I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. There is nothing special about January first that’s going to make me any more inclined to do something than any other day of the year.
As it happens, there are a number of things I want to do in 2012, things that I have already resolved to do, things that I have been working on for quite some time. Since it’s New Years, I thought I’d codify them in ye ol’ New Year’s Resolutions. Two particularly important ones I’ll be working on this year . . .
1. I will go home.
By home, I mean the U.S.
Not for a visit, but to live.
See, let me explain why I came to China.
Yeah, there’s the whole “see new cultures, meet new people, save the world” shtick that every exchange student and Peace Corps rep’s got. I’ve got that too and that’s all well and good. But on a more practical level, I am here because I have no promising job prospects, no meaningful education, and no secret stash of money back in the US. And if you haven’t noticed, obtaining these things there has been somewhat difficult lately.
I want to return.
The reasons are twofold: practical and patriotic. On the practical level, there are limitations to my physical location. I can’t go to conferences and meet other writers, I can’t go to workshops and improve my writing, I can’t get physical copies of my own books for handing out, and even if I could there aren’t any English libraries, bookstores, festivals, workshops etc. here to put them in. (Strictly speaking I could get physical copies if I could afford the shipping, which I can’t.) Even online, my location is limiting. My IP address–VPN or not–drives certain sites nuts.
On the patriotic level, I simply want to live in my own country. We all know there’s shit going down there, and I’m damn well not going sit on my hands six thousand miles away and watch it all happen. SOPA, NDAA, nude scanners, surveillance…. just to start with. At the same time as people fear the rise of China, the US is throwing away exactly that which makes it different from China. Let me tell you, that is crystal clear from the other side of the planet. I’ve been lucky enough to see it, now I want to do something about it. I know this is not a logical reason. I know that once I return it is unlikely that I will be able to do anything even remotely useful. But at least I can try. New York State has a not-yet-legally recognized Pirate Party, and I figure I can at least start there.
But back to the practical level, my second resolution . . .
2. I will publish a book.
I’m looking to be done with Skyland before summer so I can spend the summer getting critiques, betas, professional editing, cover design–basically everything I can possibly do to turn it into a rough NaNoWriMo baby into a full blown product I can stand behind. My goal is to have it all put together by Fall 2012. Notice I say “publish” not “sell.” I get that I can’t resolve to sell books, at least not without resorting to mob techniques or black magic. I can’t control weather people open their wallets for a book. But I can resolve to make the best damn book I can make it as available as possible. (When I’m done, I’ll be selling it–hey, I want to make a living off this stuff–but there will always be a free option, whether that’s TUEBL or torrent sites. It will be there. Free.)
I’m not going to lie, these resolutions terrify me. I have no idea how I’m going to make them work. But they’re not called New Year’s Making-Things-Works. They’re called New Year’s Resolutions. Resolving is just the first step. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I can get started on the hard part: getting things done.
Happy New Year’s!