Monday, January 04, 2010

Specting, Retro & Intro

As a former philosophizer, I'm used to using normal words in weird ways. Like "intention." Normal folks use this word to mean something like "purpose." Philosophers use "intention" to mean "meaning" or "to point at" or "refer to." A picture of a four-legged animal with pointed ears and whiskers INTENDS the concept cat. And that's just one example.

The most odd word usage I ever picked up from philosophers is the word "specting." Does anybody else say "specting?" No. Regular people talk about "introspection," and they mean to turn their attention to their workings, musing over their thoughts. Philosophers talk about "specting-intro": looking inside. And don't even open the can of worms about what that means. Depending on your paradigm, looking inside things can be completely imaginary or impossible or maybe just gooey.

Anyway, I've been spending the first few days "specting." Looking back over things in my life, in the last year, looking inside my thoughts. (This is easy to do when you've just spent an entire day in pajamas. Stupid cold.) It's given me plenty of fodder for critical thought and plans for the next few months.

2009: The year of writing short fiction. I've never been much of a short fictionist, and this year I set out to overcome that flaw. I read short stories; I wrote short stories; I sold a short story! I feel much better about my relationship with the short forms.

2010: A year to balance the force. Hopefully, I can stick to my rough writing schedule, giving myself time to write long pieces AND short pieces.

2009: The year I finally figured out how to revise a book unto completion. After about a jillion false starts, I did it. It's hard, and it sucks. The novella I completed may someday be published. Maybe.

2010: The year I use planning and careful construction of story structure to eliminate some of the drafts created by my old "draft after draft," pantsing method. They probably amount to the same amount of actual work, but at least I won't have to read the same dumb words over and over again.

2009: The year of less reading, more Twitter.

2010: Bring back the books! I know I read a lot last year, but this year, I hope to hold myself accountable for how many books I read. I hope to delve into SF & Fantasy classics this year, and possibly delve deeper into more serious literature. Anything to be a better writer!

What about everybody else? Have you been doing any "specting"?


Helen Ginger said...

I have been. I'm specting presents for my birthday.

I like your comparison of 2009 to your plans of 2010. It's only the 4th and I'm already wondering if I'll be able to keep my 2010 resolution!

Straight From Hel

Winnie said...

Oooh, when's your birthday, Helen? The secret astrology fiend inside me wants to know!

Resolutions ... sigh! My two biggies are to eat more veggies and get more sleep. The 2nd one will be difficult, I know. I'll probably just cheat on the veggies by drinking more V8.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I'm specting to get some projects finished, if only for my sense of self-esteem! First draft done of my novel and editing done on my short story. In my other line of work, I want to get two more mystery games available to the public within the next month or so.

I spect I'll need to drink a whole lot more!


Winnie said...

*giggle* Who knew you were such a punster, Elspeth? Great job wrapping up that first draft! I can't wait to read it!

Stacy S. Jensen said...

I'm specting to get some projects done before a huge deadline arrives in May - a baby. He is at my mercy now. I'm thinking I'll be at his mercy when he gets to the outside.

Winnie said...

BABY!!! OMG, that is super-exciting. Congratulations, Stacy! Keep us posted on all the details, okay?