Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Short days and long To-Do lists

By Tamara Girardi

With Christmas only a few days away, it seems like my list of tasks is growing, and the days are getting shorter. That's not completely true. Days will start getting longer now, but I think I'd need an extra few hours to really see an impact.

Maybe you're like me. Or maybe you're one of those super impressive folks who has everything lined up days, or even weeks in advance. If you are, I salute you (and find you a complete enigma).

If you're not, I'm going to help you out. I'll keep this post short.

This year was a good one. I met some great people at writing conferences and in my PhD program. I have completed more than half of the coursework for my PhD program, revised one manuscript and drafted another. Just this month, I submitted my revised manuscript to several agents, and I'm planning a revision schedule for the other novel.

There is always more to do, and I'll be doing it in 2011. But we rush through days, weeks, and months always looking at what's left on the To-Do list rather than looking at the things we've crossed off. So before we get to those pesky resolutions, take a few minutes to tell me about what you've done this year. What have you accomplished? How have you spent your time? And how will you mark the year 2010 for the future?

Happy holidays to all of you...!


Gina said...

Tamara -

It sounds as if you're juggling a lot, but have things under control.

For me, as 2010 draws to a close, I remain a highly unsuccessful fiction writer, although I'm beginning to feel much more comfortable in the role of highly unsuccessful screenwriter as well. I revised several novels and short stories written earlier, including a novel [Four Weekends] that I submitted to an agent and had rejected again. I completed two feature-film length screenplays, one a collaboration, for which I am still holding out a lot of hope. If one (or both!) of those gets filmed, I will look back on 2010 as the year I wrote it. I'm also working on two shorter screenplays, one of which is a collaboration (see my post from Monday for the details). This is also the year I took a class, Acting for the Camera, which has turned out to be one of the most horrifyingly scary things I've ever done. It's also been very creatively stimulating - something about facing those basic fears.

I'm sure I've done some other things - earn a living, acquire a second cat, etc., but I'll keep to the writing stuff for here.

Tamara said...

Gina, sounds like you are very busy as well. That amounts to lots of writing. Nice job. I think I'd be terrified with an acting class as well...

We all want the big news, but I believe that all of this matters, and it will continue to matter in the coming years. My two cents anyway...

Annette said...

2010 ranks right up there as one of the worst years of my life. Seven months of having an unemployed husband underfoot did a real number on my homelife. But things are looking up with Hubby in a new job that he's gradually getting used to.

As for me, I saw a couple of articles published, have receieved a contract for another, learned that the Guppies anthology, of which one of my stories is part, has found a publisher... And there is one other potential bit of news that a few of you are privvy to, but I'm making everyone else wait, since nothing is definite just yet. How's that for a tease???

Jennie Bentley said...

That's just plain mean, Annette. Just so you know.

2010 hasn't been too great of a year for me either. The economy's been scary, the husband's been worried, and I've been drifting more than I like. On the other hand, it was the year when my 'baby' - A Cutthroat Business, the first book I wrote - saw publication (along with DIY-3, Plaster and Poison). I hit at least one bestseller list and wrote three books that will be appearing in stores in years to come. We're all healthy and at least reasonably happy, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much. As long as we've got life and health, we can always pursue happiness, right?

Patg said...

I thought it would be great with the publication of my first book, Downsized To Death, however I had several deaths in family and amoung friends, so I've been a bit stunted. I have 4 novels started.
I hope to make a major effort to get at least one of them finished.

Tamara said...

Admittedly, there were some rough spots in the year. Many of you were there to support me through them, and I thank you for that.

But among the losses and challenges, there has clearly been a lot of writing success. Congrats to all of you for that, and thanks for sharing.

Gina said...

Ah,yes, the deaths - two friends from dream-sharing groups, one earlier this year, one earlier this month. There's an intimacy with dream groups that's akin to writers groups - your deepest secret selves peep out and make connections. I'll miss them both.