Whew. I think I speak for a lot of us when I say; “Thank god that’s over.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m not just speaking about the year, but most of the decade in general.
Sure, there were some great things that came out of the 2010’s. No longer having to receive our Netflix movies through the mail for one, but I can’t help but feel that we, as a people, are more separated than ever before.
Technology in general has made great strides in the past ten years. At the beginning of the decade, self publishing was still looked on with general disdain. The general consensus was, self publishing meant you weren’t good enough to get a “real” publisher. While some people still think that way, indie publishing is starting to see some of the respect people started giving to indie music and movies back in the 90’s and 2000’s. Of course, the ability to bypass the gatekeepers has led to a lot of sub-par books being published, but I have to believe that the cream will still rise to the top.
Unfortunately, while we are far more connected than ever before, we are no closer to truly understanding each other. The technology that should have led to better communication between us has instead been used to abuse each other. People browbeat each other rather than listen to each other’s point of view. I only hope that the 2020’s might bring a new renaissance of understanding.
As for me, I spent the first hour or two of the new decade wallowing in the fact that I don’t feel any more accomplished in my writing career than I was at the start of the last one. I felt the onrush of the depression train bearing down on me. But then a miracle happened. Just as it was about to crush me, I jumped out of the way just as the blast of air from it whooshing by rushed over me.
Maybe I’m not where I’d hoped I’d be by now. but I can’t honestly say I’ve made no progress in the past ten years. Sure, I spent a good portion of the decade in the grips of crushing depression, but I’ve still made progress. Hell, I even made a little bit of pocket change from it. More importantly, I’ve finally made some major steps to conquering my depression.
Try as I might, I can’t be dismal about the coming years. For once, I feel like something good is just over the horizon and I’m excited to see what it is. I know I have a long road of hard work to get there, but I’m actually excited to get to it.
In fact, I’ve been so ready to get to work that, although I love the holidays, I’ve been a bit eager to be done with them so I can get back to real life.
I’ve been studying Joanna Penn’s book How To Make A Living With Your Writing and I’m loving it. I can’t recommend them enough. As always, a lot of it doesn’t apply to me because I don’t plot my books ahead of time, but the business advice she gives is pure gold.
I also got Robert Bly’s book, The Copywriter’s Handbook and I’m looking forward to getting into that as well. I have a feeling I’m going to finally find some success in the next year.
And now, I suppose it’s time for some resolutions. I’m not normally one for new year’s resolutions, but I’m hoping I can keep up with these.
First, I’m hoping to read at least forty books this year. They could be any genre, fiction or nonfiction, long or short, but I’m going to do it. I was tempted to do fifty, but I think forty is a reasonable goal.
Second, writing every day. Even if it’s utter shit, I’m going to keep writing. As they say, you can’t edit a blank page.
Third, and this is a painful one, I’m going to put away the novel I’ve been laboring over for years and start something new. It’s honestly been so long since I started it, I’m not sure I’m the same person I was when I started it. At some point, I’d like to come back to it, but if I do, I’m going to use it as a guideline for a complete rewrite.
Finally, I’m going to finish the new project. And hopefully another before the year’s out.
Okay, now that I’ve typed them all out, I’m a bit scared, but I know I can do this.
That’s about it for now. I have a lot more to tell you, but I just got off of a long New Year’s Eve night at work and I’m looking forward to my bed.
See you next time.
Oh. I almost forgot. for fiction, I’m starting the year with Hank Green’s An Absolutely Remarkable Thing It seems like an appropriate way to kick off the new decade.