Monday, 23 January 2012

I couldn't possibly comment

Usually I try to reply to comments as they arrive, but Blogger is not letting me add comments on my own blog right now! Thanks to everyone who has commented on yesterday's post. Hopefully normal service will be resumed soon.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

When more is less

After an intense month of writing I am just coming up for air. Every year I tell myself I must send out more work than I did the previous year. But why do I let myself be tyrannized by numbers? With the demands of the day job it's not realistic to keep increasing my output - or at least, not without sacrificing other things.

I am not a very accomplished pianist. To be honest, I am not even a competent one. I had lessons for a short while, until it became too much of an expense. Since then I've been noodling around on my own. Except, I haven't. Last year I hardly touched the piano because I was trying to meet my self-imposed writing targets. Now I realise how much I've missed the relaxation of tinkling away to myself. I'm also cross that I've become so out of practice and can't manage tunes I could play a year ago.

Of course it's fantastic to have stories published. And being paid for them still seems nothing less than a miracle. But I notice that in my case, increased output doesn't necessarily lead to more acceptances. And if I am focusing too much on numbers, then I lose some of the enjoyment of writing. So although it's nearly the last week of January I am adding some new resolutions.

1. I will be happy if I only submit one story a month as long as the stories I do send out are absolutely my best work.

2. Concentrate on the markets where I tend to do well, rather than waste time trying to fit my writing to magazines that don't suit my style.

3. Write what I enjoy instead of always thinking of what is commercial.

4. Don't lose touch with other life enhancing things, e.g music, friends, and spending time in the great outdoors.

How is your January going so far? Any resolutions made, broken or revised?

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year News

Merry New Year from Harvey and me.

I always begin January full of beans, writing and submitting in a frenzy of good intentions. But it's oh so hard to keep that up once spring comes and the weather improves. My challenge for 2012 is to hang onto my New Year momentum beyond crocus time.

To do this I am going to have to be much stricter about using any spare minutes constructively. So, I, Joanne Fox, hereby declare I shall only visit Facebook every other day. I am also resisting the urge to rearrange my study yet again. There's an irritating chap called General Clutter in there, and all my attempts to evict him have been in vain. Therefore I hereby recognise that rearranging the study is another displacement activity, rather than a way of achieving anything. Shut that door!

Now I can share some positive news to kick off the year. As a result of entering the Earlyworks Press short story competition in 2011, I will have my story included in their competition anthology. I know I shall be in some good company, and congratulations to the overall winner.

Here's to less faffing about in 2012!