Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hey, It's: a 2014 In Review Post

Ann and Jeff Vandermeer wear silly
hats to add some well needed levity
to week five of an intense, exhausting
Clarion experience
This year has been the weirdest since I began my writing journey.

It's been a massive success with a goal I didn't set and a massive failure against the goals I did set, all at the same time.

I wanted to better my story sales numbers. In 2013 I had eleven original stories published, three of which were my first ever pro sales. I thought if 2013 was any indication of momentum, I'd be well on my way.

This year I only had one original story published (way back in January), and one reprint. However, it was a reprint I was absolutely stoked to earn, because it was in a venue I've very much wanted to be in for many years (Heiresses of Russ).

If Clarion hadn't happened, 2014 would have been a disaster, I would have seriously been considering chucking in the towel, and wondering what the heck is wrong with my work.

But I'm not. Because Clarion CHANGED EVERYTHING.

It's five months on and I'm still capslocking about Clarion. It was honestly the best thing that ever happened to my career so far. Clarion introduced me to a bunch of incredible people who are now there for me until the end of my writing life, and gave me a huge boost to the next level of improving my game. I won't go into details - have a read back over my Clarion posts for all the deets.

The offshoot of Clarion is that I gained two very important groups of critical readers. I now have a core of beta readers from my Clarion class and a network of editors interested in my work, and a group of local writers who I meet with once a month to critique stories we're working on.

Hell Yeah, Heiresses of Russ 2014
with ME IN IT. I'm an heiress of one
of my writing heroes.
My local group - we call ourselves "CLAM" for in-joke reasons - is also a great cheerleading and social squad. I don't feel so alone in the writing world anymore, which can be a concern for writers like myself outside the hub and convention circuit. My local group is keeping me on track, and I'm very grateful for their energy and motivation. It's giving me the opportunity to keep using the critiquing skills I learned at Clarion and a better focus to my stories.

Rediscovering my energy post-Clarion has slowed down my production somewhat. I'm more intent on making things right before I send out a story. This has been a concern to me (see: OMG I've only had two stories published this year), but it's almost like rebooting or refocusing my career. Once things clarify, once I start making some bigger sales/impacts on the industry again, things will happen.

And I'm absolutely positive they will. I have my down moments and doubts, especially with rejections, but it's all part of the process. 2015 won't be the same as 2014 - nothing could ever replace the greatness of Clarion - but it will be DIFFERENT. I already have three original publications to look forward to - the first tomorrow! - I have many stories I'm working on, and I'm absolutely aiming to break into certain favoured venues and make more pro sales.

So come on 2015, whatcha got for me?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your inspiring story and for encouraging others to chase their dreams of getting their stories out. I am very excited for you, and hearing of your success makes me very happy. I'm sure that with your group that you will continue on to even greater things. Keep up the great work and maintain that amazing attitude you've got!

    Timothy Gray @ Sales Development Expert

    ReplyDelete