leaps and bounds
2015 was my best writing year BY FAR.
*leaps and bounds*
That the year was also extremely challenging on a personal level is just the way it so often happens, isn’t it? There’s a reason we remember Dickens’ best of times/worst of times quote. But if you have to go through hard times, I can recommend having some professional successes to ease the way.
I started 2015 with a goal to sub as many stories as often as I could. I ended up with over twice as many as 2014 which was more than double any previous year.
I slacked off on subbing in these last months of the year because of the aforementioned personal challenges and also this weird thing that started happening: acceptances. Four in four months, plus the publication of a story that had been accepted in 2014.
What is this magic that’s been visited upon me? Two are pro sales! I will be happy about this forever. Not constantly happy of course, but happy that it happened this way. It feels like my hard work has paid off and that’s not a feeling I’m familiar with.
Maybe I should have learned a lot from this about my “place” in the writing world or the publishing world or whether what I write is relevant to anyone else or that I can now expect a ?% return on my hard work…but no. None of that. I take nothing from the slew (yes, for me, 4 is a slew) of acceptances except that I worked hard and then I got lucky. It isn’t likely to repeat itself in that way and that’s okay because it already happened. “They” can’t take it away from me and *I* can’t take it away from myself because it changed me. I feel myself moving forward with a calm, new sense of okay-ness about my writing even while knowing that of course there will be doubts and devastation and doldrums. But at a different level than before.
However, I did learn more about my writing process:
1) I am more motivated to write when I know for sure that there are people out there who will pay for the privilege of publishing words I wrote. [I always suspected it would be motivating, but it had to happen several times before I really, really *knew*] 2) There’s a fine balance between waiting to begin until I know enough about a story and procrastinating beginning because I’m not sure I know enough yet. Putting words down, as opposed to just thinking about it, is the only way I can know more. 3) Revising IS writing for me. I don’t procrastinate editing, just first drafts. First drafts are what give me the raw material for the fun part. When I acknowledge my capacity to make something acceptable out of whatever crap I write down, I procrastinate less. 4) I can be a writer (and all that entails: the good, the bad, and the ugly) even when there are distracting, hard, and hurtful things going on in my personal life. In fact, writing has become that constant that can keep me sane and sometimes even happy in the midst of it all.
Looking forward to 2016: to setting new goals and knocking them down.