Tuesday, December 20, 2011


 This post will also be found in Tehachapi's The Loop Newspaper.  
It's that time of year again. Time for New Year's Resolutions. Popular resolutions include: losing weight, saving money and managing stress. But I'm making slow progress on the first two and the last one doesn't apply to me too often. Only when one of Tehachapi Community Theatre's shows takes over my life. And that's generally short term and voluntary.

People also resolve to quite smoking, but I never have. Another common resolution is to drink less. I don't drink much, maybe the equivalent of a bottle of wine a month. And I don't really need a “better education.” Which I interpret as formal education. I've got more of that than I can currently use. As for informal education, I never seem to get enough of that. I don't need a resolution to keep me learning.

So what should I resolve? Well there is one thing that has been weighing heavily on me lately. And that is, the time I have for writing.

I've had some pretty good success writing this last year. I had several poems published in various magazines and anthologies. I had a couple of my ten minute plays make it into the finals of a couple of the ten minute play contests and festivals. And I was able to keep my self going through almost every issue of The Loop for these “Lost in the Stars” pieces.

But I feel I need to do more. I have a book that needs editing. And some other, longer, scripts to finish up. Short stories and screenplays to work on. Some of it I think is pretty good.

But what I have trouble doing is finding the time to do the writing. I am pretty busy. With work and the theatre, a writing group, and other hobbies. So when I do have some free time, I can squander it due to being tired.

But there's still a bit of fear. That's right, fear. Of what I write not being good enough. Rejection never feels very good. And it is all too common for writers. I still have a pile of rejections letters from when I submitted some short stories several years back.

But the thing is, rejection isn't what it used to be. In the past, if you wanted to get your word out, you had to find a magazine or book publisher to print your words. But today it is easy to create an ebook and sell it online. Or use a print-on-demand (POD) service to create and sell printed copies of your books.

I have started to look into these options and may well try to use them to get more people to see my writing. Though how people will find these books is hard to imagine. There are numerous sources for ebooks and POD books, and a lot of the ones I've seen really aren't that good.

But maybe that's what I'm needing. I have kept this one book on my shelf for a few years now. One that was simply bad. And I always thought, “you know, if that got published, there will always be hope for me.” 

So this next year, I'm going to make more time for writing. This might mean that I can't spend as much time doing some of the other things I like to do. Unless I can figure out how to combine them. Maybe I need to work on a cookbook. Or a book on the natural history of Tehachapi. Or... 

You know, I don't think I've narrowed things down a bit.

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