It’s not QUITE new year anymore, but still – it’s nearer the beginning of the year than the end of it, so I think a looking a-head post is still relevant. After all, isn’t that what January is about? A cleansing of the festive sugars and a looking ahead to what the year might bring?
January is a month of conflict. On one hand – we’re eager to make a new start, enacting our resolutions and showing the world a ‘brand new us’, an us that means business, and on the other hand – we’re adapting back to normally after the up and down of December, dealing with bugs and cold weather. My January is spent feeling sluggish, but propelled forwards by the feeling that what I do now will make me extremely happy later in the year. Whether it’s starting a new project, sharing work to be reviewed, networking with new publishers, or just sitting and planning a year’s worth of writing wonderment – this is the stuff that will make the rest of your year something to be proud of.
I’ve spent much of January lost in a world of Science Fiction. Having been accepted as one of two featured poets in Shoreline of Infinity (March 2018), I’ve been writing more little prose-poems in the same vein. Some are to send to Shoreline to see if they want these as well as the work they’ve already accepted, and others are to another Science Fiction submissions call. It’s been a fascinating exercise, and I’ve been refreshing my A-Level Physics with mini lessons on the four fundamental forces, radioactivity, UV, and – what exactly is a muon anyway? Hopefully I’ll hear back from them soon.
I’m also waiting to hear back from a few chapbook publishers – the chances are slim of them all being accepted, but I’m always more hopeful when casting out more than one rod. I’ve definitely learnt that about myself – I’m at my happiness when I have a spreadsheet of activity, all nicely recorded, showing the submissions in all their stages of development. Luckily I can mentally compartmentalise these projects – so it’s not overwhelming! My advice to you is submit, submit, submit. The more you submit, the more rejections don’t mean so much. Rather than pin your hopes on one project, this method means you’ve always got something ongoing to bring you hope.
I also initiated a collaboration in December which I’m EXTREMELY excited by. It’s always a bit nerve-wracking approaching another artist/writer to work together, but luckily honestly and humility must come across as endearing. 😉 Fingers crossed that this little book will progress and it’ll be something beautiful to behold. The artist involved is someone I’ve admired for a very long time, so to see her paint some of the little stories I’ve dreamed up will feel surreal, to say the least.
But overall, this year I’m going to try and be savvy. As I mentioned, I often throw out 10 fishing lines – hoping to catch fish on 2 or 3 of them. Sometimes more than half hook a fish and then priorities can be muddled. So I’m going to be clever in where I fish, and when, so that one day, if all 10 lines wiggle into action I’ll have everything ready to reel them all in at once.