"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." --Oscar Wilde
As much as I enjoy bucking tradition, there really is no better time than the year's end to look back and see how things have gone. Looking back on this year, there's really only one way to sum it up:
2014 was fucking awful.
Dead serious here. The year's high points were DragonCon with friends and Christmas with family. That's pretty much it. As for my writing, much as I'd love to say "the less said the better" and cut this entry short, I think it needs more than that.
I started querying THE ACCIDENTAL WARLOCK earlier this year, and received more silence than rejections. I'm no stranger to rejections, I know none of us are. One does not simply get published without getting rejected. But I believed in this book. I wanted nothing more than to start my career with this book. Hearing back nothing got to me more than rejection; a rejection at least means I know the agent considered it before saying no. Hearing nothing means they could have just deleted the e-mail unread. And somehow, that's worse.
Then, as I've talked about, I decided to set TAW aside. Realizing that the book had no real antagonist came as an unpleasant surprise, the sort of thing I should have seen when I was plotting. Isn't all the time I spend plotting meant to catch problems like that? I set the book aside, I didn't want to go back to it after some time, and . . . and the whole thing ended up feeling like a huge failure on my part.
I try not to feel that way. I really do. But seeing TAW go the way of every single other book I've written hit me hard.
It should be a brighter note that I wrote two books this year. It would be, if they were worth reading. The first one I wrote in a few weeks, despite knowing that for me, trying to write quickly results in crap. Yes, 70K words in 16 days is a hell of a thing. But as soon as it was done, I hated it. It wasn't anything like what I wanted it to be, and what gets me the most is that I knew it wasn't ready when I started it. But I had taken time off for a writing vacation, and it was the only plot I had that was even close to being ready.
The second book went a bit better. The end result wasn't what I wanted, but the only way I could have realized what I truly want the world and its stories to be was for me to write the ridiculously over-the-top story that I did. I'm slowly taking down notes for another story in this world, and assuming I get to it someday, I'm hoping it'll go better.
My bitter ranting aside, I'd like to think of what happened with that last book as a metaphor for this whole year. Nothing turned out the way I wanted it to. But even in mistakes and failure, I honestly do think I'm getting better at this writing thing. I'm not good enough yet, but there's hope. And there's no way I can stop.
So here I sit, teeth grinding together, as I consider this whole year one giant learning experience.
Next entry: IWSG for the new year.