For the first time in ages, I feel on top of this writing gig! I’m meeting my goals, I’m not overwhelmed by things, and the business side of things is set up and working smoothly. I’m approaching writing in a balanced and conservative way – allowing plenty of fallow down-time in between projects, but still coming up with the goods and meeting deadlines. Rather than the manic mad-puppy style that characterised my first few years behind the keyboard, I’m running on a quiet sort of excitement. For the first time, it’s not about the slapping out of fifty first drafts a year…it’s about writing work I’m proud of. Polishing, editing, loving the words. I feel like I’ve been missing that for a while, so it’s a welcome return.
A while back, I read through Jeff Vandermeer’s excellent Booklife, and while I probably don’t adhere to the lessons as much as I should, it all seems to be working well. I set some goals around about the time I read it, will have to dig them up and see if I stuck to them. From memory I wanted to diversify my writing income, and try out some different mediums. So far I’ll call that a success, with some comics, game writing and podcast stuff under my belt. There’s a novel coming out soon (more when it’s all official-like), and a collection on the horizon.
Probably best of all, I seem to have beaten writer envy for good – to be honest, I had a real problem with it for a while there. Now, I’m chipper whenever a buddy does well, and that energy has been redirected into positive ways. You can only be you, after all, and you can only control your own output. Sales, awards and accolades, you have power over none of these things. So why fret and grind your teeth? Again, Booklife is a great resource.
Sometimes I think about legacies and what I hope to achieve by writing. And I still don’t know. I’m still stoked whenever I sell my words, doubly so whenever someone else chooses to spend their valuable time reading them. The only problem with toiling in the word mines is that it’s hard to see what’s going on around you, or which direction you’re digging in. A list of publications isn’t much of a gauge – for all I know I could be eventually known for love-yarns or children’s books. As a creator you’re only in charge of so much, and opportunities seem to shape a career as much as productivity.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this - things seem to go easier in life when you surrender control. Rather than building cement drains, I’m tipping water into valleys. Sure, water seems to follow the path of least resistance, but damn, rivers are interesting Whatever plans I make, I’m pleasantly surprised when they turn out differently.
Hope your rivers run wild!
Your pal, the Fisch.