Goal Oriented

Well, it’s been quite a while since I posted here. This is because I am bad at blogging. I have a hard time making myself put the words out there for people to read. I call myself a champion lurker.

This is changing, though, because I have decided that it will.

A number of things have happened since I last posted here. I appeared as a panelist for the first time at Legendary ConFusion in Detroit in January, which was a lot of fun. Then in February, my father (Ron Collins) and I went out to the Oregon coast to attend a week-long workshop with Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. In the lead-up to this workshop, we had to write six short stories for six different Fiction River anthologies in six weeks. A short story a week, basically.

I’ve heard people talk about writing a short story a week before, and was always skeptical that I could do it. Well, this workshop tossed me into the deep end of the challenge. Lo and behold, not only can I do it, I’m actually kinda decent at it. Sure, some of those stories could have used an extra round of polish, but the whole story was there, on the page.

And two of them were purchased by the editors of those anthologies. My story Gambler’s Fallacy will be appearing in Fiction River: Risk Takers, edited by Dean Wesley Smith, in February of 2015, and my story Frostburnt will appear in December’s Fiction River: Pulse Pounders, edited by Kevin J. Anderson. My dad also sold a story to Pulse Pounders, so we’ve got the father-daughter take-over of the table of contents going on there.

Oh, and there’s an unpublished Frank Herbert story in that one, too. No biggie.

The other four stories from the workshop are still floating around looking for homes.

The main thing I took away from the workshop experience, I think, other than getting to meet a ton of amazing professional writers, is that I can do this. I just have to apply myself. Now, that’s easy enough to do when the deadline, the goal, is coming from something outside yourself, e.g., this workshop with its weekly deadlines for turning in stories, but goals that you set for yourself are a different beast. It’s a lot easier to say “I’ll do this tomorrow” on a deadline you set yourself.

So I got back from the workshop and decided to see if I could set myself some writing goals and meet them. I had that novel I started back in November, the sequel to my first novel, Singer, that had just been sitting collecting dust for the past few months. The whole story was plotted out, so all that was left to do was write it.

I set myself the goal of two chapters a week.

the first two weeks went very slowly, and I ended up a little behind. I just wasn’t into it. I’d let the story sit for so long, I wasn’t excited about it anymore.

Then, week three hit, and I wrote three chapters.

Week four, I finished the novel.

I wrote nine chapters. I also cranked out another short story that week. I think I wrote about 25,000 words in this week.

So, yeah, I can meet my goals.

Therefore, I have made my blogging goal to post once per week. I want to talk to you all about my writing, about being a new writer, and about how I’m figuring this whole thing out as I go along.

If I can pull off a 25,000 word week, I can manage a little blog post.



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