So hey, it’s the end of December! I know it doesn’t feel like it because this year has simultaneously gone on forever and passed in the blink of an eye. What is time? Does it have any meaning anymore? (That’s rhetorical, we all know the answer is “no”.)
This year I did what feels like quite a lot of things but which actually resulted in not a lot of super visible activity. So let’s glorify me by looking at some accomplishments. Seems legit.
This year I finished a rough draft! Which was a big deal for me, considering I’d been working on that project forever. I also got a good way through my initial read and am just about ready to send it off to my first reader (i.e. my mom, who reads all my first drafts) and let it rest for the chopping block. I know this project needs a lot of revision and TLC but it is a semi-finished project, and that’s something!
I also finished edits on The Zombie Book, a project I originally wrote back in 2012 and which I spent last year and the beginning of this year editing to within an inch of its life. I have so far queried that project 20 times, which is an accomplishment in and of itself! I’ll be querying it a few more times before I totally give up on it obviously, but I’m super proud of myself for getting this far.
Speaking of editing projects, I did get a developmental review on my next big editing project. Back in 2014 I wrote a weird, magical, semi-steampunk secondary world fantasy that I loved in concept but which didn’t quite leap from the page for me. I’ve been trying to figure out how to fix it ever since and really been stumped, but my friend Kathryn has taken a look at it and helped me talk through some options. (If you’re looking for a paid early eye on your work, you can find out more on her website.) So rewriting that piece to make it what it could have been is my next step, and will be a big focus in 2021!
But back to 2020. The big news for this year was the publication of “Viridian” in A Sinister Quartet. It is eligible for some awards, I’m fairly certain! So if you are, you know, nominating things or whatever over the next few months, consider it.
Lastly, I wrote a couple of short stories and started a new novel project.
In closing, some statistics, for those who, like me, enjoy that sort of thing. One of the things you will see here is that there’s a lot of words that go into even one reported accomplishment — not just the words you draft, but also all the editing, polishing, submitting, and promoting. I’m really proud of everything I’ve managed while the world was burning this year.
It certainly hasn’t all been sunshine and bumblebees. Just last week I got a rejection on a project that I was very very hopeful would go somewhere. But I can’t control what other people do with my writing. I can only control the writing itself. So much of finding peace in this career is understanding that distinction between what you can control and what you can’t. The making of new words is a comfort for me, and that’s what I’m carrying with me into the new year.
I know it’s been a long year, folks. And it’s not like years aren’t sort of arbitrary things and somehow 2021 is going to fix everything. But I hope you’re all focusing on your wins this year. You deserve them.