There's a wonderful Mexican New Year's song that starts, "Yo no olvido el año viejo, porque me ha legado cosas muy buenas" (I won't forget the old year, because it's left me some nice things). The things I pledge to remember about 2010 all have to do with writing. I don't think anyone would argue that my husband and I had any luck or success with money this year. Twenty-ten is the year we avoided complete bankruptcy and living on the street solely by the grace of my husband's sister. In 2010, we sold a gorgeous deluxe fold-out desk for $100 in Pennsylvania and spent the money on folding chairs, TV trays, and an air bed in Arizona. All we're really left with for 2011 is the love we have for each other, and a dogged determination to be successful again soon.
Great Things of 2010:
1. 15 pieces published in literary magazines. Click on "Good Reading" to your left for a full list, with pictures and links! The indescribable thrill of having Fiction Collective accept my humble "Justine" has still not abated through all those other acceptances. The idea that some few people somewhere on the planet have read some small part of my work has made a lot of really awful twists of fate this year much more bearable.
2. In November, I got my second royalty check from Tree/House and Dusk Before Dawn. They wait to accumulate $20 before they send it to me, and I got it! Twenty dollars doesn't begin to compensate for the time, effort, and money I've invested in their promotion over the year and a half since I got my last royalty, but again, the idea that someone, somewhere, is reading my work makes up for a lot. Thanks you so much to anyone who purchased either book! They're still highly enjoyable, affordable, and ready to be shipped to your home in paper or digital formats.
3. I started this blog, which has had a modicum of success. Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope to see you and get your feedback in 2011!
4. I found Duotrope. I'll keep the trade secret from those of you who don't know what that is. Those of you who do know will agree with me that it's possibly the single greatest tool for a writer in the digital age. Please contribute $5 a year if you're a user and keep the dream afloat! Without Duotrope, I would have a lot of inspiration and not much else when it comes to writing.
5. I'm now a GoodReads author! Check me out!
This time of year, people talk a lot about resolutions. Resolutions are an especially handy tool for the writer, who can so easily get bogged down by anything from other demands on her time to a funny sound or a fly on the wall. So, in 2011, I resolve not to let anything get in the way. Not my exhausting temporary job and the difficulties in getting to and fro, not the ongoing job search and distracting hopes for the future, not the dire lack of furniture in our new apartment, not the worries about money. Specifically, I resolve to finish a certain story to my own satisfaction and find someone to critique it, rather than sending it out to the publisher all raw, as I've had to do with a few too many pieces this year. (My husband is wonderful, but far too appreciative of my vision to be any use as a sounding board.) I also resolve to get serious about at least one of my book projects. (Stay tuned for those!) By "get serious," I mean take a look at the all the resources I've already gathered and managed to bring with me to Arizona, and make a decision about which to do first. And then write. Come up with a concrete, doable goal and stick with it. In the land of my resolution, at least one book will be completed this year for the enjoyment of literary agents and publishers in 2012. Wish me luck!