What’s your writing resolution this year?
My writing resolution was to write a short story every month—and SUBMIT it somewhere. That means getting the story past the first draft and actually producing something fit to be read by other people. The goal was to improve my writing by trying out lots of different ideas in a short story, and to get me in the habit of finishing projects. How hard could it be? Ray Bradbury used to produce one short story a week, supposedly. What I soon realized was that if you want to finish one story a month, then you probably need to start two, because they’re not all going to work out.
So, how did I do? I was on track until September, when the short story I was working on turned into a novella and I got bogged down. Then October was horribly hectic, and November was NaNoWriMo—I decided NaNo would count as my story for the month, even though half a first draft of a novel wasn’t going to get submitted anywhere. Then there was some frantic work in December to get things finished off and make a couple of submissions just to get my numbers up.
The end result by mid-December is ten short stories and one novella finished, plus half a manuscript for NaNoWriMo. There were also a number of stories abandoned because it became apparent they were going to turn into novellas, or I decided the premise wasn’t going to work out.
I couldn’t find suitable places to submit everything, so not every story has been submitted, and of course many have been submitted multiple times because I just love collecting rejection emails. In total I submitted to a dozen magazines and competitions. At the time of writing I’ve gotten two publications out of that, I’m still waiting to hear back on three of them, and I’ve published a couple of the stories on my website. So, all in all I think this is my most successful New Year’s resolution ever - generally I’ve given up on them by January.