Thursday, 20 December 2012

2012: Looking Back...

So, 2012.

Like everyone else I guess, my year was one of ups and downs, small triumphs and minor setbacks. Writing is an odd thing, emotionally, because it provides an alternative set of feelings running alongside whatever is happening in 'real-life': struggling with a story can sour on an otherwise sweet day (if you let it) but conversely during times when everything seems to be the same shade of shite writing can be a refuge, a source of achievement when nothing else seems to be.

But anyway, here's some personal writing highlights from the year just ending:

Being Asked To Provide A Story For Off The Record 2:
At some point in May I got a mail from Luca Veste asking if I'd like to contribute a story to his charity anthology Off The Record 2. That might not sound hugely dramatic but this was the first time ever that someone had got in touch and asked me for a story just like that - I like your stuff and I want you to write something for me. Quite a thrill, and doubly so from someone with as many writer's names in his address book as Luca. Predictably, he pulled together a great collection of stories and I'm chuffed to be a small part of it.

Edgelit 2012:
I'd never attended a convention before, so Edgelit was a first for me. Books, books (beer) and more books - what's not to like? From one of the workshops I came away with a piece of flash fiction called The Men Who Value Everything In Money which I revised on the train journey home, and it is to be published soonish by the editor of a magazine that I met on the day (more details soon hopefully). I'm a bit disappointed with myself for not talking to more people whilst I was there, but that social failing was my fault not Edgelit's (and one I feel in any social situation involving strangers). But I enjoyed ever minute of the day nonetheless and will definitely be back.

Penny Dreadnought Anthology 1:
Sod the Mayans - the Abominable Gentlemen know when the world will really end, because it will be our fault. The first Penny Dreadnought anthology looks great and having my stories sitting alongside those by my fellow Horsemen Alan Ryker, Aaron Polson and Iain Rowan was a real high-point of my year. But it's nothing compared to Stage 2 of our plans...

Selling A Few Books...
This year I actually started selling a decent amount of books. Not a life changing amount, at least not in the financial sense. But the knowledge that thousands (low thousands, but still) of people have now read some of my stories or at least intend to is life changing in a sense, because I never would have dared hope for such a thing even this time last year.

Writing Drones:
But the sales and the money, the little boosts to my ego and the low-level insecurities I've revealed above aren't really the important thing. The important thing is the writing, the stories. I'm using Drones (which was published in Sirens Call) as an example, but really this one is for everything I wrote this year. Drones just stands out because of how it was written - all in one go, one Sunday morning whilst I was still drowsy with sleep. And by the time the coffees had kicked in and I was fully awake there was a new story on the paper in front of me. It hadn't existed before, but now it did, flaws and all.

And that's the best feeling in writing, whatever the damn year.

1 comment:

Iain said...

I hope 2013 brings more success - it's much deserved.