Really, This is Not a New Year's Resolution

Here are my answers to the first four questions from yesterday's post. More later.

1. Where do you want to be with your writing in the long-term?

I would like to be able to earn a comfortable living while writing only what I want to write. I don’t want to take jobs that I don’t enjoy because I need the money. My ultimate goal is to make a living as a creative writer. That might mean more creative non-fiction like the Celtic Mythology book, but ideally it would mean writing fiction and memoir full-time.

2. Where are you with your writing now?

Right now I earn my living and spend most of my time writing non-fiction. I’m good at it and that’s fine. I’m still learning when it comes to creative writing, though. If I want to achieve my long-term goal of being a creative writer first and foremost, then I need to work harder and improve in that area.

3. What project did you leave unfinished last year that you need to finish for your own peace of mind?

Well, you might think that I would answer the NaNoWriMo novel that I didn’t quite finish. But I am so over that. It was a great writing exercise and now it needs to die a dignified death. Instead, what comes instantly to mind when I think about this question is my short story “Asleep, Awake.” I think it's good. And yet I haven’t finished it or sent it out. It deserves better.

4. What creative goals do you want to achieve over the next year?

I think one of my greatest weaknesses as a creative writer is lack of follow-though. I have trouble finishing things. Part of it is a technical issue. How do you know when a piece of work is finished? But another part of it is insecurity, procrastination, and the fact that I’m easily bored. One small step would be to work on one piece until it is finished. Perhaps that means going back to old work before starting anything new.

Also, I’d like to find my niche genre. I’d like to figure out what kind of writing I’m best at and what kind of writing I enjoy most and then focus on that. This might be a process of elimination. For example, I enjoy writing poetry, but I’m not very good at it. And after doing NaNoWriMo in November, I realize that while I can write longer fiction, I don’t enjoy it as much as I do writing short fiction. Possibly I'm just not ready to tackle something longer--at least at this stage. Maybe that's a goal for another year.

* Correction: In Friday's Post, I credited the wrong person with writing the article "Write Your Own Reality," in which the 15 questions originally appeared. The author of that piece is Devon Ellington. Ellington's blog on the writing life is Ink in My Coffee. I'm sorry for any confusion this might have caused.

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