2016 Writing Goals

In a recent post on her 2016 blogging goals, Damyanti Biswas recommended her peers join one of her online writer’s groups. Her suggestion has inspired me to consider my own writing goals for the coming year.

My primary ambition has nothing to do with blog stats, word counts, or other personal accomplishments. I’m defining success in 2016 by my ability to make connections, both online and interpersonal, with other writers. For too long I’ve been trying to do this all on my own, imagining I was some genius lone wolf who just needed some time in a quiet room in order to find the success I seek. And a computer. Financial independence, as well. Someone to clean the house, cook my meals . . .

Oh, sorry! Where was I — oh yeah, my fantasy writing life, where all I need is myself. One of the valuable lessons I’ve learned since I’ve started blogging is that writers support, and learn from each other. Successful bloggers don’t just write, they read, and comment on other blogs. There is a social aspect to blogging, and writing in general, that I have been almost entirely missing.

That changes in the coming year. Already joined that group Damyanti recommended, will also beat the bushes in my area to find a face-to-face writer’s group. I’ll join, and contribute, to as many groups as my energy can sustain. And I’ll be posting comments and fowarding links on a much more regular basis.

And, of course, posting here daily. Have another chapter or three for my novel to draft, and will take the NaNoWriMo challenge again in November for another round of revisions.

All of a sudden, I realize there’s a lot on my plate this year. Going to be difficult at times, but writing is the only work I’ve ever wanted to do. Looking forward to pushing myself, and hope you’ll enjoy this ride.

Ancestry

Corngoblin just posted an elegy to his laptop, and has invoked the ghost of a story idea from many years ago.

Knew going in that the few hundred in obsolete computer parts and hours of online research, could have easily proved fruitless. Zeroes and ones, stored on thin magnetic circles enclosed in flimsy plastic sleeves, ancestors of today’s USB drives like a horse-drawn carriage is to a Ferrari. How long can this technology store data reliably — a year? Two? Five?

Twenty-nine seemed a stretch, I knew that going in. But the moment I found that box of floppies — instinct had compelled me to sort through the carton I had lugged around unopened through I can’t recall how many moves, their data created on a computer with a proprietary OS, both long abandoned — there was no choice for me but to explore whether their data could be restored on a modern system (Yes!) and if my PC maintenance skills were still sharp (Of course!). A journey that’s lead to this moment, reclining back into my home office chair as the first floppy (labeled 1987) spun noisily in its drive, the sound like a small animal squeaking with exertion, followed by the names of forgotten files dancing on the flat screen:

BUDGET.87

CHRCTRS (my abbreviation for Characters, working within the 8.3 naming restriction)

CHRCTRS2

CHRCTRS.OLD

DARNOLD (Darn Old? D Arnold?)

Thirty-four files on this floppy, the first of seventeen. Digital artifacts from a younger version of myself, a me I can barely remember. Someone less secure, yet more confident than the person I imagine myself to be now. Less afraid to take chances, make mistakes, of which he made many. Less inhibited, especially when writing.

Am I ready to confront that person who used to be me?

A rhetorical question at this point, for sure. But one worth asking, as I right-click my budget file for 1987 and select Open.