The Year in Writing 2010

Professionally, 2010 was a pretty shitty year. My second year in a row of no fiction sales, which is unsurprising, given I’ve pretty much stopped writing stories, but I did have newer stories circulating that I was pretty fond of that nobody wanted to publish. On top of that, of course, there was the end of Futurismic as a fiction market, a project I cared deeply about that never quite took off the way I’d hoped. It was a major part of my identity as a participant in the SF conversation, not to mention my daily routine. Looking back, it feels a little like all my efforts to make a mark have resulted in a minor fingernail scratch on the left elbow of science fiction, which few people noticed and which is already starting to heal over. Yay, me!

So, how is it that I managed to fall back in love with writing in 2010? Honestly, with the exception of fleeting thoughts and the odd conversation (usually with poor Jenn, who fields the brunt of my writerly insecurities), I didn’t invest a lot of negative energy in bashing my writing career this year. The paragraph above is the most concentrated expression of frustration I’ve made, and really it kind of just feels like a sneeze, clearing minor irritants out of an otherwise healthy respiratory system.

In the end, 2010 was a pretty fulfilling year overall, and writing was a big part of it. It was a great decision to resurrect the novel, and thanks to everyone who helped me with that decision, by the way, the advice was very helpful. For the first time in a while, I got into a groove and enjoyed the process again: the discipline, the fiddling and tinkering and plotting and planning, that gradual accumulation of words, and reaching that startling moment when I had a 110,000 word manuscript stacked on my desk. Holy shit! Whatever else happens with the book, the fact that I wrote it at all  — while working full-time, no less — feels like a hell of an achievement. And I think I’m hooked, because I’m already looking ahead to the next novel with enthusiasm.

Meanwhile, the blog clicks along, and for all its faults I love the damn thing. It keeps my brain working and my fingers dancing, and what a useful record and memory tool it’s been for me. Over 175 posts this year!

Writing has always been a part of my life, but sometimes in a more healthy way than others. This was a healthy year. So yeah, 2010 sucked, but it was also kind of awesome.

Happy New Year!

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