Scott Andrew Bailey
That kind of sums up my approach to 2020, particularly to writing.
2019 was not overly productive for me. I curated and edited some old work into a new collection – Andervayne’s Dream. I also continued to try and market my existing books, Mankind Limited, A Spring of Dreams and Thirteen Tales of Ghosts. Not to much success.
All this has mean that along with the demands of life, many family illness and dealing with a son with Autism, I have not had much time to actually write anything new. I have kept my blog alive by reposting old work daily.
I tried NaNoWriMo, but again, due to life commitments and stress, did not complete it – though I did come out of it with five drafts of short stories.
So. New years resolutions!
Firstly, it should be noted I have 100% failure rate on these. I can make goals and get there, just not new years resolutions. I think this is because I tend to try and make big life changing ones.
So this year I am going to do two things. One, I am making them public, here and now. Hopefully that will give me kick up the backside to actually complete them. Secondly, I am making them a bit more modest.
So this is my plan for 2020.
One poem a week.
One short story a month
Enter one competition or submit to one publication per month.
These are reasonable and well within my capabilities. 52 poems and 12 short stories. I have done far more that that in a shorter time before.
The other big difference will be that I will not be posting them on my blog. I am keeping them unpublished so I can use them to submit to competitions and publications.
Which means, this blog will be a lot quieter this year.
Less noise, more action.
If it is a tale of a farmhand, dreaming of the landowners daughter, becoming a knight and facing trials amongst fantastical creatures. This might be the place for you
If it is the tale of two magical lover’s, dancing on a cloud, maybe you have found the moment to pause and take note.
If it is the tale of a knight’s rebellion against oppression, wait a while.
If you want to explore the ins and outs of ambitious courtiers and their magic, one step too far, then wait awhile
Step into my realm of dreams awhile.
Perhaps into the future – a near-future – dark and disturbing and yet – so close. There, follow the fates of four people worn down and broken, angry with the system. Who break out of it, try to break it. Who question why they did and falter in their resolve only to be thrown back into the fray. Who discover the truth within themselves. A tale that questions rebellion and its motivations while railing at the oppression around us.
Or if not the future – then other worlds – supernatural ones – that impinge onto ours from – where? Some other dimension? The afterlife? Our own minds?
Where ever they come from – try these Thirteen Tales of the ghostly variety.
Or forget them all and take a moment each day – to read a little poetry and think. Three hundred and sixty-five poems in all shapes and sizes sprung from dreams and emotion. Published day after day for a year. There are haiku, sonnets, katauta, lanturnes and many other forms – including free form. The moods are as varied as the forms and often reflect my mood on the day. There is sadness and grief, joy and love and much more
Or take in something longer, deeper and more considered. Buck the trend for quick gratification and enjoy something epic.
The poems in this collection were written over a long period and for different purposes. They are varied but they are all long. And they all represent challenges. Each was a challenge to myself, to sustain a quality of writing for a long period and within tight constraints of form while still telling a story. They also represent and challenge to the reader. The throw off the pressure of everyday life, the pressure to hurry, hurry, hurry to take the time to read something, absorb it over time.
Such effort needs reward, these poems should not be a one-time quick fix. If the reader is going to put that effort in then there should be a payoff, they should be able to continue to get something from it afterwards. Whether that be from contemplation of what they have digested or from revisiting, rereading and seeing things they missed the first time around. So the final challenge to me was to provide this depth of content – not just quantity.