I occasionally make a "public" statement about resolutions on my blog. When I checked back to January 2008, I could only find one statement about something I resolved to do -- and I'm damn glad to see that I wasn't getting all cocky and throwing about wild claims of great things I would accomplish in the year.
Nope. Instead, one of the only public resolutions I made for 2008 was that I would attempt to keep about 3 to 5 submissions "out there" or "in play" in the various slush piles of editor's desks.
Looking back at my submission tracking spreadsheet and journal, it appears I was successful in that. While there weren't often times I had more than 5 stories circulating, I did always have at least 3 of them out there at any given time during 2008.
The results of that dedication to keeping at it are about to be seen, as I have a story coming out in the January issue of Champagne Shivers magazine as well in Black Ink Horror XXX (which is supposed to be shipping but which I haven't seen yet) and the Northern Haunts anthology (which, similarly, is supposedly shipping now but I haven't seen).
I also made several non-fiction sales during 2008 (most of which paid more than any of the fiction sales I made; but in all honesty, there's simply more joy in writing the fiction pieces).
So for 2009 I'm resolving to do a few things writing related.
1) Continue to keep between 3 and 5 stories in circulation at all times during the year.
2) Re-work the completed novel MORNING SON and get it back into circulation with publishers
3) Finish the novel A CANADIAN WEREWOLF IN NEW YORK (which has been on a back burner for way too long now) - Paula B from The Writing Show will be so proud of me if I can finally accomplish that. I'd finally have something really cool to reveal in the continuing interviews for her "Getting Published with Mark Leslie" reality series.
I had also resolved to try to read more in 2008. I'm a really slow reader -- even though I have attempted to teach myself speed reading, I enjoy reading at a more leisurely pace. And since I wasn't really show how many books I actually read in a year, I began keeping a journal of the books I read during 2008. Okay, so, not counting books that I re-read or unpublished items I've read (such as manuscripts or unpublished galley proofs from friends I sometimes read), I read 40 books in 2008. And number does include the half dozen books I ended up listening to unabridged audio versions of. (Yes, rather than that normal time wasted walking to work or on other chores, I spent the time listening to the audio version of books -- a very practical, useful and ultimately pleasurable use of my time, methinks)
That means I average reading about 3 books a month. When I look back at the logs, there are some months in which I polished off 5 or more books, and other months in which I barely made it through one. But it certainly was interesting to note. Speaking of notes, upon completion of each book, I made a brief 1 or 2 sentence note about it. That was fun. I plan on doing that again.
But once thing that is very obvious to me is that I really am a slow reader. Oh well -- I think I did well, all things considered, and would have to hope that I can read at least 40 books in 2009. It gives me a goal to reach.
And it also makes me wonder about the math. If I can only read about 40 books in a year, why, then, must I purchase between 50 and 75 books per year? I'm just setting myself up for failure, aren't I? (But then again, there's nothing like reading a book I bought 8 years ago that has waited patiently on my shelves for me to discover it -- then, after reading it I wondered why in hell I waited so damn long to read it)