While 2011 was the year of rewriting my stories because I didn’t feel they were strong enough, 2012 was the year of rewriting stories plus rewrite requests. In 2011 and 2012 I rewrote the following stories to make them stronger. As a result, they all sold in 2012:
- Delta Pi (Torn Realities, Post Mortem Press)
- The Leaving (Blood Rites, Blood Bound Books), which needed a rewrite to clean up a narrative affectation the publisher didn’t think worked
- They Told Me to Shuffle Off This Mortal, Infinite Loop (Title Goes Here, Issue #12)
And then I received rewrite requests from publishers for:
- The Pack (AE – The Canadian Science Fiction Review)
- In the Shadow of Scythe (Leading Edge Magazine, Issue #62), which went through two major rewrites
To say nothing of the usual proofing, copy edits and other effort that takes place when you sell a story. I guess this means that all that work paid off for producing sellable stories. As I write this, I only have two pieces of fiction still looking for their first home. All others have sold or I have trunked.
Numbers and figures
In 2012, I:
- Made 50 submissions of 12 stories and 3 poems
- Had 8 acceptances (which includes some submissions from 2011)
- Made 50 blog posts, including this one
- Taught two writing workshops in Ottawa
I attended Ad Astra in Toronto, Can*Con in Ottawa and World Fantasy in Richmond Hill. I’d wanted to go to SFContario in Toronto, but was too sick following something I picked up at World Fantasy.
In summary and looking ahead to 2013
I remember being excited this time last year. After spending a lot of 2011 revising old stories, I’d vowed to “bring the awesome.” It didn’t work out as I’d hoped. I spend most of 2012 pushing boundaries, trying new things and working to bring fresh new energy to my writing.
And I fell on my face. Of all the stories I wrote in 2012, I think only two were worth a damn. I sold “That Which Does Not Kill You”, which was written for an invite-only anthology. The other, a fantasy family drama “The Binding”, is making the rounds. So even though I sold some stories and polished others, my new work is not where I wanted it to be.
I know it’s common to set goals for the new year, but I’ve never been one for that. I can’t control if I will make it into a pro market and word counts can be as limiting (“I hit my goal, I’m going to stop”) as inspiring (“I need to write today!”).
But I do have a goal for 2013. It’s the same as it ever has been: no regrets. This means:
- I won’t get to the end of the day, week, month or year thinking I wasted time when I should have been writing. If I am not writing, there are good reasons for it. Bad reasons are not acceptable.
- Writing is not just typing. I can write on the bus, at lunch or in bed at night before I go to sleep. This can be thinking about characters, conflict, dialogue or other elements that I should have ready-to-go when I start to type.
- Each new story should have something new in it. That can be a character I have not tackled before, a tone or theme, or just some element I want to punch up (e.g., sensory description, characterization purely through dialogue). I will never take the easy way out and write something I have done before.
- Be part of the community. With Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads there is no reason I should not be participating in discussion on the art and business of writing. In person, there is a local Ottawa convention and several in Toronto I could attend.
And with this bit of self-indulgence out of the way, I wish you all a great 2013!