Monday, January 4, 2016

2016, Ready or Not

Last Thursday afternoon, I cleaned my writing desk off. I thought it would be great to start the new year with all those little things completed I'd let pile up like I always do when I'm in the middle of writing a new book. As I look at it this morning, more little piles have grown. Examples are my tax folders, 2015 deductions and incomes to be added, and the new 2016 to be created. Some secretarial work for one of my writers' groups and a short list of other things. So despite the 'clean' start to 2016, I'm kind of just where I left off on 2015. And that's okay.

I didn't finish the novel I'm working on by the end of the year like I wanted to, but I'm close. And I feel good how it's going and know it won't be long. And I'm going to clean the mess off my desk again, starting as soon as I finish writing this post.

"The secret of getting ahead is to get started." Mark Twain.

I'm sure most writers are thinking about setting goals for the year and that will be the subject of their first posts of the year. I mentioned many times that I'm more about making plans than setting any goals. And I do have plans and I'll share them on Wednesday. Why Wednesday? The first Wednesday of 2016 means IWSG! And it's a special day because the winners of the short story anthology will be announced. That's pretty exciting.

My plans including writing a lot and writing nearly every day. Other things will take up my writing time like blogging, promotion and other social media things writers have to do. But putting words together to tell a tale is my plan for 2016.

"Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life." Lawrence Kasdan

Many of you know that two of the small presses who had contracted my books closed last year. They are the first and many other publishers are struggling. Here's a link announcing the closing of another small press, Amber Quill, who have been around for a long time. They've been known for the professionalism and successes. I'm afraid of what the new year will bring down on the small presses working so hard to survive.

Cold  and flu season is upon us so remember to wash your hands and drink plenty of fluids. Stay home from work of you're sick and if you can, avoid the people who are ill. You know I'm a fan of The Old Farmer's Almanac so here's some advice for them on how to cure a cold.
Swallow a spider.  (I'd rather have a cold)
Stand on your head underwater. 

Question of the month from Michael G. D'Agostino at A Life Examined:
What New Year's resolutions have you set in the past?
I don't set resolutions but as I've said many times, I make plans. So many people don't keep their resolutions though I believe sticking with a good habit for a few weeks is better than not even trying so I admire people who try.

Are you ready for 2016? What is the craziest or most effective advice you're heard for curing a cold or the flu? Does the future of publishing in general and small presses in particular worry you?

50 comments:

  1. It is like having homework every night.
    Sad about the small press closing. Hope mine stays around for a while.
    And I'd rather have the cold as well.

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  2. I've come to accept that my desktop will probably never be totally cleared off. Unless I just shove everything into the drawers.... :)

    Happy New Year, Susan!

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    1. Don't underestimate the ease of stuffing things into drawers.

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  3. I attempted to clean off my desk on January 1st. I was...sort of successful. I mean, I'm doing all my editing in the living room, but you can tell there's at least a desk under all that paper in the other room. :)

    Sorry to hear about Amber Quill.

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    1. I cheat by having two desks at a right angle to each other. Usually I can see the surface of one of them.

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  4. I haven't heard too many wild things about curing a cold, other than I've done and it works this method when I think I'm getting a cold; I take in a lot of vitamin C (LOTS); like probably 10-20 tablets of the 500 mg over the course of a few hours. If I catch it early and do that, I usually can ward off a cold. I agree, I'm not swallowing a spider :)

    Seems like you have great plans ahead in 2016 for your writing and it is good that you did organize your desk last week to prepare for the new organization needed in this new year :)

    betty

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    1. I've heard the vitamin C thing. Lots of people believe that works.

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  5. I've heard sucking on lemons gets rid of a cold, but who really wants to do that?

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    1. That's a new one. Nay, I don't want to do that one.

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  6. I was so glad for 2015 to end that I can't be anything but ready for 2016.

    I hope you have a great year!

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    1. 2015 was good for us. Hope your '16 is better.

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  7. Hi Susan - you remind us of much ... cold and flu - taking care of our own health ... then being prepared - I must really sort out my goals and plans for the next few months ... good luck and here's to a healthy 2016 with lots of success - cheers Hilary

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    1. Healthy 2016 to you, Hilary. And safe travels because I know you'll be on the road a few times and entertain and educate us.

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  8. Stinks about all the small presses. I avoid the germs as much as I can haha no eating spiders though, I'll leave that to the cats.

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    1. I never get the cats eating bugs of all kinds. I love it when they jump straight up chasing flies.

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  9. How true that saying is. And I'm the worst planner ever. Maybe I should make that a resolution this year. Plan!

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    1. You can do your planning while you're waiting around on jury duty.

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  10. It sucks when small presses go under, since those are the places more willing to release really good, unique, not-mainstream-geared stories that bigger presses are too hesitant to take on. The last time I got a cold, I cured that with beer. Then again, I cure everything with beer. A very Happy New Year to you, and may your 2016 be awesome!

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    1. My husband thinks that's the cure too. Looking forward to your bigger and better blog plans for this year.

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  11. Just like writers need to write more, I need to paint more. I started a painting over the weekend. :)

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    1. Knowing what you need to do is half the battle.

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  12. Gosh, I really hope that my small press doesn't close down. They are one of the best, and I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have them.

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  13. My daughters and I have colds now. I don't think any of us are willing to swallow a spider, and even if we were, I don't think we could find one since it's 10 degrees outside. Then again, there's always the basement. Here, spidy!

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    1. LOL. I hate basements for that reason. I'd still rather have the cold than swallow those squirmy 8-leggers.

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  14. Its such a buzz ticking off a new year resolution. I'm working on optimizing the blog. I've updated hundreds of tags and in the process made several discoveries. Happy New year, Susan.

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    1. Groan. I have updating blogs on my list of to-do.

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  15. Piles of clutter just seem attracted to desks and can spring up overnight, kind of like mushrooms in damp places. I always make goals for the new year, but you're right. Plans are more important. Happy 2016 :)

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  16. Good plans lead to success. Here's to a prosperous 2016!

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  17. I am ready for the new year. I'm not sure about colds and flus; I just try to make it through. As for the industry, I think we'll definitely see a shift. Digital is strong, though I think there will always be a place for paperbacks if they're cheap enough. Hardcovers need to be not only functional as a sheath for a story, but also as a work of art in and of itself. Best of luck to you in 2016!

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  18. I did the same thing, cleaned up piles of clutter only to have new piles appear! I love both of the quotes you used, particularly Kasdan's. That one puts things into perspective. Therefore I can be assured of more piles of clutter being cleared away and more piles appearing!

    Happy New Year!

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  19. I did the same thing, cleaned up piles of clutter only to have new piles appear! I love both of the quotes you used, particularly Kasdan's. That one puts things into perspective. Therefore I can be assured of more piles of clutter being cleared away and more piles appearing!

    Happy New Year!

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  20. I wouldn't be swallowing any spiders either!!
    Sounds like you're going to have a great year - wishing you all the best! :)

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  21. I don't make resolutions. I set goals as I need to do so. Swallowing a spider reminds me that I haven't gotten my flu shot yet. A flu shot is much better than swallowing a spider.

    Love,
    Janie

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  22. Oregano oil helps . . . but if you ingest it, it tastes nasty and you have to make sure you have the pure stuff. Diffusing it is good, and at least is more pleasant to smell than taste.

    And, I think standing on my head in water is essentially what a cold feels like so . . . I'm not sure how that's a remedy. :)

    Happy new Year! I make goals more than resolutions because they actually work. My favorite resolution shared by our Pastor this last Sunday: to finish a whole chapstick, instead of losing it first. :)

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  23. I too have veered away from resolutions in favour of plans. In fact, my last two posts are on that very subject.

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  24. Happy January!
    I'll stick with the cold, thank you very much!

    I need to write, write, write!

    I'll see you on Wednesday!

    Heather

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  25. Hope you have a very productive 2016! I like the idea of making plans instead of goals. Seems like one would be more determined to follow through with a plan, since it can be far too easy to shrug off a failed goal!

    And wow, that's really sad to hear about all the small presses that have been struggling. Really makes one wonder what the future of publishing in general will be like...

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  26. My goals are more short-term, such as finish a novel and sub it, then move on to the next. And the next. :)

    I'm also in need of a local crit group! I'm hoping to find one or gather some local people together for a regular meeting. I miss those face-to-face get togethers.

    Sad to hear about Amber Quill. I am worried about smaller pubs.

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  27. Yes, you really need to be motivated to see resolutions through!

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  28. Former Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers president Mark Stevens has a post at the RMFW blog today about the hitches and glitches that have occurred in his publishing life and how he managed to pull himself and his series out of the swamp. It's at rmfw.org if you're interested.

    I am hitting the ground running in 2016 to try and make up for my less-than-happy-and-productive 2015. Well, okay, not really running. I'm walking carefully but purposefully. :D

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  29. Great post Susan, my desktop is in shambles at the moment.
    I am finishing my book so that is the reason for poems everywhere.
    Yvonne.

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  30. Your desk sounds like mine, I try to keep my piles organized and eventually put in their rightful places, but it usually turns into one big mound. And I always choose to organize my desk at a moment when I have a bigger project going on. I also prefer making plans or goals instead of resolutions.

    I've had some cold or sinus issues the past few days, and I have just been recommended with the usual chicken noodle soup, tea with honey, and lots of rest.

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  31. Here's to some good writing in 2016! That's the part we can control, just wish things weren't quite so precarious for small presses. Amazon is dominating everything. As for this year, I just hope to write every day too.

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  32. I don't do resolutions either. I do have some plans, though:)

    I have two absurdly high piles of paper beside my desk needing to be filed. I'm pretty sure I need to include that in my "plans."

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  33. Great quote on getting started...even if for you it almost looks the same. Keep writing as much as you can!!

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  34. Plans are the best--they're more concrete.

    For me sleep is the best thing for curing cold and flu. I picked up something over the holidays and that was rather aggravating. My wife drove more on the way home so I could sleep and we drove less everyday so we could get more sleep in our hotels each night. I slept a lot after I got home. I'm feeling much much better now.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  35. I think it's great that you commit to writing and get it done. I'm just finding it so hard because I get so distracted so easily. Still it's something I can at least try to do more often than just not!

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  36. My Dad taught me that a bottle-cap full of scotch in a glass of warm milk just before bed was great for clearing up the sinuses overnight. I tried it twice, the first time it worked like an absolute treat. The second time it got worse :P

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