Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Year in Review: What the Fuck was That?

I know I'm not the only one out there who had a rough 2017.  But this is my blog.  :P  And most of what I have to say about this year is summed up right there in the title.

I have never had such a hard time with goddamn everything as I've had this year.  I've never wanted to quit more than this year - and that entry was back in March.  Things went bad for another eight months after that.  There were times when I came close to writing an "I Still Want to Quit" post, not only because it was how I felt but because things were going so bad that I had nothing else to say.

There are a lot of reasons I could point to for this.  The current political/world climate is one, to be sure; I don't want to get into that here but I will say that the way the world's going right now is not exactly conducive to me being a happy and productive artist.

Another reason is the multi-layered hell that is the querying process.  I started querying STARWIND this year, though barely - I only sent out thirty-two queries because it all started to feel pointless.  Getting rejected for this book hit me harder than any other.  A lot of that is because it feels like no one's looking for the sort of story it is.  As I said in my "I Want to Quit" post, the book's weird and finding an agent who wants it will be a struggle, and if I was writing anything but what I want to write, odds are good I'd be getting better results.

Then again, if I was writing something I didn't want to write, it probably wouldn't be worth reading, so then I'd have written shit and be getting rejected for it.  So I'm better off getting rejected for writing what I want, as depressing as that is.

To add to all of it, I've spent most of this year trying everything I could to get a plot that works.  For most of the year, nothing did.  Back in February, I plotted out the sequel to STARWIND, which is largely wishful thinking and won't do me any good unless the first book sells.  So that felt even more futile than my usual attempts.  I then spent the rest of the year making my usual attempts and watching every single thing fall apart.

This is the heart of why I felt like quitting.  There's something staggering about watching a dream fall apart and feeling like every new attempt makes it worse.

Among everything else, I was ready to quit blogging here too.  I'd mentally prepared my last entry - it was going to be this one, and this paragraph was going to say that I couldn't keep struggling to find something to talk about and I felt like people didn't want to read my constant litany of failures.  I would end it by saying I'd be back if things got better, but not to wait up.

Thankfully, things turned around for me earlier this month, and I don't have to make that entry.

It's scary to think of how bad things got, knowing they can fall that far again.  But it's been a good December.  I've been switching between the two plots I'm working on, spending about a week on each before going back.  I put one of them into its own planning document last night and did some good character work, fleshing out both the main character and figuring out the antagonist's plans.  So many times, stories start to die when they get their own plotting docs, so I'm glad this one's still alive and kicking.

And so it goes, hopefully up from here.  I'll start querying STARWIND again next year; I still believe in it and I don't want to give it up yet.  With time and work, I should be able to get at least one of the plots ready to become a book; I'd love to have both.

Here's hoping next year is a great deal better, for me and for all of you.


  1. Kudos for riding out last year's storm. Querying is a battle like no other, and it leaves its scars. Here's wishing you best of luck for the next year and off to battle again!

    1. Thanks! And yeah, I have seen several people say that it's okay if the only thing you accomplished in 2017 is surviving it. So it's not just me. >_<

  2. I, for one, am glad to be reading this post rather than a "I quit" one. I'd miss you around the bloggosphere, though I suppose I could still peek in on you via Twitter. But this way, I still get to read your blog! Woot for a December where things are looking up. I hope things keep improving until you're up in the stars with Starwind.

    1. Thank you, Loni. It means a lot to me to hear that. ^_^

  3. You wrote "multi-layered hell that is the querying process" and I literally laughed out loud so suddenly, it woke up my dog.

    Mason, I think you're *so* talented. I mean that. When I beta read BOLR, I remember thinking to myself "Gah, this one is actually going to make it. I hope my stuff sounds as good as his." Like Loni said, I'm happy this isn't the "I quit" post. I'm sorry this was such a rough year for you (and yes, it has been for most people) but I'm glad it turned around in December. Keep up that momentum and keep going! Don't give up on yourself! I believe in you!

    1. Thank you so much. It really helps me to hear this (even if BoLR was doomed from early on because I couldn't make up my mind what sort of story it was supposed to be).