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the cooling-down period

I have "often" down.
Working on "well."

Back in 1984 or so–one of my childhood Olympic Games–I was watching the end of the women's marathon with my dad. The winner crossed the finish line, verified she was the winner, and then went on running for a few yards more.

"Why is she doing that?" I said. "Wouldn't she want to stop?"

"You can't run that far and just stop," Dad said. "You have to stop slowly."

While I've never run a marathon–my gym teachers were lucky if I did the required number of laps around the track–I sympathize with that feeling.

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Welcome, 2012

I feel like I should say something profound, but profundity is not my area. Instead, I will say I hope you had a lovely holiday season, and I hope the new year is everything you want it to be.

My tradition around New Year's is to do a writing roundup type of thing, so:

2012 word count

This is my word count spreadsheet for 2011. I've been keeping these for just a few years now, ever since I started participating in Get Your Words Out on Livejournal. There's something inspirational about watching those numbers add up.

Besides the sheets for each month (I tried doing one per story but that didn't work at all), the 2012 spreadsheet has my submissions goal list: themes, expected word counts, due dates, and fields for submitted dates and whether the story was accepted or not. I will be organized! Someday!

Yearly goal: 250,00
Total words written: 288,788
Average words per month: 24,066
Best month: June (36,205)
Worst month: December (6851)
Stories I posted/published: 5 fanfic, 4 profic, plus various little drabbles and one-sentence fic type things.
Number of unfinished stories (that will likely stay that way): 5
Number of unfinished stories (that will be finished in 2012, knock wood): 6
Stories written this year to be published in 2012: One.
Biggest distraction: Real life. I don't think I was distracted this year so much as indecisive. I restarted and rebooted a lot of stories, and then ended up not finishing them.

Plans for 2012 include 2 novels edited and submitted, 1 more novel written, edited and submitted; at least 2 screenplays, and several anthology submissions/novellas. I only published 4 professional pieces last year, and I'm hoping to increase that. (I did 6 in 2010. That was nice.) At the very least, I hope to reach 20 stories total in print by the end of the year.

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bullet points of the day

I know how you feel,
arm-wavy guy.
  • Blog. I’ve been blogging since 2001 and I still have no idea what I’m doing sometimes. I’ve had a lot of blogs, and I still have a few others gathering dust. Mostly I just try to present myself honestly and possibly even entertainingly. (I entertain myself quite a bit, and isn’t that the most important thing?)
  • Colors. I tried a dark layout but went back to the first one. So sue me: I like pink. As a pale blue-eyed blond, I have that right.
  • Feedback. *v.v.v.v. big grin*
  • Geekery. I have multiple computers, and I try to use one for writing and one for games etc., and then I have the Blackberry which is rapidly becoming my entire life in the palm of my hand. And today I saw that a word processing program I’ve been slavering over was way, way reduced in price, so I snagged it. And now I have three computers to keep the documents synced up on.
  • Holiday. I hope to spend the day before V-day with my new fella: my nephew Shepherd, who will be two weeks old on Friday.
  • TV. I feel like I have an embarrassment of riches with TV right now. Supernatural, White Collar, Raising Hope, Justified…my DVR is stuffed to the gills.
  • Writing. Figured out how a story I wasn’t planning to work on yet is going to end. This is good, except for the “I wasn’t planning to work on it yet” bit. I have a schedule! I’ve been terrible at sticking to it, but I have one!
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the current big list of next

I keep re-ordering and re-arranging my plans for this year. Things get added, things get dropped (and then put back), things get moved from one month to another … I’ve tried to arrange things so I have some breathing room between big projects, but not so much I get lazy. (And I do get lazy, left to my own devices.)

I’ve also decided to step back from fandom writing for the rest of the year and concentrate on writing for publication. This was not an easy decision to make, and it’s something I’ve been wrestling with for several months, but it feels like the right decision. I’m not ambitious except when it comes to writing, and making pursuing that my focus feels like the best choice right now.

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