How does one review a decade of growth, change, expansion, and experience in a single career? Much less in an industry like the publishing industry? I suppose by starting with some of the stats from 2010 – 2019. Note, this is an imperfect list of stats. It doesn’t mention the number of words written, the stories submitted then rejected, the novels written and trunked, the journals, articles, and blog posts. But, really, you’ve got to start somewhere. That is what I’ve done.
- Short stories published: 65
- Fiction collections published: 4
- Novellas published: 5
- Novels published: 11
- Omnibuses published: 2
- Podcasts produced and published: 2
- Comic books published: 1
- Anthologies edited: 16
- RPG books contributed to: 7
- RPG books written/co-written: 6
- Award nominations: 18 (including 2 Bram Stoker awards and a Hugo award)
- Awards won: 7 (including an AU Shadows award, an ENnie award, an Origins award, and a Scribe award)
Gotta admit, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. In 2010, if you’d told me that one day I’d be an internationally published author and editor who’d been nominated for both the Bram Stoker and the Hugo award, I would’ve laughed at you and said it was a nice idea. I thought those things were so far out of my reach that I couldn’t imagine it. If you’d told me that I’d get to write for some of my favorite non-RPG properties like VWars, Valdemar, and Predator, I would’ve wondered what you’d been drinking. Stuff like that didn’t happen to me.
Then again, I didn’t know I was going to start my own publishing house.
…Or serve a term as a Director-at-Large of SFWA.
…Or volunteer for the HWA.
…Or be a Guest of Honor at ten different conventions, including conventions in Sweden and Finland.
…Or get an agent after I’d given up the search.
In truth, this is no real way to quantify a decade of my career in a meaningful manner that gives the scope of “everything.” I’ve always been ambitious when it comes to my career. I’ve got plans for the next decade. I’m sure they’ll change. But, that’s all right.
I’ll leave you with some lessons I’ve learned along the way.
- Share the love. Publishing is not a zero sum game. No one has to lose for you to win. Eventually we will work together on a project.
- Default to being kind. Publishing is a small industry.
- Write what you love and what you want to read. My greatest success has come from settling in to write exactly what I want to write and to love what I do.
- Figure out what kind of writing career you want. Casual? Part-time? Full-time? Just hang out with other writers? It’s all good. The sooner you realize what you actually want, the better it will be for you.
- You are allowed to change your mind and to change direction. Shift gears on the type of story telling you do. Flash? Podcasts? Epic novel series? One-off books? Tie-in work?
- You are allowed to stop. To quit. To take a break. To rest.
- You are allowed to start again. No one is going to take away your writing card.
- There is no one path to a successful writing career. YOU determine what makes you a success. Self-pub? Big 5? Hybrid? It’s all fair game. This is one of the most exciting times in the publishing arena. Nothing is off-limits.
Of course, the last decade wouldn’t have been as successful as it’s been without the Husband’s support. He helped make it all possible. For that, I am ever-grateful.
In the annual tradition of every freelance writer’s need to justify themselves, here is my 2019 Scorecard. How did I do at what I do most? Overall, pretty good, I think. I succeeded more than I failed. Though, I didn’t complete everything I wanted to get done.
Short Story Submissions: 7
- Acceptances: 5
- Rejections: 1
- Pending: 1
This is a very good look for me. Though, in truth, 5 of the 7 short stories were commissioned. I rarely have time to write for markets that are not guaranteed.
New Words Written: 125,130
- Short: 24,130
- Long: 101,000
That equates to 4 new short stories, 1 new RPG project, 1 novella, and 1 novel. In the grand scheme of things, this about 60% of what I normally write. However, life was not as kind to me as it had been in the past. The death of loved ones makes writing hard.
Published Projects: 7
- 2 novels: BattleTech: Iron Dawn and Shadowrun: Makeda Red
- 1 anthology: A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods
- 3 short stories: “Between a Corp and a Hard Place” (Shadowrun), “Written in Red” (Emberwind), “One Town at a Time” (Valdemar)
- 1 podcast: ShadowBytes (Shadowrun)
- 1 Won: 2019 Rainforest Writers Inspirational Award.
- 1 Nomination: To Fight the Black Wind - finalist for the 2019 Raven Award for Horror/Thriller novel.
Conventions Attended: 5
This is less than half of the number of conventions attended in 2018…by design. I attended 12 in 2018 and that was too much. That’s one of my goals for 2019 succeeded.
Goals for the Year: 6
- Fewer conventions attended.
- Declutter the House.
- Expand my Creative Horizons (Twitch game and Voice talent on the Dire Multiverse).
- Continue focus on my physical health.
- Figure out my crafting situation (All the crafts are still languishing).
- Curious Fictions (This failed. I didn’t want to keep it up and Ko-Fi was easier and more people have brightened my day with it.)
Next up, a look at the last decade. I think I’ve come a long way and I should celebrate that.