Happy New Year world. May 2016 be significantly better than 2015 was. That’s what happens during the ramp up to a Presidential election year in this country, we get a lot of pandering and fear mongering which seems to infect us like a virus, dumbing down our populace and turning us into frothing lunatics. I much prefer the British and Canadian versions of election cycles, lasting a month or two and ending as abruptly with a swift transition of power. A year and a half of this shit is ludicrous. I hate to say it, but not listening to the news anymore was the best choice I could have made. I hate feeling like I’m stupid for not doing so, but the news today is mostly bombast and bullshit and more opinion than fact. That’s not news, not the way I remembered it from when I was much younger and Walter Cronkite told us that’s the way it is every evening. You could trust the news back then to deliver you news. What can we trust now except the news giving us as much controversy as can be stirred up and surrounding it with analysts who pick it apart with their opinions so we can “know” what to think? No one wants to think for themselves anymore, and that goes for both sides of the aisle.
I’ve begun my “Year of 350 Thousand Words.” I want to do everything I can to write every day if possible, with as few days off as needed. I should be in good shape for it, the wife provided me with “The Christmas of Writing”, gifting me with a journal, a Parker pen, a typewriter and a new Chromebook (the old one had a smaller screen that screwed with my weak eyesight), not to mention a leather messenger style bag to carry some of these items around it. That should keep me productive no matter where I am or what I’m doing, as long as I have time to write of course. I’m particularly tickled about the typewriter still and I’ve taken it to a local shop that still does repairs on those old machines to get it fixed up. A few minor issues I couldn’t resolve on my own, such as the floating shift not floating all the way back up to the proper stop point for lower case letters.
The wife has set a similar goal, shooting for “total hours writing” instead of total words, which I think is just as effective. I think poetry requires a different mindset, more thought as you place each word on the page, so churning through a thousand in a morning doesn’t (to me at least) seem to be the best way to approach that. She’s also got the start of a really interesting fantasy story I’m looking forward to seeing her flesh out more fully and hope she’ll have a chance to do so over the next twelve months.
I spend a good part of the last few days working on my spreadsheet. The weirdest thing about me is how much I love designing a cool spreadsheet. I’ve created sheets to do everything, from tabulating win/loss results during an NFL fantasy football season to performing extensive data reporting on repair records for various models of computers at work. This one allows me to input word counts per day of the year for multiple works, and tallies them all up for a total as well as gives me an average daily count. That should go a long way to keeping me on track with the rather extensive goal I’ve set. But really… 350,000 words amounts to 959 words per day, which is hardly a staggering amount to write. I’ve already done 1391 as of this morning, and the more often I exceed the goal, the more I can provide a buffer for days when writing isn’t conducive for one reason or another (sickness, travel, vacation, just plain don’t fucking wanna!).
I also submitted “The Story of Monkton” for publication to one of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy magazines. Fingers crossed one of them will accept it, though the hard part about short stories is having to wait for the one you submitted to first to reply before you can submit to the next. So now I”m going in order of “average time to reply” as much as “pay per word” so I can churn through the stories faster as they are finished.
Welcome 2016. The Year of the Writer. Hopefully the year I start achieving a goal I’ve longed for since I was 8.