Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - The Year That Was

The bread is in the oven, and the meat for the meatballs for the New Years Eve Game Night party is thawing.

It have a very little time to look back on 2014.

On the one hand, I want to say that 2014 was a horrible year.  Health and family issues consumed it utterly.  I made very little money at writing, and my sales came to a near stand-still -- but that was entirely in proportion to the effort I did not put into it.  Same with art and pretty much everything else I might have done in a professional way.

And yet....

It was all in proportion to the work I'd done on it.  And I did make a lot of connections, and set myself up for some future moves.  And in spite of the serious stress of things going on in my personal life, taking a real break from work was... nice.

I have perfected my bread, and also the art of roasting nuts.  And these meatballs I'm making tonight... they're da bomb.  And though we recently lost our favorite Thai restaurant, a new Burmese place opened up in town, and I was introduced to a new dish -- Burmese Pickled Tea Leaf Salad. OMG!  It's magnificent.

In the way of sort-of-work, sort-of-not, we went to a major sf convention this summer -- Detcon -- and I got to see those great Diego Rivera auto industry murals real live in person.  Another magnificent thing.

(It may not seem like much, but these are Bucket List level things.)

Furthermore, this fall, life settled down and I could get back to creative things....

Which is when I rediscovered sound.

One of the things I always do when life throws everything for a loop, is see if there is something I can build on, something I've already done.  Look for new markets for old stories, or pick up writing fresh on a half-written story I abandoned long ago.

Or find a new format to release a book in.

I expected that I would be doing paper copies and illustrated versions of my books, or repackaging old blog posts into a book or something like that.

But instead I decided to look into audiobook versions.  And golly, I got swept up in that -- because performing my books as audio is like creating them again.  I am bringing them further to life.  I am completing them.

I don't know how long it will be before I get back into real writing production.  I will certainly finish and publish something in the coming year, but I can't say what or how much just now.  Certainly some short fiction.  Probably a Man Who novel or a return to the serial at least.

Oddly enough, this time off has given me a real sense of perspective what's going on in the industry.  When you're striving and striving, you get tunnel vision.  Your focus is too close.  You can only get the big picture when you step back.

I don't usually like to make predictions, but I do have a sense of a few things for publishing, and I'm going to talk about that tomorrow.  In particular, I want to take a look at the "crash" many people are talking about in the indie community, and how I think a lot of people are getting it wrong in what it means.  (And how, the next Big Thing is going to be the Rise of the Amateur.)

The other thing I hope to do this week is to rewrite my old "The Times That Try Writer's Souls" post and record it for the Daring Novelist Podcast.  I figure tomorrows post and that (the text of which will be posted here) are companion pieces.

But just now, the bread's coming out of the oven and I've got to get to those meatballs....

See you in the funny papers!


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

That bread is making me very sorry I'm GF!

Even though your 2014 wasn't exactly what you wanted (and I know what you mean...I veered off in odd directions, too), it sounds like you had opportunity to both reflect and observe...always such a good thing in this business.

Happy New Year!

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks, Elizabeth. Hope you have a great year!