Saturday, December 31, 2016

One Writer's Thoughts on New Year's Eve -- and The Year's Top Posts

Before the day gets away from me, and it's 2017, and I forget how much I like tied-up endings (in life, if not in prose), these are my thoughts, post-shower, pre-breakfast. I use the word "should" not in the bullying, guilt-inducing way, but in the prodding, goal-directed, self-to-self pep talk way. Sort of.

I should write a final blog post for the end of the year.

I should go buy the dessert I'm expected to bring to tonight's party.

I should finish my office decluttering, the day-after-Christmas project that always stretches to just before dinner on New Year's Eve.

I should finish my January and February submission calendar.

I should write down my *I Did It List* for 2016, the one that's been swirling in my head for a month, the one I urge every other to undertake, the one I've been avoiding because OUTSIDE of my little writing world, the year was, in some ways for my own family, for friends, for the country, as Queen Elizabeth once called 1992, "an annus horribilis."

I should help my husband put together that new Ikea file cabinet for my office, but since I stink at almost all DIY projects that do not involve words, I'll leave it to him and my son.

I should hit SUBMIT on my first piece of short fiction I told myself I'd finally send out into the publishing world this year. (But my nonfiction soul is waging a loud and occasionally snarky "But is it really any good?" and "Who says you can write fiction now?" fight).

I should finalize the two syllabi for Spring semester. Or at least write down the day next week when I'll do it.

I should write a note or at least a tweet to that writer whose finely written nonfiction narrative piece I just read in a nice journal, and tell him so. Because it's something I always mean to do and often forget to do, and because I know what it's like to be that writer, hearing something nice about something you've written and wonder if anyone will appreciate. (UPDATE: between drafting this post and proofreading it, I did this. I feel better already).

Finally, I suppose I should...fill and organize that new filing cabinet; re-order all of my office bookshelves so the newly acquired books aren't stacked in a heap; bring my clip file up to date; get my tax info ready; overhaul my blog; finish reading the three books I'm in the middle of.  Nah, just kidding. I'm not doing those six things at all!

But all the rest? I'll be doing all of that today. Not because I should, but because I want to and my writer's mind won't let me rest until I do and because I promised myself that once I do all of this, I can go to that party tonight and feel a little bit lighter. Until I sample the dessert I'm going to buy.

Hope your New Year's Eve works out just the way you want. See you back here in 2017.

Oh, and because I forget to do this last week, here are the most popular posts of 2016:

Happy New Year !

Images - all Flickr/CreativeCommons: Lights:-NicMcPhee/UnhinderedByTalentTacks -HDValentin.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday Fridge Clean-Out: Links for Writers -- December 2, 2016 Edition

Looks like there are a bunch of new subscribers: Welcome! If you don't already know, Friday Fridge Clean-Out is me clearing out links I've gathered in the past week (or more)...much like how I sometimes feed my family on a Friday night, pulling leftovers out of the fridge. Enjoy!

> Jane Friedman with good (and in many cases, overlooked) advice about "How to Smartly Evaluate a Small Publisher." Just because a press is traditional (and not a self publisher), doesn't always translate to a desirable partner.

> Check out Christelle Lujan's "20 Apps for Writers Who Want to Get Serious" at SheWrites. I definitely need a few of these!

>Is an official book launch worth the effort? Dorit Sasson weighs in with some recent experience.

> At WOW! Women on Writing, Chelsey Clammer encourages submission, and offers her 1,278 rejections since 2011 as proof that the prize (in her case, 150+ publications!) goes to those who stay in the game.

> If you like Pinterest: a whole bunch of nifty lists and cheat sheets here with writing, revision, and editing advice.

> Short stories printed on wine bottle labels! What's not to like? (Okay, they're in Italian...)

> Finally: breathe. Or at least have a laugh with Daveena Tauber's "Post Election College Paper Grading Rubric" at McSweeney's.

Have a great weekend!