So Long, 2013

2013 is on its way out, and while all year-ends tend to make one thoughtful, this New Year’s Eve I turn 35. My What Is This Life? thinking has been a little amped up. Except when it’s been *really* amped up. Maybe we should ignore those moments of ego-crisis, though. Probably healthier for everyone involved.

So how the hell *did* the year go?

I wrote less. I wrote more things, but they were way shorter. If you’re judging me on word count, my Productivity Graph looks like Congress’ approval ratings. Part of that is because a lot of time this year was spent in revisions, especially back in the spring when I was clawing through the second draft of Mimesis. Add in a 10k word short story (for the in-progress Deli Counter of Justice anthology) and its 2nd draft, plus a short film script and its second draft, things look a little less dire.

Oh, plus there was that whole Word on the Street thing and the two months of work that led into it. I guess I should count playing editor on two books in the Stuff I Did column, shouldn’t I? Very well.

The downside: I didn’t release anything new, and probably won’t for the first half of next year. My logic-brain knows it’s because I started 2012 from a near-stop (my emotion-brain is less rational, but it’s on timeout so please ignore its whining), with little more than a a single idea for a novel.  Nothing in progress, no projects nearly-ready to go. After I finished the first draft of Mimesis in January, there wasn’t a next to move onto. Inertia was not on my side. That’s what happens when you let your writing come to a brutal stop; building momentum feels like starting over again from the beginning.

Never again.

Things look better now. I’ve got three things ready to revise: a short film, a short story, and a novel. I’ve also, excitingly (as you may have seen me tweeting about if you’re the sort to follow me on The Twitter) started research on what I hope will be my next book. That research is going to take some time, but so far I’m really stoked about where it’s leading. In the meantime, I’ll be diving into said revisions (starting with the short story) to keep me working. Maybe, hopefully, by early next year, I’ll have revised drafts of everything in the queue. We’ll see.

I suppose that’s not too shabby as years go, but the ego-bruising and confidence-battering still ramped up as December wore on. No matter how much work you get done, when you’ve gone 15 months without something public to show for it, it’s easy for the Fail Feelings to creep in.

And then, out of nowhere, someone reminds you that it’s all worth it by sending you something like this:

broken magic in russia

Is that a copy of Broken Magic in someone’s backpack, hanging out in front of the stunningly gorgeous Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood? Why, yes. Yes it is.

Thank you, Irina. This couldn’t have come at a better time.

As for you, 2013: you’ve left me with a hell of a lot of spinning plates. I’ll try not to let 2014 break too many of them.

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