Earlier this month, I talked about how much I like winter because it’s dark and quiet. At the same time, there’s a brightness under it all when a new year rolls around.
I suppose it’s natural to kick off a new year with enthusiasm. Plans are made, and you want to shoot off from the start. But a year is a decent click of time, and sprinting when it begins is a good way to wear yourself out. Like a long race, it’s about locking into a rhythm that will carry you through the year.
I’m not a big planner. Most of the time when I plan, it’s damage control:
How much more writing do I need to do until I can call this novel done?
I committed to a talk, so I better start putting slides together and practice…
Work is busy, so which creative stuff matters most to me — and how much can I do while keeping up with the thing that pays the bills?
Despite planning not being a priority for me, I get a fair amount of things done in any given week. In the back of my head, I usually keep all that’s going on bubbling around. This is what 2016 looks like for me…
Not About Lumberjacks
The new(ish) podcast terrifies me in some ways, which is — at least in part — why I decided to do it.
I’ve not written short fiction for some time, and I miss it. I have stories ready to go for the show, but already there’s a bit of fear about how long I can keep going. So…I actually made a schedule for the podcast.
I can go a couple years with little more than the time it takes to record and edit an episode. But that means in a couple years I’ll have little in reserve to carry the show. To remedy that, I plan to knock out a short story a month (with at least half decent enough to be released). It’s something I used to do when I was in an old writing group, and producing new stories now means the podcast can keep going without it feeling like a burden in a couple years.
I know what story falls on which month for the next couple years, and I hope by planning now that all my fears about one day rushing with the show are unfounded.
Unbound Book Festival
In April, I plan to attend the Unbound Book Festival in Columbia, Missouri. Initially, I wanted to go mainly to say hello to Alex George in person (here’s an interview with Alex I did a handful of years ago), but it’s quickly shaped up to be a different kind of book festival.
It’s not simply a bunch of writers sitting at tables with their books — there are programs for many different interests, and other things going on throughout the day. It’s put together by people who really love books and understand the relationship of authors and readers. It sounds like a blast!
I also plan to head through Kansas City on the way there or back and catch up with a person or two I’ve chatted with about writing (and comic books) for years. (As well as show my wife where I lived during summers and my 6th grade year when I was younger.) I’ve spent many a summer in Kansas City and Missouri, and a festival focused on the Show Me State will be a great long weekend trip.
The Annual Writing Retreat
I’m not sure where or when this year’s writing retreat will be. The friend with whom I do the retreat was laid off from his day job about a year ago, and he decided to return to school instead of another job not-so-much to his liking. But somewhere in between tests, labs, or even semesters there will be a long weekend [probably in East Texas again] full of writing in a cabin in the woods.
A Magic Life
This is the biggie, and I don’t really have a plan other than: wake up and WORK!!!
I finished the first draft of the novel in 2015, but I let the day job, podcasts, and some other things get in the way of the rewrite.
So this must be the year of the rewrite!
At Least One Talk
There was a time when speaking before a group terrified me.
To remedy that, I began speaking in front of large groups (and performing).
Last weekend, I came up with some ideas for a talk at a podcasting meetup — topic: podcasting fiction.
I also might shoot for a talk at a conference in September.
Somewhere in all this, I want to also get back to a qualifying run juggling 7 things.
That’s All That
So those are the plans bubbling around in my head as we near the end of the first month of 2016. (Yes, already!)
Here’s to a badass year!