2010 was a great year, full of growth, delights, and wonderful memories. Here is my own personal year-in-review, as I look back....
In the last year I finished my first book, The Veil of a Warrior (my Hestea Hammerblood story). I put it into beta with some trusted individuals and got the feedback necessary to help me polish and revise it. (Thank you: Max, Steve, Todd and all the rest that may have started and been unable to finish with the demands of busy lives.)
But how did I do with my writing goals? Well, for one, I didn’t start the year with any concrete expectations. But hey, writing a novel was still a new thing and I had no idea what to expect. (Excuses, excuses.) At some point in the year I made an arbitrary stab-in-the-dark that I would be submitting to agents/publishers by mid-year—didn’t happen.
Everything took longer than expected, but I DO have a completed book.
Yes, it has its problems and I will be making one more revision (at least), but I feel proud to have accomplished that much. Funny thing is that this was a side project—a mere test of writing battle scenes and world development—that turned into so much more. I was too afraid to dabble in my “golden idea”, and Hammerblood’s storyline gave me an opportunity to test the waters. Now, as anyone with a hint of writing cred would know, the scenes, the writing and the events that transpire in The Veil of a Warrior are far greater than my prior work—my “golden idea”. It’s unfathomably hard to realize that what came before will one day be chicken-scratch in comparison to what comes next. I’ve heard it said, but to see it happen is another thing altogether. When I one day return to my “golden idea”, my writing will be so much better for each and every project in the interim. Already, I can see an improvement in the writing I’m doing on another story (my delayed NaNoWriMo entry) and it fills me with fire.
As a fledgling blogger, 2010 got me to a point where I started to feel a level of competence in the blogspace and I began to expand beyond the confines of my own corner of the web. Taking up a contributor spot on the SF Signal has been great to expand my reach and establish some greater writing credentials. Sure, there are countless others out there that post ten times what I do, but hey, it’s baby steps. Each blog post and tweet on twitter has brought me closer to the community and given me a greater understanding of what it means to be a writer and how I might one day get there professionally.
I've learned much about the craft and know that I have much more to learn. I've discovered that an outline is good, and going back to it later to work on further is even better. Writing a story is hard, but I think I'm getting better and despite it all, marketing the story—finding that agent, editor and a fan base—will be the TRUE challenge, that I know nothing about.
Enough about writing though, there is more to life than words on a page...unless you’re a fictional character.
2010 brought me to five years of marriage with my beautiful and wonderful wife, and we are expanding our family! Our second child is expected in mid-2011. Huzzah! Also, a little ironically funny...I was just starting to think I knew what I was doing with this father thing. Time to hit the books again.
Our daughter started preschool and hit the big number three. She grows more amazing to interact with every day. The cute coos and gurgles of a baby are past, as are the burbling of random sounds of toddlerhood, she is a child growing and maturing—more intelligent and amazing every day.
I shouldn't forget about the art, but it was a very subdued part of the year. I have a project in the works nearly ready to take off that should change that for 2011 and I look forward to sharing.
2010, you were a great year, but I’m ready for 2011 and anxious to see what it brings.
Happy New Year!