I’m quite lazy at heart. I’m driven, but I need a chauffeur. Since I need to set myself goals to ensure I finish things, I always make New Year’s resolutions. So here are my 2007 New Year’s resolutions.
I’m not to work so damn hard. Last year, I worked like a demon. I wrote everyday and usually didn’t stop writing until midnight. That’s not acceptable in 2007. I need time away from the keyboard. I want to play with my dog and I’d like to see my wife when she’s not asleep. It only recently occurred to me that I don’t have any outside interests. They were put on the back burner in 2006. That really sucks. I want some playtime. That said, I have a pretty busy schedule ahead. I have two novels out in 2007 that will need promoting. I became the president of the NorCal chapter of Sisters in Crime. I have Murderati and my newsletter to feed, not to mention a new novel to write. That’s more than enough to worry about, I think.
On the downside, I’ll being saying “no” a lot more often than usual. I hate disappointing people—it’s a horrible English affliction—but it has to be done. I’m looking forward to finishing up the current novel over the next couple of months and then taking a break for a month while I have some fun. My motto for 2007 is work, rest and play.
Now that I’ve got my foot in the door of New York publishing, I plan on cementing my presence there. I’ll be bringing my own concrete. I’m not sure how I’m going to achieve that but I think by writing the best damn books I can is a start, don’t you think?
I need to find an agent. I say this every year and fail in the task, but one of these years I’ll do it. Finding an agent represents one of my rolling goals that never seems to pan out. Sooner or later I have to roll a double six, haven’t I?
Finding an agent falls into my bucket of improbable but possible wants. Other things that rattle around in that bucket include getting published in Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock, Cemetery Dance and The Writer. Landing a hardback book deal is another as is seeing one of my books come out in audio format. A hardback book is the pinnacle showcase of a writer’s work. Having an audio version come out will make my mum happy. Like she always says, “I’m getting old and wills can be changed. So get cracking, boy.” I love you too, mum.
I want to do something new. I’ve always had a hankering to fence. No, not stolen goods, silly. There’s good money to be made, but the market is saturated with vendors at the moment. No, I mean fencing as in sword fighting. Since I can’t play soccer anymore, I need a new sport. I think it’s time to upgrade. When I was little I would fix a strainer to my head with rubber bands and duel my sister with broomsticks. Putting a weapon in my hand worries Julie. She doesn’t think I should be allowed anything sharper than a spork. You accidentally stab someone (twice) at a BBQ and suddenly everyone thinks you’re a danger to the human race.
Also I’d like to learn Spanish. I love visiting Central and South America and I’ve picked up a little Spanish along the way but I really should learn the lingo. So an evening off from writing could be spent learning Español.
I want to hang out with my little Julie. As I go into my 9th year of writing, my door has been closed off in the evenings and she doesn’t get to see me unless I’m sticking a manuscript in her hand. I’m planning on not working on weekends so that we can actually say hello and she can take the name badge off her chest.
2007 is going to be about a lot of hard work, but it’s also about getting my priorities right.
Happy New Year,
Resolved to earn a kiss from Joe Konrath…
Robert, you don’t know where Joe’s mouth has been…
Simon, you are exactly right that writing the best books possible leads to, well, everything else.
In this day and age of Nick Sparks and the myriad of small presses publishing almost anything, so many people are consumed with getting published or getting an agent, instead of writing as well as possible.
If you do that, most of the other stuff takes care of itself.
Here’s to a great 2007 for you!
And one more reso for you: take in an open-wheel event, somewhere, sometime, this year.
Simon — A friend and I have just signed up for beginner fencing at a local YMCA — cheap, although the equipment cost $140 before shipping. (My brother’s very concerned about the idea of me with arms and training, but too bad). It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and it’ll doubtless prove hilarious enough that I’ll be able to work out a couple of magazine stories on it. Like ballet, but with weapons. You should check it out.
Simon, you’re so focused and organized you scare me.
I can’t imagine that you won’t do all that and more, this year. I had no idea you didn’t have an agent (not that you’ve needed one, obviously) and think the only reason you don’t have one is that you haven’t really wanted one. But if you really do, I think we can fix that just fine at any one of these conventions this year.
Sounds like you’ve got your priorities just right, Simon.
But watch out for the fencing. Not only is it a killer on the thighs, but the electronic “hits” during a match leave bruises that make you look like you’ve been tasered.
Guyot: You should check the archives for “I want it now if not sooner” makes the point you made. Depends on what you mean by take in an event. It’s hard being on the wrong side of the pit wall and if I’m the right side of the pit wall, there maybe no going back…
Lisa: I’ll check out my local YMCA. Thanks for the tip…
Alex: I wouldn’t say I haven’t tried for an agent. I just haven’t clicked with the right person–or the right person has clicked with me…
Louise: Bruises are a small price to pay compared to my racecar injuries. 🙂
“Rest is the sauce of labor.” – Plutarch
I think you’ve earned it, Simon.
Simon, it’s a good list. I’m going to co-opt some of yours so I don’t have to write my own list.
Seriously, you seem to hit every mark you set for yourself. You’re a great role model for us newbies.
I said you probably haven’t truly *wanted* one, not that you haven’t *tried*!
I’m with JT – I’m just stealing some of your resos so I don’t have to make my own.
Actually “Write the very best books I can” pretty much covers it. Done!
I like that “write the very best books I can” is a damn fine reso.
You’ll attain all those goals, Simon. I’m sure of it.
If you decide to Habla Espanol, we can have some fun when next we see each other.