenes and read that book about Chinese history I have on my shelf.
5. Translate a Poem.
I’m been thinking, again, about Russia and Russian stuff. It may just be that it’s come up more in the news lately. I’m not sure. I used to live there and speak some of the language. Anyway, as something new and a sort of exercise, I’d like to translate a Russian poem (it’s number 419 on the link) for you. It’s by Georgy Ivanov and is about a favorite topic of mine: Persian carpets.
Отвлеченной сложностью персидского ковра,
Суетливой роскошью павлиньего хвоста
В небе расцветают и темнеют вечера.
О, совсем бессмысленно и все же неспроста.
Голубая яблоня над кружевом моста
Под прозрачно призрачной верленовской луной
Миллионнолетняя земная красота,
Вечная бессмыслица -- она опять со мной.
В общем, это правильно, и я еще дышу.
Подвернулась музыка: ее и запишу.
Синей паутиною (хвоста или моста),
Линией павлиньей. И все же неспроста.
That should be a fun exercise for the coming year. I’ll post it here when it’s done.
Alright, all for now. I’ll post a hard copy of this to my wall and try my best to keep to it. Until next time…
Keep Reading and Keep Writing,