Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Best of Times

Hey, y'all! 'Tis the season for obligatory year-end blog post of some kind. I considered doing some kind of "Favorite Books of 2014" post, then quickly decided it wasn't worth the agony of choosing (too many awesome stories out there!). Then I considered just keeping to my regularly scheduled blog posts - reviews and ramblings and whatnot - but it kept bothering me that I was about to let 2014 slip by without some kind of comment.

So here we go. 2014... 2014... How to describe 2014? It was a year that flew by, and yet, looking back, things that happened toward the beginning feel like an eternity ago now that I've reached the end. Like 2013, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the year I became depressingly disillusioned about certain things (though I've done my best to spare y'all the drama there), but feeding such demons with attention only helps them grow, and I'm having enough problems staying motivated these days as it is. So I'm going to focus on how it was the best of times and leave the demons to starve.

This was the year I did a number of things I never thought I'd find myself doing. Such as co-running a crowdfunding campaign and playing publisher (shameless plug: The project is Brave New Girls, a sci-fi anthology starring tech-savvy teen girls with the goal of encouraging more young ladies to enter STEM professions). And speaking on panels at sci-fi/fantasy conventions (I survived!). And overseeing a photo shoot (keep your eyes open for the Flynn Nightsider and the Edge of Evil cover reveal next year!). And signing with a literary agent (wait - that really happened, right? I didn't just dream it?).

Breaking new ground is scary, scary business, but it must be done, or you're just stuck. Everyone knows that, of course, but that doesn't make it any easier to take the leap into the Great Unknown. Especially when no one give you a map.

At the same time, while you're charging forward, you can't just forget the things you were in the middle of. Which is easy to forget when you're enticed by all the new and shiny things. I learned a thing or two this year about what happens when you start too new many things without finishing the old ones first. Not only do projects get delayed because you have so many other tasks to handle (to the one person waiting for Jane Colt #3 - a.k.a. Mom - I'm sorry!), but you wind up draining yourself, which ultimately slows you down. I used to be able to bang out the first draft of a book in a matter of weeks because it was the only thing I was working on - the only thing occupying my time, energy, and focus. The last manuscript I completed took twice as long as the first.

Perhaps the term I loathe most in the Corporate World (or, as I so fondly call it on Twitter, Cubicle Swamp) is "managing expectations." Yet I think I finally know what it means. And I think, for me, it mostly applies to me managing my own expectations for myself (man, could I sound any more solipsistic?). I want to do a lot of things, and it's not until I step back and take a look at the full scope of everything (like I'm doing now) that I realize just how much it is. Being extremely impatient and usually pretty fast about completing projects, the lag that occurs when you're juggling six distinct projects feels like failure.

But hey, as long as you keep chugging along, things get done eventually. And it's hard to see progress while it's being made. Before I started writing this post, all I could think was "ugh, how is it almost 2015, and I still haven't finished Jane Colt #3? I haven't done anything this whole year!" Looking back though, I think I've done quite a bit. I won't list it all here (though I was sorely tempted to - I'll spare y'all the "Look at everything I did!" boasting), but I think I'm doing just fine.

So there you have it - my obligatory year end post. It was the best of times. And may 2015 be even better.

No comments:

Post a Comment