August 16th, 2010

My lost year

Last week I turned in The Book With The Title So Fabulous That I Dare Not Speak Its Name, which will be published by MTV Books next July. I posted more about that on the MTV Books Blog in case you're interested.

And now...I'm trying not to get that sinking feeling. I have plenty to do. I'm cleaning, for one thing, and answering my e-mail from July, and in the next few days I need to start writing proposals. But I don't have another book under contract, so the future is uncertain. I HATE it when the future is uncertain. And since this time last year, I've suffered a lot of disappointments in my writing career. I feel like I've been spinning my wheels REALLY FAST, working like a dog, and going nowhere.

But when I actually make a list and take stock of everything writing-related that I've done since the middle of August 2009, it doesn't look so bad:

-I wrote all of Endless Summer, revised it, and publicized it when it came out in May, and it went into its third printing a month later.

-I revised Forget You heavily and publicized it when it came out in July, and after only 10 days it went into its second printing.

-I wrote the last half of The Book I Love So Much That I Will Die If It Doesn't Sell. But maybe it will.

-I did a huge amount of work for a series proposal, ultimately pulling out because I decided it wasn't a good fit for me. But this is probably the only total loss of the year. I learned a lot about myself as a writer, so that's something.

-I wrote another proposal that we decided not to send out. But I might revise it and send it out in the future.

-I wrote all of The Book With The Title So Fabulous That I Dare Not Speak Its Name.

So in one year, that's two full books written, plus the equivalent of another if you consider it altogether. Three books while still holding down a "real" job? I'd say that is not a lost year at all.

In the next year I'm going to work just as hard. But I'm going to try to be a lot happier about it and cut myself some slack, because writing novels is the best job in the world.