Year In Review

Wow, 2013.

You were a hell of a year. For the first time in quite a while, I’m not really all that ready to kiss a year good-bye. As far as years go, you were pretty decent. The kids are all well past the baby phase. We had no major health crises. Nothing major broke in our house and/or car. I read a lot of great books and comics, saw some good movies (Thor and Frozen, yes!) and crocheted my first scarf. Yeah, it looks like shit, but at least I finished it.

More than anything else, though, 2013 was the year I started taking myself seriously.

2013 was the year of taking risks, of finishing things. Of focusing.

When I hit “publish” on the first episode of HIDDEN back in May, all I was hoping for was that having thrice-weekly deadlines would make me write fiction more regularly. It was scary. I’ve talked about this before. I was a garden writer and blogger. That was my thing. And now I was going to let this other (more prevalent, really) side of myself out in public, the side that imagines demons who are heroes and god-like heroines who adore the f-bomb. I really didn’t know what to expect.

So the fact that a little over six months later, I have two novels out is still kind of surprising to me. This whole telling stories thing has been my dream since I was thirteen. I’ve been writing fiction since then, filling notebooks and computer files. This is the year I finally put something out in public.

The even crazier thing, to me, is that some wonderful people actually seem to like what I wrote.

I was prepared to be ignored.

I was ready to be ridiculed.

I was ready to admit that I probably really, really suck at writing, just as I’ve always feared.

Can you tell I’m not really an optimist?

And all of that could have happened, and 2013 still would have been a really great year. I took a step forward this year, and doing that changed me.

2013 was the year I took action, instead of saying “someday.” Even if the serial and books had gotten shitty reviews (thank goodness they haven’t — that makes it all the better!) I finally did something I’ve been talking about for years. I’m pretty proud of that, because I’m generally really good at talking myself out of things. This was huge for me. 🙂

Looking Ahead to 2014

If 2013 was the year of taking myself seriously, I want 2014 to be the year of not turning back. I want to keep moving forward. I want to improve as a writer. I want to tell more stories. I will release at least two more books next year. I’ll start a new serial. I’ll keep fucking writing, even when I think I suck, even when it’s hard, even when I don’t want to.

Even when that little voice tells me that I’m not good enough.

That voice is the killer of dreams. And I am done listening to it.

I hope 2014 is the year you tell that voice to take a hike as well. It doesn’t know anything, anyway. And you drown it out with action. Do whatever it is so often and so enthusiastically that that voice becomes nothing more than annoying background noise.

You can do it. Really. This seems like a good time to share this again:

Thanks to everyone who read HIDDEN this year, as well as to my fellow webserial writers for your encouragement. I hope you all have an amazing 2014.



One thought on “Year In Review

  1. eventoe says:

    I think every writer, at some point in their career, suffers from those thoughts of self-doubt. I think it’s part of wanting to be better at your craft, part of knowing that there’s always something to be improved upon. Like Sanderson says, you have to learn to write poorly before you can learn to write well. And what’s classified as “poorly” is all perspective.

    For most writers, I think “poorly” is everything. It’s writing that chapter and constantly wanting it to be better. To put something of your own out there and wait for critiques is one of the hardest things you can do – to open yourself up to criticism when you ARE in that vulnerable state of wanting to do better and knowing you can if you just keep going. I feel like you’re looking for criticism, looking for people to tell you what you can improve upon, while at the same time always being guarded, waiting for that one comment that might break your spirit – the one comment that might push you over the edge toward laying down the pen and walking away.

    In the end, the best thing you can do is just to keep writing. Finish everything. Take reviews as means of improving. Have a thick skin, shrug things off. Don’t let them knock you down. So bravo, for writing. For continuing to write. And congratulations on a fun series.

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