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Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category

Do More

This post is brought to you by not enough sleep, 4am, and the letter R (for rant).

I don’t know if it is the boards I frequent, the blogs I read, or what, but lately I see a lot of  writers who put up an ebook or two and then bitch and moan when they don’t sell much or aren’t instantly successful and rich.  I don’t get it.

I mean, I get the frustration.  You take a book or some short stories that have been vetted, either by industry professionals (in the case of previously published work) or by trusted peers or professional editors you hired or what have you.  You put it up. No one buys it beyond those three guys that live in your basement and drink your beer (or is that just MY three guys? I dunno).  So then you throw up your hands and declare that no one can make any good money by self-publishing ebooks.

What I really, really don’t understand? Often times these are writers with publication history.  They have spent years if not decades in the trenches getting rejected over and over as they struggled to get to a point where their work sold reliably.  They know what perseverance is.  They know what hard work is.  These are writers who wouldn’t dream of only ever writing one story, sending it out to a single market, and then throwing up their hands and saying “oh well, I guess this doesn’t work” and quitting writing.  Because the writers who make that decision are the ones you will never hear about.  They don’t get published because this isn’t a business for quitters.

And yet, that is what I see, over and over, among professionals who decide to test the ebook waters.  They take a single work, put it online (often with a terrible cover and boring blurb), and then throw their hands up and cry all over the net how only selling to big publishers works because no one but the very very lucky can make any money at this ebook thing.

W. T. F.  I’m serious.  I don’t get it. Why would people who should KNOW better do this?  Writing as a business isn’t easy.  It is, however, very simple.  Heinlein’s Rules haven’t changed and they still work.  Write. Finish. Get it out there. Keep it out there. Rinse. Repeat.

Ebooks are no different.  Make them as damn good as you can.  This means studying the covers, blurbs, prices, etc of the books that are like the ones you are selling.  Put up a good product. Do it again. And again.  Keep writing. Keep writing books that people want to read.  If you aren’t selling, write better books, write better blurbs, get better covers.  You know… work at it.  The same way we all do going through the traditional publishing trenches.  We slog through the rejections, the crits, the workshops, the endless query-go-round.  And when we sell a book, we rejoice.  But we don’t expect a single sale to solve all our problems forever and that we can instantly be rich and famous and awesome.  Instead, the next day, we start another damn book.

So if you have put up a single work (or even two or three) and are sitting there whining about how you don’t have the time and energy to properly market, that you don’t have the budget to do what a big publisher can do for you, that no one will buy your book, that this ebook thing is failsauce… well… look at yourself. What are you doing? Are you pinning your hopes on a single work? Would you pin your hopes on a single book bought by a trad publisher? Or would you go out and write the next book? And the next. And the one after that. Would you take a single no for an answer? Or would you examine why a story/book/whatever got rejected and figure out how to do it better?

This is the same game as it was before.  Why let one failure stop you?  You wouldn’t let a single rejection stop you.  Come on, guys. Be smarter than this.  Fail better.

(This said, I need to go write some more books. Because winter is coming and I bet there will be millions of new e-reader owners all looking for awesome, well-packaged books to read.)

“This Book is Not the Boss of my Shit”

Normally I don’t just post to post a link, but I found something too awesome and fitting for my mindset right now that I just have to make a quickie post to share it.

Chuck Wendig over at terribleminds.com has posted “The Penmonkey’s Paean” and it is amazing.  Go, read, enjoy.

Haven’t clicked yet? Seriously, how could you not want to read a ‘prayer’ that begins with:

I am a writer, and I will finish the shit that I started.

I will not whine. I will not blubber. I will not make mewling whimpering cryface pissypants boo-hoo noises. I will not sing lamentations to my weakness.

My confidence is hard and unyielding. Like a kidney stone lodged in the ureter of a stegosaurus.

It’s amazeballs.  And now, I go back to writing, because this novel is not the boss of my shit *grin*

Lorning and Practice

(Yes, ‘learning’ is misspelled in my subject.  On purpose. It’s a joke. No, it would take too long to explain. Deal)

I tend to talk very openly about my writing goals and word counts and issues that crop up and the like.  This has led to comments, both on this blog and privately, that are along the lines of “maybe you should slow down (ie, write less) and learn more”.

Sounds like a reasonable plan, right? Except, it isn’t.  This statement and statements along the same lines have  logical fallacies in them.  They imply that a) writing slow= writing better and b) learning somehow happens outside of the actual writing work.  Neither of these things are true.

Let me demonstrate my point using videogames (because I can!).

Starcraft 2 is arguably the best real-time strategy (RTS) game out there.  A few months ago I discovered SC2 replay and tutorial videos on you-tube and have been watching them since.  I also own the game and have played a bit, but writing work has gotten in the way of that and I haven’t had nearly as much time as I’d like for videogames (and what time I’ve had, I’ve spent playing Borderlands with my husband).

But I’ve watched hundreds of hours of strategy videos and games.  I basically use SC2 videos as my mental break time during the day or late at night when I can’t sleep and don’t feel like working or reading.  I can discuss build orders and micro/macro strategies and unit choices with the best of them and probably, if no one saw me play, sound pretty much like a hard-core SC2 player.  My knowledge of the strategies and ideas behind them is huge.

I suck at SC2.  I’m really, really bad at it.  I haven’t played my ladder games (the multi-player ranking is called ladder) yet, but I imagine I’d be bottom of the heap.  I can barely beat the AI on easy.  Why is this? I mean, I’ve studied hard core, right? I know how hot-keys work and which units counter which units and what my timings should be on scouting and getting which building when.  My brain is stuffed with SC2 tactics and ideas and strategies.  But I can’t play the game to save my life.

Because I haven’t practiced.  I haven’t PLAYED the game nearly enough to get the practical skills to implement my knowledge.

See where I’m going with this?  Writing is the same.  I can read every book on writing ever written.  I can attend every conference, join every critique workshop, read and talk about writing and other people’s stories until my tongue and eyes bleed, but that won’t make me a good writer.

Only writing will.  All the side things, all the reverse-outlining best-selling novels, all the reading long-time pro’s work and blogs, all the industry knowledge and the business knowledge and the craft books in the world won’t mean jack or shit unless I’m writing my own words.

If I’d spent 200 hours playing SC2 instead of watching these videos, I bet I’d be at least Gold rank on ladder by now.  If I’d spent 100 hours watching videos and 100 hours playing, I might be Gold rank also.

It’s about doing both.  I’m learning and reading about writing and studying good books, but I’m also writing.  Writing is the first and most important thing to do.  All the rest is gravy and, like gravy, if you don’t have anything to apply the skills to, it ends up being a plate full of soupy worthlessness (okay, bad imagery, but you get the point).  Without practice, knowledge means nothing.

So yeah, I’m working hard to get my word counts up, to be more consistent in setting aside three or four or six hours a day to write.  Because the fifty or so writing books on my shelf won’t do me any good if I’m not putting the practice in, if I’m not doing the work.  I need to be writing more, in other words, not less.

So if you find yourself frustrated, if you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere skill-wise, don’t slow down.  Speed up. Do more words.  Stab those voices of doubt that are telling you that you don’t know enough, you haven’t studied enough, your words aren’t good enough, and just put your ass in the chair and write more words.  Because the easy AI might kick your ass while you’re trying to figure out how the hell you tech up to hive, but eventually you’ll have your revenge with an early 7 roach cheese push.   Because you practiced it. Over and over and over.  Until you could do it right, until you found what worked for you.

Practice. Write more.  Want a career in something? Put in the hours to get good at it.  Put in the hours for study also, but don’t neglect the practicing.  Practicing is more important.   Talking and reading about writing will never equal what you can learn by just doing it.  We’re all different, we all have different strengths and weaknesses and habits.  But if you don’t practice, you’ll never learn what those are.  No book, no other writer, no seminar or class or critique can ever tell you how you work and what your exact path in this career will be.

Only writing will do that.  Only writing can do that.

Do eet!

Failure, Rejection, Depression, and Sundry

This post will likely be rambling and a little ranty.  (And apparently sappy at the end)  You have been warned.

As of Saturday to be on target for my goals this month I needed 21,000 words done.  As of Saturday, I had just shy of 9,000.  Writing for the last few months has been very difficult for me, like pulling teeth to get any words out at all (which is why that last novel took four months when it should have taken two at most).  I’ve engaged a friend in a challenge (with whole dinners on the line!) for monthly word count goals in the hopes that I can shove past whatever is blocking me.  Last week, not so much with the shoving, obviously.

Alas, what’s blocking me is… me.  Or more specifically my brain chemicals.  Lots of quote “creative types” deal with depression and other issues, and I’m no exception unfortunately.  I struggle with life-long insomnia issues among other things (which is how I read so damn much, it’s easy to find time to read when you only sleep 2-5 hours a day).  Sometimes the writing process just stutters and stops.  I think this is one reason I’ve always been a “binge” writer.  When I’m running well I have to do as much as I can as fast as I can because I don’t know when suddenly the images will stop forming up right in my head and the mental white noise will start to take over.

The other thing blocking me is my old friend self-doubt.  Writing is easy.  Writing for a living, not so easy.  Especially in the stage I’m in, where I’m starting to break out a bit and hopefully learning my to cross my Ps and dot my Is.  Sales are wonderful motivators, but fear of success can be just as deadly as fear of failure.  Things are tight right now in my home life because of the sacrifices we’ve made so I can pursue my dream and my goals and now, a year and a half into the ten year plan, the reality of the situation has definitely sunk in.  We’re fine, we’re making it work, but as always I can’t help but put pressure on myself to write, do more, learn more, be more. Thinking long-term is good, but it doesn’t necessarily help the short-term panic attacks.

I almost broke my number of rejections in one week record this week, which of course doesn’t help either.  I don’t even know what my rejection total is up to, though if I had to guess I’d say over 200 easily.  In less than two years.  What that number should (and does, when I’m thinking rationally) say to me is that hey, I’m producing and sending out lots of work.  But sometimes I stare at yet another “this was well-written but no thanks” or “this was fun, but ultimately we decided not to publish it” etc and think “so they don’t like fun, well-written work.  What the hell should I be writing?”.  It’s a war inside between the rational/business brain telling me that it isn’t personal (because it really, really isn’t) and that I just need to take a deep breath and put the story back in the mail, and the irrational side of my brain “zomg u suckzorz and r gettin wurse.  stUpid RITUR.”

What does this all really mean? Basically…nothing.  So I’m 12,000 words behind where I needed to be.  Over the next few weeks I can easily find another 12-15 hours somewhere in there to catch myself up.  It’s adding an hour a day to a couple weeks of work.  Rationally not a big deal.  What does the rejection mean? Again, not much (beyond the fact that hey, apparently I write fun, well-written stories and stuff).  But the depression, the sleeplessness, the slog, it all combines to make my life not peachy at the moment.  I’ll catch up though (so stop planning your sushi outing, Amanda…) because I hate to lose a bet for one, and because any job has bad days, and any job I have is one that gets affected by my depression/insomnia issues, and in the end, I get to sit on my ass and make shit up and people have paid me (and will pay me in the future damnit!) to do this.  Which is still awesome, any way you look at it.

So for anyone who is struggling this month (and let’s face it, November ain’t a great month.  I didn’t like it before my brother died during it and I sure don’t care for it afterward either), you’re okay.  Everything will work out.  If you are doing NaNoWriMo and you fail one day, or one week, no need to stress.  It’s cool.  Think about it this way: if you fall short by 10 or 20 or even 30k words, you’ve still written 40 or 30 or 20k words more than you would have if you hadn’t even tried at all.  And for all the writers in my shoes, us neo-pros who see more no than yes still, it’ll get better.  We’re just getting started.  Sure, we take a few on the chin during the opening round, but really, we’re just lulling our opponents into a false sense of superiority.  The next story we write? It’s going to KO some editor, somewhere, sometime.  As long as we don’t throw in the towel, as long as we keep sitting on our asses and making shit up and sticking it in the mail.  Because that’s what counts and that’s the only score worth keeping.

It never ends.

Getting There

Had a rough patch or three in the last couple weeks with my crazy novel project, but I’m in the home stretch on one novel at least.  I had set it aside to work on the one I really wanted to workshop, but realized after a few thousand words that TVMoSS is going to be a lot more complex as a novel than I originally thought.  While I think I could probably still write it (at least a passable for workshop draft of it) in a couple weeks, I’m not sure I want to.

So I switched back to my thriller.  And hit the great swampy middle.  The last novel I wrote (my second ever) I took an eight month break in that swampy middle.  And I swore never again.  No more breaks.  But the middle is still not fun.  There comes a time when I’m writing and I can’t tell if what is falling out onto the page makes any sense at all.  I was so worried about this novel never making it to 80k words, then I solved a problem and added a POV.  Which is great for adding words, but suddenly I had a character with a whole storyline show up a third of the way into the book.  Is this done?I wondered, and can this work? Am I screwing it all up?

I don’t know. I still don’t know.  So I guess in the end I am glad I’m taking this book to the workshop.  DWS will tell me if he thinks it is broken.  And the others will all let me know if they’d even want to read past the first 50 pages.  So we’ll see. But it’ll be done at least. And I’ll have written my first thriller ever.  I keep wanting to have a character fireball something or whip out a sword or teleport.  I miss you, speculative fiction! I also miss short stories. So very much. I haven’t written a short story in like two months.  I will soon. After Sept. 10th.  I’ve still got WotF to win, right? *grin*

These are the days, however, when I’m glad I have a super supportive spouse.  He went on a long walk with me this afternoon and I told him all about my detective (the POV I’m working into the story).  My husband is psyched to read this novel now, when he was lukewarm about it in the beginning.  His excitement helps me.  He thinks the story sounds better, more complex than it originally did.  He loves  the idea of the character and the motivations behind him.

As writers, we are so often alone.  No one can write for us.  It just can’t be done. If someone is writing for you, then they are the writer.  Bouncing ideas off people is good, but at the end (or beginning) of the day, we just have to sit down and do the work.  All on our own.  And what we do is subjective.  We can’t ever know if it’s really any good, because “good” varies with the subject offering the opinion.  But when I say “hey, listen to this idea” or “hey, does this work, do you think?” to a responsive, interested ear (like my husband), it helps with the isolation and quell that feeling of insanely typing away into the dark nothing.

So even though I have to wade into the swamp each day by myself and try to kill a middle, I’m not truly alone.  I’m fortified by all the people that support me, and by the brave souls who have gone before and those who are wading into their own swamps alongside me.  We’ll slog through.  And we’ll get there.

Back to the swamp now.  I’ve got a novel to slay.

Clarion Musings

So, first… my sale. I have sold “No Spaceships Go” to Daily SF, a brand new magazine that will apparently start publishing later this summer/fall. So go subscribe now, because besides my story, it looks like they have lined up some top authors (including fellow PDX writer and Hugo winner David D. Levine).  I’m pretty excited.  More details whenever I get them.

Also, in other internet news, both Clarion and Clarion West have posted instructor lists for 2011.  And wow, they are impressive (okay, when aren’t they? seriously. Sigh).  Clarion list is here.  Clarion West list is here.

As always, I kinda want to go to Clarion (either Clarion) because writing with both my potential classmates and under the tutelage of professionals such as those listed above would be freaking awesome.  I’ve only applied once to Clarion West, and was form rejected.  Which doesn’t shock me, it was my first submission to anywhere, ever. (Feb 4th 2009, for those of us ie me keeping track).  And frankly, I mostly applied because I really wanted to meet Elizabeth Bear whose work and work ethic I super admire.  Probably good I didn’t get in, since I don’t know how I would have survived.

I almost applied to Clarion last year, but decided I couldn’t afford it and took a couple of Dean Wesley Smith’s workshops instead (which, for the sake of honesty, I almost didn’t get in to.  While there’s no formal audition like for the Clarions, Dean isn’t a guy who pulls his punches and if he thinks someone isn’t ready, he’ll say so.  I’m not sure I was ready, but I am grateful. *grin*).  And between discovering those workshops, reading Dean’s motivation posts (and Kristine Rusch’s posts on freelancing), and deciding to truly follow Heinlein’s Rules for Writers, I pretty much completely revolutionized how I was going about getting to my goal of making a living at writing fiction.

So… Clarions.  Should I apply? On the one hand, I imagine I’d have a blast and learn a ton.  On the other, can I get in? Or afford to go if I did? And, strangely enough, can I afford to take 6 weeks out of my writing schedule to focus on workshop stuffs?  I know they write a story a week at the workshops, but frankly, for me, that’s really not an issue, even with additional work like reading on top of it I’m pretty sure I could keep that pace without blinking.  But could I keep up my novel/novella/shorts schedule during Clarion/CW if I got in?

I don’t know. I don’t actually write nearly as well, especially on longer works, when I don’t have the comfort and stability of my home schedule and daily routines.  I can make myself get some work done, but not with the focus I have at home.  And I’m sure that between hanging out with fellow writers, doing the workshop stuffs, and the various functions and parties etc… I’d be pretty socially drained and low energy, which is not a productive state for me.

So if a) I did get in and b) could afford to go, then the question I’d have to consider would be is it worth losing potentially an entire novel’s worth of writing production?  I realize I’d come out of the workshop with six short stories, though as to publishable state I can’t say.  I hope that if I went I’d be really pushing myself in terms of how I’m writing and what I’m writing about, which might render whatever I write as a do-over, but workshops should be about risk in my opinion.  No point going to learn something and not really pushing yourself to stretch out of comfort zones.

So yeah, that’s basically what’s going on in my head now.  The line-ups for teachers looks very awesome, but between money and time lost, I just don’t know if the workshop would be worth it at this point.

Things to think about.  Fortunately, I have time.  I probably won’t make final decision until Feb 2011.  By then, if I’m remotely on target, I’ll have five novels being shopped to trad. publishers, book one of my e-book series out, and at least 40 shorts circulating (unless editors buy more/all of them..nudge nudge universe).  So I’ll see where I’m at.

Anyone else thinking about applying? Anyone who reads this been to one of the Clarions? What were your experiences?

(And, of course, there is always Odyssey as well, which I’ve heard lovely things about from both the woman who runs it and writers who have attended.  So much to consider. Meep.)

“The Pain Period”

I recently read an article on persistence and the value/necessity of it in success over at tynan.net.  The article is here.

I’ll quote my favorite part from Tynan here:

Here’s the progression of success as best I understand it:

1. Get an idea
2. Start working
3. PAIN PERIOD
4. Success

1. Getting an idea is easy. Everyone has ideas and thinks they’re so smart for coming up with them (myself included, of course). The thing is, the IDEA is probably the least important part. Why is Jay-Z a great drug dealer and a great rapper and a great clothing line creator? Is it because these are great ideas? NO. It’s because he’s a hustler (baby).

2. Start working. This is the fun part where you have 99 parts of your project, 50 of which are fun and easy. You work on those and feel great.

3. Pain Period. This is where I ALWAYS used to give up. Things stop going perfectly and it’s time to batten the hatches and start rocking. It’s time to put your WANTS aside and focus on the NEEDS of your project. THIS IS THE KEY PART! If you get past here, you succeed. If you don’t, you don’t succeed. Period.

I could write about 10 posts about this alone. Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about how his one skill is pushing through the pain period. And look! He’s a successful body builder, actor, and politician. Good ideas? Natural talents? NOPE. Just pushing through.

4. Success. This is the holy grail. People think that what you’ve done is easy once you get here. “50 cent is a crappy rapper. If I got to work with Eminem and Dr. Dre I’d be as good as him.” Yeah, but you know what? He PUSHED through the pain period of getting there and now enjoys success, which is a lot easier. You see the result, not the process.

It’s weeks like the one I’ve just had where I need to remember the whole “persist” thing.  Multiple rejections, half of them form letters, have come in.  My shoulder is still hurt, dulling my mind and making me cranky as well as making it tough for me to spend significant time typing.  I cracked a tooth as well playing DnD (don’t ask).  Generally it hasn’t been the best week ever.  And there’s the bigger picture, too.  Some days it feels as though I’m not getting any better, not ever going to sell anything ever again, etc…  It’s easy sitting alone in my office, drugged and tired and cranky, to despair and wonder if I’ve jumped off the high-dive without checking for water in the pool.

I think this is what is called the pain period, at least for me.  Not just the physical pain, but the constant doubts as well.  Tynan’s post is timely, as were Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s two posts on giving up on yourself, found here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).  I especially like Rusch’s point about giving up on yourself by degrees, a little at a time so that it is tough to notice the change of direction.  I think in the “pain period” that Tynan talks about, it is easy to do this, to lose sight of what you really want to achieve because success seems too hard to attain, too far away, with too many unknowns standing in the path.

These articles hit the spot for me exactly.  Keep writing, keep submitting, keep improving and learning and trying.  I just need to remember to hold these things in my mind.  This last week of disappointment and teeth-gritting has been a blessing in disguise in some ways.  It’s helped me think about what I want and where I’m going, helped me make those tiny adjustments to my goals and progress that Rusch talks about being so vital.  Every time I defeat the voice in my head that says I’ll never be good enough, that everything I write is worse than everything I’ve written, every time I press on beyond the doubts and rejections, I find a kind of success.  I don’t know that the “pain period” ever really ends, as each level of goal achieving will likely bring new challenges and ways to fall apart, but I believe with persistence it will get easier;  each success lining up, giving me more ammunition against the doubts.

It never ends.

Characters and Pain

This will be a fairly short post, for reasons that will become clear in a moment, but I wanted to at least get these thoughts out while I was having them.

First, I quit the middle grade novel. I’m done for now, the fun has gone out of it and the voice of the piece isn’t in my head anymore. So I’m setting it down and turning to finishing my suspense/crime novel. Which turned into me restarting my suspense/crime novel. I hadn’t touched the file in a long time, and it turned out that I had only about 6k words done (2k less than I’d thought, oops). Also, the beginning wasn’t what I wanted. I’ve learned so much about setting and character in the last few months that those six thousand words didn’t reflect what I’m capable of now.

So I started over yesterday. It’s been slow going with the writing this whole week because I’ve been in horrible pain from a shoulder injury. Which brings me to characters and pain. I used to watch House, mostly for Hugh Laurie (ok, maybe ALL for him), and stopped watching when the episodes kept focusing too much on the plots and not so much on the characters. Having spent a scant week in horrible, never-ending pain, I now “get” House’s character even better. I’ve been an irritable bitch this entire week, and I fully blame the pain. Pain really does bring out the worst in me, as it brought out the worst in Dr. House. I don’t know how I’m going to work this into characters yet, but I’ve definitely filed away this hard-learned lesson for later.

I’ve been working on giving my characters more sides, more depth. Sometimes this comes from giving them better goals, and sometimes from giving them better weaknesses. I’m mostly working on pacing in this current novel, but I’m still practicing character building as well. My main character is a con artist, thief, and absentee mother of a chronically sick kid. Not the most obviously sympathetic protagonist. It’s her voice, her opinions, and her ultimate humanity and struggle that will make or break whether readers like her or not (though having a serial killer douchebag as the antagonist won’t hurt I think). That’s a challenge to write, but I think it’ll be good practice (and I love anti-heroes, personally, when done well).

Anyway, I’m going to go ice my shoulder and take more pills. And maybe watch an episode of House after I write a “please don’t divorce me I love you I’m sorry” card to my husband *grin*

(That last is a joke, he’s putting up with me admirably)

At Least Now I Can Stop Counting

Rejections 99 and 100 came today.  One personal, one form letter (on a third of a sheet of paper, I admire the thriftiness). *grin*

Time to plan the party.  At least, as the subject says, I can stop counting now until I think I might be close to 200, or 500.  We’ll see.  It’s just easier to not keep track.

Time to get another story into the mail. Can’t lose my race score points.

But I Get Up Again

I never realized how stuck I’d gotten after writing that story that just failed.  I’ve started and not finished three stories in the last week.  Not finished.  I usually finish shorts in one sitting.  It’s the novels I poke at (and I’m poking, I’m poking.  Gotta get the MG one done soon, seriously).  I got stuck because I’m afraid that every word is more fail.

Fuck it. Seriously.  So I failed. That story really doesn’t work at all and nothing will save it (maybe the setting, the setting might, the setting is good.)  I have to get over that.  Move past it.  It’s so easy to dwell on what doesn’t work, what feels or reads wrong.  I think my academic side lets me down here, because I’ve been trained to pick things apart.  It’s time to get back up.  The mini self-inflicted rollercoaster of “I suck!” and “I might not suck!” annoys me.  It’s stupid and it is stopping my writing.

In 11 minutes I turn 29.  I hope that someday I’ll look back at my 20s as the years it really started.  Addicts have their sobriety dates, I guess writers have their “got serious” dates.  Mine is Feb 4th 2009.  I’ve got a year left of my 20s.  I want to make it a good one, one where I did everything in my power to reach my goals.  For my birthday I wrote myself a check and dated it Feb 4th, 2020.  I won’t say the amount, but it is fairly ambitious, at least I hope.  As I enter the final year of this decade of life, I want to know that I didn’t let the little things get me down.  And that when they did, I got back up.

Now, I should go practice what I preach and finish some damn stories.  Because no one is going to buy stuff I haven’t written and submitted.