Good gods, how is it already December? I mean, I understand the normal passage of time and whatnot, but every once in a while I’ll be talking to someone about a thing we did and realize, “Wait, that was how long ago?” Like Can*Con, for example, which feels like yesterday but was two damn months ago almost.
Inevitably in those situations, my brain waffles between thoughts of “Balls, time is flying” and thoughts of “Yeah, but you did a lot in that time.” Although, the other day I compared my 2017 publications to my 2018 publications and the latter seemed a little light – five short stories published in the former (among other work) but only three in 2018, one of which was a reprint. In a sheer numbers game it looks like I was less productive, and maybe I was when it comes to short fiction. But then I remembered I’ve been doing other stuff:
- I sold a couple stories earlier this year that coincidentally are coming out in 2019
- I spent a lot of 2018 working on my novel Three Coins of Silver and made significant progress on the path to finding a home for it
- I also spent a lot of 2018 branching out into other work, including two comics, novella-length experiments, doing more with my Black Gate column, and a totally Secret potentially Audio-related project with my pal Evan May (which you may have seen tweeted about recently)
I went into 2018 thinking that I needed to make sure I had stuff coming out periodically, out of fear of disappearing from the public world of SFF. Which is stupid, because it’s not like I’m Chuck Wendig or something, and novels or similar is what I really want to be doing, which kinda take a lot of time to work on (he said, stating the obvious). And between taking a greater role planning Can*Con, my biweekly column for Black Gate, and contributing to other things in the writing community (oh, like a Luna Station Quarterly article by my friend Tracy Townsend! Another thing I did!) among everything listed above, I’ve been pretty busy. So the impostor syndrome whispering “That isn’t enough” can pound sand, basically.
That’s been a really neat part of my writing lately, actually. If you asked me a few years ago what I’d be working on as I round out my twenties, I’d have said something like 80% novels and 20% short fiction. Experimenting with comics was nowhere on my radar – and thinking through storytelling in a short comic is way different than a short story. My primary WIP right now is a novella, and that’s a different animal, too. And as much as we’re told as writers to streamline, I feel like trying out these other forms has been huge for me lately, even if I never go back to them again.
All of this to say: branching out is good for the mind and the soul. Now excuse me as I frenetically try to finish off my Quarterly To-Do List before New Year’s…