Sunday, 4 January 2009

2009 and the Big List From Hell

The beauty about taking a break from writing is that you come back feeling you’re invincible, positively buzzing in the knowledge that the items on the to-do list will be rattled off in machine gun fashion.

The reality, of course, is somewhat different. That list, which was already depressingly long, has only got longer in your absence and you haven’t got the first damn clue where to start.

So, back in the saddle after some fine festive fun in London and Norwich visiting Emma’s folks, it’s time for that list.

The 2009 to-do list*.

The following is most definitely not in the order in which they will be completed, but rather the order of importance, which, by the Quirky rules of procrastination, means anything is likely:

1. Send The Manx Giant to publisher. First draft is completed, work on second draft to start tomorrow, anticipated to be ready by January 31. Publication due for late 2009.

2. Finishing touches to young adult novel, working title Quackenbush, polish submission package and start hitting agents. Submissions to start April/May.

3. Finish text for Nemesis Publishing website, and set up associated blog, which will be a warts-and-all look at getting a small publishing business off the ground from scratch. Website and blog should be up and running by mid-January.

4. Publish first edition of Vertigo short story anthology through Nemesis. Currently working with authors on edits for selected stories, publication due November 2009.

5. Once Quackenbush is out doing the rounds, launch into next novel, the working title for which is Mr Stone. Aim is to have first draft of this completed by end of the year.

6. Complete a batch of short stories and submit to magazines/anthologies/competitions. I’ve never focused on the short story format, but looking forward to the challenge.

7. Develop script ideas – three in the melting pot, including two collaborations. Would like to have first drafts of two of the three finished by the time we’re singing Auld Lang Syne again.

8. Lose two stone in weight. No, I won’t be cutting off a leg. A daunting peek at the scales on Dec 31 told me I was the heaviest I’ve ever been, period. With the big four oh just 15 months away, I want to be down to my fighting weight by April 4, 2010. Hitting 40 is going to be challenging enough for my state of mind without looking like this. Two days in, and two pounds have been shed. So two stone should be a piece of cake, then. Hmm, cake...

There you have it – the magnificent eight. In addition, I've got a raft of freelance articles to write (first one finished yesterday) and front page stories to write over at Litopia.
If I can achieve all these goals during the coming 12 months, I’ll be stunned. But it’s going to be fun trying.

I’m off to lie in bed and wonder what I’ve missed off the list.

Happy New Year folks, and I hope it’s a good one for everyone – particularly those writers among you.


(*I reserve the right to throw my toys out of the pram and alter or delete any of the items on said list.)


Down the Rabbit Hole... said...

Oh good luck with the list John! I've made a list too - or rather brought last years list forward and tweaked it a bit ;)

Happy new year!


John Quirk said...

Cheers, Pippa - know exactly what you mean about sneaking lists forward...

Hope you have a great 2009 - meeting is on for this Thursday at Island Books, I'll drop everyone a line later.

Kate said...

Wow, that's quite some list!! Here's to achieving all our goals in 2009!

John Quirk said...

I'll drink to that, Kate (which, to be fair, isn't saying much. I'd drink to anything)

Emma Shortt said...

Good job you put the clause in at the bottom... that is quite a list!

Donna said...

You've been tagged. Not sure what the heck else I'm supposed to do about that fact! Blame Emma . . .

John Quirk said...

Emma, I know - eight days in and I'm already seven days behind...

Donna - we all seem to be going round in circles!