Reverb13 Day 8: What Went Right.

What went right in 2013?

I’m sort of a pessimist at times, I maintain with reason. But this year I can’t deny that a lot of my writing went right. (Not really liking the homonyms in one sentence, but there is no other way to put it.)

I say this about my writing even though I didn’t achieve one specific goal I set for myself at the start of the year. But first, let’s talk about what I did achieve.

In January, I wrote the following list of writing goals:

Write the fifth and sixth draft of my novel, Flowers for Dionysus

I’ve talked about my novel many times here on the blog. I’ll be revising it again come New Year, but I achieved both of these drafts within the span of 2013. Plus, one of them was reviewed by a small group of writers. I didn’t like everything they said, and will be ignoring some of it, but they did provide me with some useful information for the future revisions. (Which I hope to be done with next year.)

Write ten short stories.

I actually exceeded this by a few. Mostly as part of a collection of ten short stories about a theatre which will be a sort of companion piece to my novel. But also one or two single-shot stories. I know that a dozen or so doesn’t sound like much, but for me, a more methodical and at times plodding sort of writer, it was a fair goal. Looking back, I probably could have written more than a dozen. But there is always next year.

Each of those stories has also been through a revision or two this year. That wasn’t technically on the goal list, but it’s satisfying to have gotten that far with most of them.

Draft a one-man stage show.

Did it. My one man Shakespeare-based show will still require some work, but I did get the research and the first few drafts of it done this year. In theory it should be ready for me to perform sometime next year.

Now to what I did not get done:

Finish the first and second drafts of Novel 2.

As many of you who follow this blog on a regular basis already know, the status of so called Novel 2 has been unstable to say the least. I won’t explain all of it again here, as I have done that about a thousand times. Just do a search for “Novel 2” on this blog, and you’ll be caught up on that saga. Suffice to say I have had to seriously rework and reconsider that project. I have not abandoned it. But I have taken an extended leave from it due to some of the difficulties. So I did not accomplish a first or second draft. But I hope to next year.

Then there are the things I accomplished with my fiction writing this year that were not specific goals, but in a sense make up for the one I missed:

-I wrote two other novels this year that I didn’t expect to write. One was a ghost writing job for which I got paid. (Eventually.) The base material was atrocious and the man that hired me was about as unprofessional and inconsiderate as they come. (No wonder his screenplays have not been turned into film; they are trash.) But I did the best I could with what I had, and frankly my story is better than his could ever hope to be with the same material, even though he didn’t think so.

This novel was on the short end, because again the source material was pure drivel. But I did write a novel, nobody can deny me that.

Then there was last month’s Nanowrimo, which I have also talked about several times. For the first time ever I completed the entire novel in November, with almost no planning ahead of time at all. That went better than I thought it would. So much so, I am considering revising it once or twice, and publishing it myself, depending on how solid I think the first draft is. (I will read it in January.)

But whether I go forward with that novel or not, I finished it. Which means I wrote two novels this year. Not two of the longest novels out there, and nothing compared to some prolific writers, but for me, having written two novels within the course of a year is quite the accomplishment.

Actually, having written two novels, edited a third, written a dozen short stories and a stage show is quite the accomplishment, if I may say so myself. It wasn’t always pretty, and I don’t know what the future holds for any of the writing. But I can say that my fiction production for the year is something that went right, for certain.


  1. Kat McNally

    Congratulations, Ty!

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