What are you goals as a writer?
My writing goal for this year is to finish up all my short story and novella commitments and then next year not to write any short stories at all -- just to focus on novels and a few digest novels.
Why? Two reasons, mainly.
The first is that I have so much to offer on my table when I go to a convention that I'm crossing over into other writers' tables too. When five of us offer the same books, how is one to make any money to justify the trip to one's family? I plan to eliminate all the multi-table stuff from my convention table and then focus solely on work that is completely my own period. I'll still stock my short story collection, novels, and digest novels, but not the books in which I'm one of a group of writers.
The second thing this frees me up to do is to work on crime/mystery novels for my own imprint with a mid-publisher and three mainsteam novels that I hope will be more marketable to the publishing business at large. (Or paying short story gigs. I'll always have a place in my schedule for a job that's pays upfront or even upon release -- just not so much space for back-end jobs anymore.) I enjoy writing for small and medium presses. I really do. And I will continue to do so as my time permits, but it's time for me to get serious about my career as an author.
I have a vast network of connections and if I had the work ethic up to this point that I should have had as a writer, I should be a heck of a lot further along than I am now. In addition to the small and medium press work, I should have at least three books that I'm shopping around to mainstream publishers who can perhaps make my "brand" more profitable.
A buddy of mine (thanks for the kick in the butt, Frank) posted something online the other day about how we get what we have worked for and that all the inspirational quotes in the world won't change that.
So this is it. This is me taking that advice to heart and making a change in my writing career.
If I owe you a story, you'll have it before the end of the year, and many of you prior to that based on deadlines. But once that's done, I most likely won't be joining any anthologies for a while, except for a project that just really resonates (or characters that I own or co-own -- you know who you are, Rick Ruby and Spy Candy) and that I can work in to my paid and novel writing schedule. Of course, for those characters I'll most likely be working on novels or digest novels already, so that might be a moot point in all actuality.
Get ready for Sean 2.0 (or 4.0 or whatever we're up to now). He can't wait to be unboxed and let loose on the world.