“If every other writer jumped off a bridge, would you?” (repost after WP problems)


Don’t mind me. I’m just hanging up this dirty laundry. It needs airing.

You know how I discover that the Hugo and Nebula nomination season has opened? Dozens of writers start listing their yearly sales to say “Here’s my eligible stuff!”

Which is fine. It’s important to them and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. And really, Pikachu forbid that I or anyone else tell people what they write on their own blogs, which I choose to read without paying a penny.

But I’m not going to do that, not this year or any, because the sort of books I write don’t win those awards. And that’s cool. I think of Hugo and Nebula awards as things of importance within the science fiction community and I’ve never really been part of that. [1] It’s like seeing the BAFTA winners, I guess; I’m happy for those people in that foreign country.

It does prompt me to look back over the year, though. Game of Cages came out at the end of August, of course, and it’s been doing pretty well. I also took part in A Glimpse of Darkness. But that’s it.

Many of the other writers I see out there had a couple of novels come out in 2010 along with a string of short stories. I envy them their productivity. Me, I had a tab open on this computer for three days which held an article about being productive and getting things done, but I couldn’t find time to read it, so I just closed it. (Not kidding).

So, my 2010? It’s been a frustrating year for me, writing-wise. The publishing end of things has been great–Del Rey has been doing a terrific job with my books, and I was glad that Child of Fire got a second printing.

But the first third of the year was spent finishing up Circle of Enemies, seven months past deadline. Yikes. I did not want to be that writer, and yet, there I was. I think it’s a solid book, maybe the best thing I’ve ever written, but it took so much time…

After that I spent months working on a proposal for The Buried King, a Harry-Bosch-in-fantasyland rhino killer, done my way. But there was something wrong with it–I’m not even sure what. I knew it would be difficult to translate a procedural to a second-world setting (a major part of the appeal of a police procedural is iron clad research and a glimpse into a privileged world, but how does that work when the author is making it all up?) but I guess I didn’t the the solutions in place. It didn’t get very far.

Then I went to work on A Key, An Egg, An Unfortunate Remark and… Jesus, what am I thinking here? Do people really want an urban fantasy with a 65-ish year old heroine? Who’s a committed pacifist?

I took a whack at the story once already, but none of it held together. right now I have, here beside me at the coffee shop, nearly 200 pages of manuscript for The Auntie Mame Files, about 30K words. I’m about to drop it into the mail for my agent.

If she can’t sell it, 2010 will have been a total wash, writing wise, except for the short chapter I wrote for A Glimpse of Darkness.

What the hell, right? It’s what I did. Hopefully, when the end of 2011 rolls around, I’ll be able to look back on a more productive year.

[1] That’s not meant as a condemnation. I’m just not much of a socializer

2 thoughts on ““If every other writer jumped off a bridge, would you?” (repost after WP problems)

  1. For what it’s worth, I actually DO want to read an urban fantasy with a 65-ish year old heroine who is a committed pacifist. She sounds fascinating. I can’t speak for all likely purchasers of urban fantasy novels, but it was already on my list of “stuff I am totally buying on release day.”

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