2008 Writing Year in Review and 2009 Resolutions

Hope everyone had a Happy New Year! Welcome 2009!

Recovering still from the holidays. Not sure I want to analyze too deeply what it says about me that I find it relaxing being back at my desk after returning from Illinois. I remember growing up that I found my mother’s work-a-holic nature perplexing and irksome, and now I seem to have acquired it. Hmph.

Anyhoo, had a wonderful Xmas with the in-laws and birthday with the hubby—acquiring many new prezzies thereof, both practical and whimsical, including a rice maker, kitchen knives (thank Jeebus, real knives to replace the blunt, knife-shaped metal bits we’ve been trying to cut with), new clothes for work and play, an elephant teapot (!), and many, many books and DVDs.

But I always get overwhelmed by the chaos of the holiday season and fall behind on my various obligations. Fording through the backlog now.


Writing Stuff

2008 was an interesting year for me. My overall productivity improved over last year’s, but most of that was from wordage on The Stupid Novel, which isn’t at zero draft yet. So my number of completed works this year is quite small. But I also sold a short story collection. I’ve been hungry to finally have a book of all Eugie, only Eugie works for a while now, and it’s a huge milestone for me.

Looking over 2008’s Writing Resolutions, I determined to:

• Finish the ^#$!@# novel.

Sigh. Getting there.

• Write 500 words a day, every day, barring weekends, holidays, and the legislative session.

Well, that didn’t pan out again. I think I averaged something like 250 words a day, which trended towards bouts of productivity—several weeks of 1000+ words/day—intermingled with huge stretches of nada. I’m wondering if I’m just not geared to writing every day, and if expecting myself to do so is just setting myself up for failure. Writing has become ingrained as a behavioral reality of my life by now; if I don’t write, it starts eating away at me until I have to sit down and get words on the page. So I don’t think I’m risking my writerly chops by allowing myself to accept that it’s okay not to write every day. Going to try that this year and see how it works out.

• Be more willing to say “no” when new hamsters come a’beggin’.

This I managed to do, actually turning down a couple invitations to submit to projects, but I suspect I’ve still got too many hamsters in the air. Not sure what to do about it, as I want to keep all the hamsters remaining.

2008’s highlights and accomplishments, I:
• Saw the one-year anniversary of TTA Press’s The Fix.
• Survived another year as The Daily Dragon‘s Editor/Director.
• Made 15 sales (and received 25 rejections), including the sale of my short story collection, Returning My Sister’s Face to Norilana Books.
• Saw 17 works published, including stories in Cricket and Baen’s Universe.
• Wrote 42.2K words on The Stupid Novel, the most words I’ve set down on a single work and the closest I’ve come to completing a novel. Continuing to work on it and hope to finish it this year.

And herein my Writing Resolutions for 2009:

• Finish The Stupid Novel. I’m so @^$!#* close!

And that’s it. Guess that should’ve been “resolution” not “resolutions.”

And finally, New Words (the last tally from 2008):
• 1.6K on The Stupid Novel.

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6 Responses to 2008 Writing Year in Review and 2009 Resolutions

  1. Why not put all your resolution(s) in one basket? And there are actually several in there if you read between the lines of 2008’s accomplishments. It was a banner year and I expect 2009 will include many more successes for you!

    Thanks for sharing the rejection vs. sales numbers. It made me feel a little better about my one turned-down sale amid the flurry of passes. Even emerging literary lights like yourself had more rejections than sales. “Must keep trying,” I tell myself . . .

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Thanks, sweetie!

      Why not put all your resolution(s) in one basket?

      Isn’t there some adage about one’s hamsters cave out the basket bottom or something?

      Even emerging literary lights like yourself had more rejections than sales.

      Hee! “Emerging literary lights” made me go all blushy. But totally, heck yeah; while my rejection-to-sales ratio is gratifyingly shrinking from year to year, I honestly don’t ever expect to achieve a 1:1 ratio of submission-to-sales. Think I might die from shock if that happened.

  2. Uber congrats on all that, Eugie! You know how much I love stats and stuff. Here’s to our continued working together in 2009! Thanks for all your help and your wealth of knowledge you’re imparted to me. 🙂

  3. Good luck with the ^#$!@# novel!!!!! 😀

  4. miafedup says:

    Only one? Well, they say to keep it simple, eh?
    Good luck finishing that stupid novel!

  5. basletum says:

    Yeah. Those stupid novels can be such a major pain in the posterior. Stupid trilogies, though, are six times the pain. And I’m not even going to talk about how much pain is involved in stupid podcast novels, aaaayyyyyyyyyaaaarrrrrrrggghhhhh! What was I thinking???!

    Do me a favor. Next time I come up with one of my “bright ideas” – shoot me. Please.

    Heh. We writers are basically cursed, aren’t we?

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