The Year Passed (2014) Reporting Back to Myself.
In this hiatus between Christmas and New Year I must refine almost everything. Take stock of stony failures, acknowledge some small shoots of promise that need staking and decide upon the reality of any ambitions. I have been a lifelong writer, but an ‘author’ for 1/74th of my life. Net result is I have more WIP than there will be time to finish, publish, and wave about. Too busy being mother for far too long, and probably missed the sell by date on almost everything, particularly in discovering what I might be of value to others.
What takes priority? Life? Remembering to notice the new? Returning with a dodgy wrist to rescue what little remains of cello playing? Drive my patient husband occasionally to see a view? Or slog on with the dubious business of keeping up with the literary Joneses, doomed, I fear, to certain failure.
The Works in Progress? None shout ‘best seller’ or Amazon Rankings, yet they whisper some merits when I attend to their claims.
I genuinely share this reflection for clarity in myself and advice from any who care to offer it. I mean that, I welcome any detour!
The past year has seen some successes. Involution was reviewed in four print Journals, articles (on its seeming insanity) commissioned in two others. Yucatan almost got a prize (I think- nobody really confirmed it) and two short stories were Stories of the Week in Narrative and one among the Five Best of the year. Another was shortlisted for the Rubery prize. None of that has made the slightest difference either to sales or building confidence. Only readers do that.
We, authors, are told that winning things matters. Does it? Piled high and stamped with badges in W.H. Smith or B&N maybe, but mentioned on Facebook or Twitter merely irritates! And embarrasses. Even adding comments stating more of the obvious now becomes more difficult, and who asks to be ‘liked’?
Mastered WordPress, learned to be merely adequate at editing graphics, written some reviews that have given pleasure and assisted others, written five guest posts, and been interviewed on specialist audio shows four times. All pleasurable, made a few loyal friends, enjoyed feeling less alone in the corridors behind the Bull Ring’s real stage where performances need capes and swords, speed and deft footwork.
Mostly in the arena of giving hope precedence over experience; paying for short cuts and assistance, taking workshops, buying software and believing I will (one day) use it. Mostly ceasing to write anything new ( until pushed into NaNoWriMo at the eleventh hour) and parched for want of creativity; and watching the last remaining life ooze away without sufficient attention to glory or the sun rising.
Some Impulses Arising. ( Not Exactly Resolutions because I know my recoil from any imperatives- even self induced!)
The First has to do with FOCUS, and Making the Rock and the Hard Place comfortable and making life easier for my followers on the matter of reflection.
This Blog (Careless Talk https://involution-odyssey.com/blogscribe/) will get less careless. More reflective, perhaps a kind of Philosophy of Ordinary Life. Not evangelical, but related to why I write what I do, who for, and what may be of value in more general contexts. I have had a very interesting life, and I have scarcely touched upon it in books ( A ladybird has this moment crawled upon my keyboard and settled briefly on the Ctrl key- see?) Lots like that! Motherhood to the power of twice (2 x 2) taught me much about getting it wrong. Belief in academic dispassion showed the ugliest qualities in people far from dispassionate about the ownership of ideas! I can tell those stories and with some disparagement I hope.
My other site’s (http://philipparees.wordpress.com/) blogs will be for others, good ideas, reblogs, guest posts, interviews, things of interest, a few poems, and unfettered impulses to share with friends. It will also carry reviews ( the one contribution I can make to the struggling self-published but only as gifted, never requested because again compulsion renders me impotent, verbally and emotionally!)
I will map across as appropriate! Apropos of this new kitchen cupboard where stores will be more ordered, if you are a ‘follower’ please subscribe so that I can gift you with stories, pre-publication offers, (and persuade a publisher I might be worth a punt on books I can’t manage on my own). You will never be plagued or inundated or asked for anything! Of an alleged 787 followers I have but 13 subscribers. That’s my fault in asking for ‘Friendship’ – an onerous demand from a stranger. I have changed that and much else on the welcome mat.
Clearer Intentions for 2015 On Publishing and Creativity
I intend to publish perhaps ten short stories that reveal the indefinable differences between Old and New World Characters, ways of being. I hope to put both Yucatan and Involution out in audio books, and rewrite Acer- the mythical fantasy I wrote for NaNoWriMo. I am also seeking a publisher for another hybrid book- a fictionalised biography. I might set up some kind of recording booth at home since recording can only be managed for an hour at a time, (after a lifetime of smoking the voice gets manly which can be advantageous, the breath in short supply- definitely the opposite.) Now the ladybird bids me cease and sits upon a finger-tip.(‘Your house is on fire, Your children are gone’)
I wish each and all a very happy New Year.