Thursday, December 31, 2009

Next Year

2010 is almost here, and while it's always tempting to make some resolutions, I'd rather focus on keeping my options open. In part it's because I had to end so many things in 2009; I probably have a mild case of enditis. There are plenty of things I want to do, both personally and professionally, and I hope I have the chance to try, but I'm not inclined to make a list this time around. What I want most in the next year is not to commit to anything except PBW and writing. That should give me plenty of room to breathe and dream and create as needed.

Hey, even an obsessive-compulsive organizer/planner like me can learn to be less regimented, more spontaneous. If nothing else I'm giving myself a year to find out if I can.

If you're in the market for a desk planner you can write in that is geared specifically for your writing needs, check out Small Beer Press's A Working Writer's Daily Planner 2010, which you can buy in trade paper, remainder, or DRM-free e-book form at their web site.

I bought this to mainly to contribute to a charity drive, but I was pleasantly surprised by how nice it is. It's a desk diary type of planner, compact but just the right size to carry along whereever you wander. Along with one-page week at a glance calendar blocks, there are pages with details on the year's sub ops, contests and residencies; writing prompts, submission and result tables, blank pages for notes and even some paper dolls for when you need a break (click here to see two inside pages; I couldn't fit all of it on my scanner but it'll give you the general idea of the layout.) It's definitely aimed more toward academics and those who are working in the literary end of the biz, but it's the first planner I've ever seen published especially for use by writers, so I thought it was pretty cool.

As you've no doubt already noticed, PBW is undergoing some renovations (a project I had intended to finished during the holidays, but NY dropped a boatload of work on me, and that had to come first.) After five years of basic black and white I thought I'd add a little color. Okay, a very little, but there's a header now, too. As for what else will be changing, you'll have to wait and see, but I hope to freshen things up and provide some new/interesting content. Stay tuned for more on that after the new year.

One change to my Scribd.com* virtual library -- because overseas readers can't purchase it, I'll be taking down my only for-sale e-book, Way of the Cheetah, as of 1/1/10. I don't know if I'll be offering it again anywhere, so if you were interested in a copy and you don't live outside the U.S., get your copy before January 1st (cost is $1.00.)

Now it's your turn: what are some of your plans for 2010? Are you giving up anything old, or starting anything new, or keeping your options open? Let us know in comments.

*Note 9/3/10: Since Scribd.com instituted an access fee scam to charge people for downloading e-books, including those I have provided for free for the last ten years, I no longer recommend using their service. See my post about this scam here.

26 comments:

  1. Definitely keeping my options open or trying to. I've decided to get organized in a different way this 'new' year. I've also had goals that revolve around deadlines. That's really not working for me anymore. I'm steamlining my blogging (ie no outside blogging and doing more indepth blogs when I post) and cutting the number of groups I participate in. Basically I'm trying to get away from the computer in order to protect the work and my sanity. *ggg*

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  2. I'm trying to give up some carbs. I'm not using the 'd' word but I've slowly discovered how awful carbs are for me.

    I'm going to try and give up writing as much by typing out-as evidenced by the dragon software I've already bought, but can't use as much until I buy my new laptop, which is my first big biz expense of 2010, to be bought on 1.1.10.

    Would like to say I'd give up spazzing over things, but I might as well give up breathing-spazzing is as natural as breathing, sadly, for me.

    I've gotta admit... i was a little lost here...

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  3. Jordan wrote: Basically I'm trying to get away from the computer in order to protect the work and my sanity.

    Very wise. You are not alone in that endeavor. :)

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  4. I always hesitate to use the word "plans". They so rarely go as I'd thought!
    But I like the idea of keeping options open. And trying to become more disciplined--felt like I was all over the place this year just trying to survive.
    And to keep trying to improve my writing. I can't control the b.s., but I can definitely work on that.

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  5. Shiloh wrote: I'm trying to give up some carbs. I'm not using the 'd' word but I've slowly discovered how awful carbs are for me.

    Processed carbs are very bad. Whole grain and natural carbs are good, especially when they're loaded with natural fiber. They can actually help you lose weight, too. But I won't lecture you; you've probably already done the research. :)

    I'm going to try and give up writing as much by typing out-as evidenced by the dragon software I've already bought, but can't use as much until I buy my new laptop, which is my first big biz expense of 2010, to be bought on 1.1.10.

    Stay away from those bargain HP laptops; they're bad news.

    I've gotta admit... i was a little lost here...

    As to the changes here? I know I don't change things very often, but I think I can get away with having a photo banner and a very light blue background. :) Or did you mean something else?

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  6. lurker :)3:17 AM

    How quickly the year flew by!

    Can't say I will give anything up because when I tell myself that I am giving something up, I tend to want it more.

    This year, I've got a few things lined up so far: finishing my MA program, revising my first book (the very first I've ever finished) and beginning my second. Studying the "Writer's Market". Getting back into physical activity (had a really bad sprained ankle at the end of May that's still healing).

    I won't bore you with the rest. But I look forward to what PBW will bring and offer in the new year. Happy Holidays! :)

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  7. I love the banner! 'Tis the season to redecorate, I did it, too. It's very nice, I like the new layout.

    I want to try a new genre in 2010. I've got a pen name, a URL, and some ideas to go with it. If nothing else, I'll learn something in the process.

    I also want to keep my options open and be flexible. I'm already doing something I never imagined in 2010, working with Carina Press. Who knows what else will come up.

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  8. I'll take up a form of training that will allow me to feel good about myself...

    (My training regimen o date has been driven too much by guilt. Not a good thing if you do it to actually better your health and wellbeing).

    I will finish at least one new book. And I'll try to find more ways to pitch my short stories. I'm just too lazy, usually, and end up with a bunch of them in a compilation (that is, admittedly, sold and published that way instead). My goal for the new year is to be published in at least three new places where I haven't been before :)

    -

    Congrats on the new look! It is wonderful! Simple and crisp.

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  9. Keita Haruka7:57 AM

    Well...I started a new job at the start of December. That's going to take up most of my time. What free time I will have will be spent with my partner. Online. Like we have been doing for the last two years. We're planning to meet up at Disneyworld this coming September, so everything I do this year will be geared toward making that happen. Everything else will be secondary. So I'll be preparing myself for "coming out" to my family...because there will be no more hiding my gayness or my involvement with my partner once I head off to meet him. :P So this year is a year of all work and no play until September. And after that...we'll have to wait and see.

    Good luck with your projects, and I hope your year keeps going like a Boeing. ;-)

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  10. Raine wrote: But I like the idea of keeping options open. And trying to become more disciplined--felt like I was all over the place this year just trying to survive.

    I know that feeling. Sometimes Publishing feels a lot like that island on Lost -- and I'm stranded on it. :)

    And to keep trying to improve my writing. I can't control the b.s., but I can definitely work on that.

    I'm really looking forward to the writing year, too. Coming off so many endings in 2009 was a bit depressing, but now I have some new beginnings to play with, and I always like moving in new directions.

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  11. Great and good changes to the blog Lynn...yay! The photo is relaxing.

    2010 - write more...stress less..exercise more...get DragonNaturally working better...meditate more...read more.

    Thank you Lynn for being here..I appreciate your time and efforts..it keeps me going. Just bought 'Way of the Cheetah' so I will not miss it. yay!....the Working Writer's planner...I am such a huge planner geek! love it.

    to everyone....May your new year be as you want it to be...full of Hope, Love, Happiness, Healthy and Prosperous for us all.

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  12. My goals for the year are:

    1)Write more and improve on the craft.
    2)Join Writer's group.


    I am keeping it simple. I love the changes to the blog! Happy New Year!

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  13. I want to improve my craft in 2010. I have such a clear vision in my head of how I think I should be writing, but it never comes out quite right. I will work hard, every day, to get better.

    Thanks for your amazing blog & all the support you offer your fellow writers. I hope 2010 brings you success, health & happiness.

    Best,
    Karen

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  14. Loved the planner, just ordered a copy. Happy New Year : )

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  15. I'm going to finish the two WIP I have going right now as well as work harder at moving forward with them. I slacked off on the finished WIP and really need to go through that once more.

    I'm going to buy that planner and try to get more organized. This past few months have been tough for me so I'm hoping I can make a new start.

    Thanks for all your advice, support, but most of all, your friendship. It means so much to me. I hope 2010 brings you the best of everything.

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  16. After years of dreaming but not doing, I want 2010 (the year I turn 50) to be the year I finally finish a draft of a novel. Hard to do when every "great" idea I have magically turns to crap when I actually start trying to write it. But what the heck.

    Thanks for all the info, encouragement, and support you offer through this blog. I hope 2010 is a banner year for you.

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  17. I've not made any lists or plans for 2010, other than to accept that I do some thing different than others, but that doesn't make my way wrong or bad. And I think just accepting that will make my life easier, and more productive in the long run. :)

    Sorry if you've answered this before, but do you have any plans to make WAY OF THE CHEETAH available to those of us outside the US? I'd love to read the complete book. :)

    Also, Loe the new header, is it one of your photos?

    And, HAPPY NEW YEAR! :)

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  18. I've been burned by failed goals too many times. This year, I'm going to continue with what I've been working on (writing, schooling kids, playing piano, reading), but more so and more consistently.

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  19. Heh...at first I thought I had the wrong blog when it loaded. I do love the banner. I thought I saw this picture over at your photoblog. Maybe. Probably wrong. Still a beautiful picture.

    My plans are simple compared to a lot of writers. Finish the final revisions on Brooklyn's story and send queries. I love to write but I have admit I'm not as wild about the query agents and editors part. Don't get me wrong, there are worst things out there. Like a root canal.

    I guess if I had a theme this year it would be to maintain happiness. I enjoy writing. I enjoy learning my craft. For me that stuff balances out the whole query process. But I've seen several of my friends start to burn out from the querying part. Or having an agent and no sales. I would hate to end up bitter and so consumed by the need to publish.

    Hm...not sure if I make sense. I hope so.

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  20. I've got a really good feeling about 2010. Whatever happens, I always take it as it comes. But this year will be great, maybe even life changing, I just know it...

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  21. Anonymous11:04 PM

    Well, for 2010 I will lose weight! Yep, I know the dreaded "weight loss resolution." However, as of Dec. 11th, I had the Lap-band surgery (my insurance covered it). So far, I have lost 21 pounds since Thanksgiving. I had to give up carbs (Shiloh, you can do it) limiting myself to just 30 carbs a day only. And now my portion size is much smaller. Before the surgery, I had reached 284 pounds. Now, 263 and dropping. Wish me luck in the New Year everyone!

    Lynn, love the new layout. A little confusing at first, but very attractive!

    Tami
    Jacksonville

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  22. AnnaM.5:00 PM

    This is my year in a chyrsalis. The year to, as my dad would put it, crap or get off the pot.

    This is the year to stop procrastinating and go into action.

    I haven't finished my list of decisions yet. Of what I really want to work on versus what I only think I want to work on that I really should and will just let go.

    I have a drawer full of novels at various stages. But some I need to put to rest and give myself permission to not feel guilty about abandoning them. The guilt is stifling.

    I'm going to try to concentrate on areas that aren't concrete--like strengthening family ties, health, acceptance, letting go, and redirecting my energy toward the future not the past.

    Next year, hopefully, will be my year of the butterfly.

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  23. I like the new look.

    My plans for 2010 are deceptively simple: Achieve a balance between what hubby wants me to do with him for us, and what I want to do for myself.

    And a few less processed carbs would be a good move as well.

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  24. Oh no! I only just found out about Way of the Cheetah today... how sad to find this place and that helpful guide, right after it's gone. :(

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  25. Anonymous1:07 PM

    I really hate to interrupt all these hints and writing suggestions, but I am a huge fan and have to ask when the next Darkyn book will be coming out, or if there will be a new book? I haven't seen anything about it at all. Did I miss something? Thanks for letting me interrupt...now get back to it...

    Toni
    Alabama

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  26. Toni wrote: I really hate to interrupt all these hints and writing suggestions, but I am a huge fan and have to ask when the next Darkyn book will be coming out, or if there will be a new book?

    No problem, Toni. The final book of the Darkyn series, Stay the Night, was published a year ago, but it's still available. My publisher told me to stop writing the Darkyn books, which were the bestselling series of my career, and write something new. That's why I'm now writing the Kyndred novels. :)

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