Saturday, January 1, 2011
New Year's Resolutions by Terry Burns
1/1/11, how cool is that?
The only time I was able to do a very good job of making and keeping New Year's resolutions was the year I resolved to not make any more fool resolutions I couldn't keep. I've kept that one for many years.
But this year is different. Maybe I do need to make one and keep it. Oh, I could make one about my walk of faith or my service to the Lord, but to be honest, that's something I work on all the time and constantly try to improve on.
This one is writing related. I spent so much of my time this year representing my clients, and going to and presenting programs at 24 conferences and a number of other events, that I virtually gave up on my own writing. I really don't want to do that and plan in the coming year to build in a little writing time myself.
What do I plan on writing? I write inspirational fiction and have a lifelong fondness for the old west. But even though I like that time period I don't really write westerns, more like historicals, and I tend to have many more female readers than male. I suppose I'll continue to tell the stories I find on my heart to tell, and I imagine they will continue to be fast-paced, simple little tales. Ernest Hemmingway I'm not.
Some of my tales have made it into print and been fairly well received. I have others that have made the rounds and have never found a home. I don't believe in doing major renovation to a story on the basis of a turndown or two. That is, after all, only one person's opinion of whether it fits their market or not. But when one has been looked at by a number of people, particularly if some of the turndowns share common threads, then there is probably a problem with the work itself that needs to be addressed. I have a few of these that probably need to be rethought. Not tossed away, as the story idea is not bad, but maybe needs a fresh approach. Maybe needs to be written from the ground up. I may revisit some of these in the coming year.
I've also tried my hand at something new, and while those new efforts have not borne fruit yet, I suspect they will be revisited in the year ahead. One thing about working as an agent is that I am sent a number of things that encourage me in my writing. That cause me to think I'm better than that. Oh, but my goodness I get so many others that make me think these people write so much better than I do, what makes me think I can write? Apart from the agent function, as a writer that's quite a range of emotions. I suppose as I set aside time to do some writing I have to divorce myself from that process entirely. It isn't about how I compare to other writers, good or bad. It is only about what I have to say myself and what I have to offer. I just have to tell my little tales and let the Lord decide whether he has a place for them or not.
I just know I still have stories on my heart to tell, and I represent a wonderful group of people who have such stories as well. I'm going to do my best to help them get their words out in the coming year . . . and maybe a little of my own as well.
What does the new year hold for you?