Well, before I look to this year, I’m going to take a quick second to reflect on 2k9. The year I found myself. The year all hell broke loose. The year that rock bottom was hit. The year the pen never ran out of ink, the lead in the pencil never faded, and the keys always did what I told them to.
Though it was the scariest year I’ve ever lived, it gave me strength and confidence that I never knew existed. From opening that first rejection letter and feeling my stomach drop to getting my first check for my writing, it was nothing short of a wild rolley-coasta.
My official publishing count was thirteen. A story a month published? Works for me. AND for 2k10, I already have about five stories locked up for publication. My estimated word count sits at 300,000. For me, after taken a five year hiatus from writing, that’s a shitload of words (pardon my Francais). That word count comes from a full novel, a half novel, a NaNo novel, a #fridayflash story every Friday starting in mid August, a novella, and dozens of short stories. That word count doesn’t include these fantastic blog posts I make every now and then.
The 12 Days of Christmas project was a huge success. . . the turnout, the comments, and material. And as I am typing this, the proof copy is being sent to me which means the paperback version will be out soon.
I’ve met some of the greatest people I’ve ever met and feel like I’ve been welcomed into a great community of writers.
I thank everyone who stopped by my blog, followed me on Twitter, read a story, commented on a story, refused to comment on a story because it was a terrible story, those who listened to my music, those who sent in lyrics, those who send in lines for the A Line at a Time, and those who have stuck behind me while I figure out what the hell to do with Soft Whispers magazine!
What am I hoping for in 2k10?
Lots of writing. I’ve got a couple novels in the works. I’ve got lots of shorts in the works. I’ve got a novella idea. But most of all, I’ve got hope and confidence. Last year I was like the new kid in class. I was a little confused, embarrassed myself a few times, stood up too early only to be crushed, but I got back up again. I was self conscious about the words on the paper and the words being sent out. I fell trap to a reading fee with a publishing only to learn that everyone was right about not paying a reading fee to a publishing (F.Y.I. – DON’T! They take it. And you get nothing.). I entered contests and never heard back. I sent out queries to agents and got form rejections. I sent out queries to more agents and got two personalized rejections. I stopped sending queries when I realized my novel sucked. So for that, I apologize to each and every literary agent and/or literary agent’s secretary that had to suffer through my attempt at a query and a novel! I promise this year when you see my letter, you’ll be happier.
In 2k10, expect a revved up Jim. Imagine Jim 2.0. J
But in all seriousness, I want to thank everyone who supports me and my crazy dreams. Again, to all those who read and comment – that is why I write. If I can steal your attention for a few minutes and make you forget about the mortgage payment or overdue cable bill or the face that your left front tire looks a little low but it’s too cold to check, I’ve done my job. And it’s the only job I want and the only job I’m good at. I hope you continue to read my stories and comment on them. I hope you listen to a few of my songs and enjoy them. But most of all, I hope you all pick up a pen or pencil yourself and see what happens.
To those who write. . . please keep your chins up. Don’t read all the news that’s out there. It’s like all the other news – it’s crap. Of course we know it’s hard to get published. Of course we know the economy is tough and publishers are cracking down. Or course we know that some of the stuff we write is garbage. There’s enough bad news out in the publishing world to make anyone quit. Then again, there’s enough bad news in the world to make anyone wanna bail out of life. But come on, we all life is fun. . . you just have to see it. . . so the same holds true for writing. . . have fun. Be happy. Take a breath. . . because you can.
And to those who think agents are evil, consider this quick: if you want to be a doctor, you need to go to school. You can’t just take a scalpel and start cutting. . . that would be called murder. If you want to be the quarterback of a NFL team, you need to go through the ranks and prove it. You can’t just walk onto a practice field and start tossing pig skins around. . . although it would be funny to see. What’s my point? There’s no stopping anyone from writing. We are taught to write from a young age. And literary agents have to post their contact info to attract the real writers but the catch 22 is that they have to go through the garbage stuff too. Anyone can open their laptop and type. There’s not schooling for it. Anyone can hit print. There’s no degree for it. Anyone can postage an envelope and send it to an agent. So if an agent seems mad, mean, or evil. . . just remember what they have to go through on a daily basis. Ever watch American Idol? You know how they open the doors and thousands of people swarm because they want their 15 minutes of fame and lots o’ money but can’t sing? It’s like that for agents (in my opinion). Plus, someday one of those agents is going to represent you. . . so play nice! J
So I think I’m done here. 2k9 was the year of revival and thanks. 2k10 is going to be the year of writing. . . writing more than I ever could have imagined and maybe next year at this time, I could be talking about how great my agent is. . . or maybe not. But regardless, I’m going to have some fun either way!