New Year’s Resolutions: A Sucker’s Game?

RobKelly-PK_9-13 copy
Crazy 8’s Paul Kupperberg and Hey Kids, Comics! editor Rob Kelly on the floor of 2013’s Baltimore Comic-Con!

The seconds tick down towards midnight. The old year is about to end, taking with it the previous 365 days worth of triumphs and regrets, hopes and fears. While we wait for the climatic moment, we think back on what was achieved in the year just past…and on our failures as well. But the turn of this particular calendar page is traditionally a time to wipe the slate clean and begin fresh. A new start in a new year.

Or not…

Once again, I take my turn in the Crazy 8 blog rotation as the voice of dissent. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions; I figure there are enough disappointments in my life that I don’t have to set myself up for additional failure based on some arbitrary flip of the calendar. ‘Cause, I mean, really, what says “resolve” better than alcohol-soaked musings in the middle of the forced jocularity of New Year’s eve celebrations? The only New Year’s Resolution that I ever kept beyond January 3rd was the resolution to stop making New Year’s Resolutions.

But whether it’s New Year’s Eve or some random Monday in July, there’s always room for improvement in our lives and goals we hope to achieve in the coming months or year. My list is ongoing, independent of the time of year:

• Write more.

• Write better!

• Take those four or five projects in various stages of completion and get them into shape so that I can either submit them to publishers or get them into print via Crazy 8 Press.

• Get at least two other Crazy 8 Press projects into print in 2014: a collection of my short stories, and to put together a mystery anthology based on a particular concept.

• Be more aggressive in my pursuit of freelance projects and work. I know from experience that most editors have more than enough on their plates without having to deal with submissions and bothersome freelance writers, but…tough. Bothersome freelance writers have to make a living too.

• Sell the original YA novel that I’ve been noodling with since my son was four years old (he’s about to graduate high school). (I’m determined 2014 is the shit-or-get-off-the-pot year for this project; in fact, the completed chapters and outline thereof are, as of last week, in the hands of an editor at a major publishing house with whom I’ve previously worked.)

• Get more comic book writing assignments, even if it means continuing to badger any editor who will answer their phone or open their email.

• Push forward on the new novel I started last year that seemed to stall out after the first couple of chapters.

• And, after a year or so of having my work in comics receive the most and best attention it ever has — including nominations in the 2012 Harvey and 2013 Eisner Awards, as well as making at least one list of “101 Creators to Watch Out For in 2014” for my work on Life With Archie — to use that momentum to do bigger and even better work than in any of my previous 39 years (!!!) in the comic book business.

New Year’s Eve isn’t any kind of magical time (well…depends on who you’ve got a date with that night, I guess), but I do understand the sense of renewal and beginning that the turning over of a new year can bring. It’s as good a time as any to set sights on the immediate future and set yourself some goals, major and minor. So…I guess I can, for the sake of harmony and the theme of this month’s Crazy 8 Press blog, at least go with the flow and be thus resolved!

Happy New Year, Crazy 8ers everywhere. I hope you achieve some of what you’ve been striving for, whether it’s been since the stroke of midnight, December 31…or just some random day in any random year that preceded it.

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