Friday, February 3, 2017

How Far We've Come

It's been a year (367 days, technically) since I started this thing. So what do I have to show for it?

  • 1 50,000 word novel
  • 2 10,000 word novelettes
  • 6 short stories, varying lengths
  • 108 blog posts (including this one)

That may not seem like a lot, but that's about 77,000 words of just fiction, while first finishing my degree and then working full time. Nine distinct worlds, each with their own characters and rules and personality. And still thinking of something half-intelligent to say twice a week. That's a lot of writing.

But nothing published, you remind me.

That's true. I set out to be a "real" writer. That is, a writer who makes money writing, or at least is known beyond their group of friends. A writer who has their words printed in a book somewhere. And I haven't done that. Yet.

What I have done in the past year is start to figure out what the hell I'm doing. I've tried to figure out what people actually want to read, and I've found it's not necessarily so different from what I want to write. I've started to notice my shortcomings and the things I struggle with, and I know what I need to work on as I go forward.

I don't know if I've gotten better, but I know that I can.

So what's in store for us in the coming year? More of the same, I imagine. More weird stories, more characters, more genre-hopping until I find somewhere I belong. In the past I've toyed with sci-fi, steampunk, paranormal, young adult, thriller, urban fantasy, and various combinations thereof. There's a lot of genres left to try.

Percolating in my brain, I have two things:

  • A mystery with paranormal elements involving a group of people, an island, and a dead body.
  • A children's book series about a pair of young brothers who go on amazing adventures via their magic, time travelling red wagon. So really, my usual stuff, just without all the swearing and violence.

Am I going to actually write the series? I don't know. I don't really know enough about children. I have a hard enough time relating to full-grown people. I'll likely be working on the other idea first. You might say that these sound like great tales you'd love to read. Unfortunately I have a knack for summarizing things in a way that makes them sound way cooler than they are. Maybe I should just get a job writing back-of-the-book blurbs…

I also have been collecting links to various magazines and things that publish short stories. National publication, that's what I should be aiming for. Also, a lot of them pay for stories. But, these higher profile periodicals are also going to be a lot harder to get into than a local little one. So I really need to step up my game before I start sending anything out.

I know, it's not exciting, but work hardly is. Results are exciting. All the mud you have to slog through to get there, not so much. I appreciate everyone who has joined me on this slow and sometimes boring journey, and I hope you'll stick with me for the next leg.

As usual, I'll see you Tuesday.


  1. How much would you have loved to see your favorite band practicing in their garage before their big break? Well, that's where you're at. Practicing. Showing friends, family, and anyone else willing. Honing your talent. Looking for a paying gig. Trying to convince others that this is not just "a phase".
    Getting paid doesn't make you a writer. Writing does. Going Pro is just the next step.
    It takes real work to write consistently like you have, but how determined are you to reach your goal of being published?
    Genuinely, how much does it mean to you?

  2. That's a lot of words! You should be proud of that! Also, FYI you don't have to be to some imaginary point to suddenly become a writer and get published. Start sending things out and see what happens. You are a writer after all!