A year of writing…and blogging about it

Today is my birthday, and that also means it’s the one-year anniversary of this blog (give or take a day). Time for a little reflection, and also a chance to gaze into the future of what 2012 might hold.

Accomplishments in 2011:

  • sold six original stories
  • published three or four others on my blog
  • made my first professional sale
  •  attended something like ten conventions
  • joined a professional critique group
  • joined the staff of Doctor Fantastique’s
  • started a novel (properly)
  • Wrote ~90 blog posts

I met dozens of helpful writers, editors, publishers and even fans. I learned some hard lessons, and suffered quite a bit of rejection, but also had my share of success.

So here’s what I hope to achieve in 2012:

  • sell six more stories
  • make two of these professional sales
  • sell a story to a podcast
  • try out a new art form, like comic book scripting
  • complete a collaborative project
  • join SFWA, HWA, or both
  • review all the pieces of literature nominated for the Hugo Awards
  • complete that novel
  • possibly buy another, more professional-looking theme for this blog since apparently I’m going to use it a lot
  • write and post more flash fiction on said blog

Is this ambitious? Sure. But I’m hoping to make more time for writing by not doing panels at conventions anymore (except those related to writing), cutting out a few conventions altogether, and dropping back the number of classes that I’m taking. If I can manage this, then I might have a chance of actually achieving most of these goals.

I can’t possibly express enough how much conventions and my writers’ groups have helped me improve and grow as a writer. Opportunities are out there for writers willing to work hard and improve their craft, and all it takes is asking insightful questions and allowing your friends to introduce you to other writers and editors. One of the best decisions I made was to seek out critique groups; the people who introduced me to those groups I met at conventions. I rubbed elbows with a couple of editors I was hoping to work with at GenCon and Context24.  And of course the person who lit a fire under my ass (metaphorically, and unintentionally) and started this whole messy affair was Steve Saus, who I met at MARCon in 2010.

Was it only 2010? That seems hard to believe. This year has been, for lack of a better word, magical. In 2010, had you told me that I would be a published author six times over by 2012, I would have laughed in your face. I hadn’t written much of anything (except histories  for roleplaying characters) in years, discouraged by my own lack of self-worth before I even began. In light of my current success it’s embarrassing to admit that I spent so long not believing in myself. Am I a successful novelist? No, not yet, but technically I’ve only been at this for a little over a year. If I can accomplish this much in ~12 months, imagine what I can achieve in another five years. And in ten? Twenty?

I’d better get to work.

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