We Wish You A Merry Christmas #awkward

As I get older and the years start to fly by rather than dragging along in a dubious attempt to convince me that time is most definitely not relative, I have to marvel at just how quickly Christmas has come round this year. It didn’t seem so long ago that I set myself a few quite simple targets at the start of 2015: write more, read more, make the effort to submit to more markets, and be more selfish with doing things I want to do. Evidently, this last one seems at odds with the general spirit of Christmas and family, being scrooge-like in the broadest sense of the word…

Alas, I failed miserably at all of these.

Arguably, I did submit more of my stuff at the beginning of the year, but the results took the best part of 2015 to filter through and had a familiar ring to them: more rejections. In truth, I’m not bitter about these (a tad disappointed, maybe) and the rejections this year were a lot more positive: a couple of small press publishers suggesting my work may not be quite right for them, but confident I would be able to place it ‘in the right market’. Even Analog got back to me to say there was nothing wrong with my writing, and invited me to try again with something ‘carrying a more positive and upbeat message’. My problem is laziness – I have a lot of stuff well overdue a rewrite/edit, and many more ideas swimming around the la-la land that is my gradually diminishing memory. “One day they’ll all come flooding out…” is the mantra of somebody already a long way down the path of defeat, and it’s a tough thing to fight against once you’re on that particular road. I wrote significantly less this year, and while writing (fiction) has never been easy, at least not for those who want to do it ‘right’ -to do justice to their original vision or concept- I’m sure many a writer will tell you that the finished product is never quite what they originally envisaged anyway. ‘Real’ writers put these things behind them and move on to the next thing, the rest of us would rather agonise and procrastinate, bemoaning how tough it all is in a manner very similar to what I’m doing right now. Recognising this is merely the first step, doing something about it is the hard part. “One day…” 😉

A few years back I started keeping a record of all the books I’d read or listened to on Audio CD, and although I don’t have the details to hand, I am quite sure I read less this year than last (but ironically, suspect I reviewed more either through the BFS, the BSFA or my column in BTS Reviews magazine?). This is annoying – much as I enjoy reviewing what I read (be it good or bad), the elephant in the room is consistency. I resolve to fix that in 2016 by (a) reading more, and (b) utilising this blog.

And finally, my attempts at being more selfish with my time also failed big-time. There are so many DVDs/ films/TV series and ‘stuff’ I want to watch, so many books I still want to read (or catch up with), and so much more of Tamriel/Elder Scrolls I’d like to explore… Of course, I have a family to spend time with too, and completely at odds with being selfish, I enjoy doing things with them too – there is simply not enough time (or money) in the world to achieve all these things, however. So, is there a quick all-in-one fix for this? “Ditch the family/books/films/games/writing,” I hear you cry [delete as appropriate]… Screw that – to do any of those things is to give up hope, and that’s one thing I don’t ever want to do. Let’s see what 2016 brings…

Have yourself a very Merry Christmas one and all, but please don’t hurt anyone else along the way…

Advertisements