Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Looking Back & Looking Ahead

So New Year’s is a time of looking both back and forward. Back on the year that past, forward to what’s coming next.
Looking back: 2012 was a wicked f’ing crap-ton of a hard year, physically, emotionally, and work-wise. I experienced more health problems than ever before in my life, but I also wrote two books and took them through most of the editing stages, then for fun wrote another book entirely in December. I lost my love for writing, then powered through and eventually gained it back again. I faced deadlines and met each one. I’ve learned SO FREAKING MUCH about writing this year. It was a crash course, a dump-you-in-the-deep-end-and-hope-you-don’t-drown course, but I finally figured out how to swim (though there were a couple of times I was sure I was gonna drown). Btw, if you know a debut author, give them a hug, because the debut year all on it's own is a crazy intense and stressful thing.

Let’s see, what else? My eating habits have changed entirely due to the Meniere’s disease, so I consume only trace amounts of salt every day, drink no coffee, and drink no alcohol. I live pretty much like a little nun, sans the headdress and plus pink hair.

And best of all, I’m happy.

Looking forward: Lots of uncertainties that will make me crazy if I let them. The second and third book of the Glitch trilogy will be out this year (Override in Feb, Shutdown in July). But will they all sell well? Will readers like them? Will my agent like the new book I just wrote, and will my editor want to acquire it? Will this one exciting thing happen or won’t it, and will I be okay if it doesn’t?

My response to most of these is to limit my expectations and expect the worst. I know that sounds bad. I’m not actually a pessimist, but I prefer to expect the worst rather than hope for something so hard and then have the hope stomped on (especially after a year of lots of stompage!) Then if the good thing happens, I’m happily surprised. And when good things come, they feel more like grace, like things I didn’t deserve but was given anyway, and I feel a deep and profound gratitude. And when bad things come, I do lots of meditation and try to turn my sights back only on the day in front of me, which is the only thing I can control, and let the future worry about itself.

Up directly ahead on the docket is editing the book I just finished today, all the way up until edits for Shutdown come back from my editor. Then I’ll hand off New Book to agent man to see what he thinks, and lose myself in Shutdown edits for several weeks. Then turn those in, and go back to editing New Book with whatever thoughts and critiques agent man gives.

At least this is how I envision it working, but I’m certainly familiar enough with how life likes to intervene in our nicely laid little plans.

Either way, 2013 ought to be a far less stressful year than 2012, and I’m looking forward to good times ahead.

What are you looking forward to this year?

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