When In Doubt, Revise

Recently, I had coffee (decaf) with a friend whom I haven’t chatted with in a while. When we got onto the topic of business plans, I had mentioned to him that I might not bother with one for 2018 as I don’t seem to hit my deadlines. Life gets in the way, and sometimes I get in my own way.

I told him, I had wanted a first draft of The Starry Rise done by the end of October, for Halloween. To date, I’m three quarters through the draft, taking a break through the winter holidays before heading back to the keyboard and pounding out an ending that not only completes the story in this volume, but completes the trilogy as well. When I get back to writing (after Boxing Day), my goal is to have the first draft done by the end of January, which is doable yet not my original plan.

My friend candidly told me, “Revise your business plan.”

Yeah, duh! I thought at first, except he’s right.

In fact, his advice reminded me that in writing, I already follow this advice and don’t come down on myself for it. When I’m uncertain about sentence structure, punctuation, or any piece of writing that doesn’t quite work, I research it. And if I still can’t figure it out and remain doubtful about the usage, I revise it to something else that is doable and often more effective.

“When in doubt, revise,” is now firmly lodged into my obsessive mind.

As I think about my plans for 2018, which was to attend as many events as financially feasible, I’m already discovering that some of those events are defunct; others conflict with each other, falling on the same weekend; and another is being held in Florida this year and not in Toronto like I initially thought.

The year hasn’t even started and I’m being forced to reconsider this approach, and I keep wondering if what I want to do is tenable. The big conventions are certainly costly, both in time and money, but the opportunity to hang out with writer friends and learn more about the industry and the craft is undeniably appealing.

So I’m revising, as per my friend’s advice. I’m not sure what events will come about, but at this point, I plan to do two literary conventions, Limestone Genre Expo in May and Ad Astra in July, and the Cambridge Comics Art Festival later on in the year. As for other events, I’m still sorting out details and will update the Events & Appearances page accordingly.

I will launch The Starry Rise next year, come hell or high water, and will focus on writing shorter stories. And if my novelette, The Arrest in Mannequin Row, ever makes its way through the submission cue at Alfred Hitchcock’s Magazine and is rejected, I may publish it under my imprint Eager Eye Books and add it to the others, Spider Spun and The Cannibal’s Handbook, which are both being revised into shinier, snazzier new editions.

In the new year, new additions to The Xiinisi Pronunciation Guide will be posted, and it may be time for me to start voicing my observations, opinions, concerns, and whatnot about this crazy path I’m on.

In the meantime, enjoy the winter holidays, and afterward, starting Boxing Day, The Forgotten Gemstone and The Other Castle will both be 50% off in Smashword’s End of Year Sale. (I’ll post a reminder on Boxing Day.)

Happy Winterfest!

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