2018 was a rough year. My mom passed away at the end of 2017, and, in addition to managing the emotional fallout, we had to deal with selling her house which occupied a large part of the first half of the year. Part way into the year, I applied for and started a new job. Not surprisingly, 2018 was not a particularly good year for my creative projects.
2019 posed no such distractions, which is why I feel a bit disappointed about how the year went. It was certainly a better year than 2018, but I did not accomplish all I had hoped to.
Part of the reason may have been that I did not have specific goals for the year. In my 2018 Year in Review I said “Basically, I just want to do more of everything in 2019 than I was able to in 2018.”
I did give some lip service to blogging more and to be more diligent about my monthly updates to help keep me accountable, but neither of those things happened. I definitely wasn’t as attentive to this blog as I hoped. I posted only 20 times all year which was actually 3 fewer times than in 2018.
I did finish four new stories in 2019. I am in the process of doing another round of revisions on them. But I did not get any stories published and haven’t since getting A Telling Silence published in 2017. A clear reason for that is I got frustrated with the submission process and simply stopped submitting.
And I got frustrated with the submission process because the submission process is frustrating: you submit stories, wait months, and 99% of the time you get a rejection. Now that I have had a break from it, I plan on resuming this task once I finish revising those new stories. I have other stories in various stages, but I want to concentrate just on those four in the near future so I can attend to other things.
Last year, I had false starts on ideas for longer stories, one of which I will probably abandon and the other I think will work better as a shorter story. Neither of those are near term priorities.
I did get my collection of Vegas stories professionally edited and sent it off to one publisher who had an open call for submissions. Probably won’t hear for months (see above).
For 2020, my main goal is to post more to This Creative Midlife. I have often wondered what would happen if I placed my energy into blogging more often, and the only way to find out is to do it.
I’ve slipped into the habit of manly posting monthly (give or take) updates and occasional photography posts. My intention with starting this blog was to write more about living through midlife, figuring out what (if anything) that means, and what role creativity plays during this time. I plan to do more of that in 2020.
For a while now, I have been doing research about midlife and want to start writing and reflecting more about what I have been reading and thinking about.
And part of that will be continuing to explore my interest in photography and get more serious about my interest in drawing. I need to delve deeper into my creativity in order to write more thoughtfully about it.
Basically, what I have been doing the past few years is put most of my effort into my fiction and get around to the blog (this one or one if its predecessors) when I feel like it.
I want to invert that in 2020.
So for 2020, I want to concentrate on generating quality and (hopefully) interesting content to post here.
I want to finish my revisions of those four new short stories and send them out into the world. I want to eventually resume working on other stories, but I want to take a step back from that not only to devote more time to this blog but also to think more strategically about how I want to approach new stories. I’m always reading short stories but mostly for enjoyment. I need to take some time to read stories more critically to learn from them so as to improve my own work.
Basically, my 2020 goals boil down to:
- More posts here on This Creative Midlife
- A refreshed and thoughtful approach to my short stories
And, I hope to be more consistent about my monthly updates where I will comment on the progress of these goals.