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The day before yesterday marked my 300th short story rejection, which is something that makes me feel pretty pleased. Why pleased with rejections? Well, because it's been less than a year and three months since I received no. 200, and that tells me I've been rather productive in the past year. I currently have 15 short stories up for sale (ranging from 56 words to 8000), two more in the works, and a novel draft that I'm turning into something worth reading. Oh, and I've had four short stories published this year already, one of them in a professional e-zine, so I'm feeling that forward motion.

On the side, my advertising work for hire has paid off more in the first half of this year than in all of 2010. I've set up my own web page, done a lot more blogging and social networking with writers than I usually do, and signed up as an associate member of SFWA (a long-time goal). Other current projects include repainting our back patio, and I will soon take up arms against our thorny twelve-foot hedge in what is sure to become an epic battle of man versus nature. This year I hope to win, but the bookies seem to think otherwise...

On a more personal note, I've spent the last two and a half month gradually reducing my intake of efexor anti-depressants, and finally quitting the stuff altogether. And boy, has that been an experience. While efexor doesn't have a 'craving'-effect, the withdrawal symptoms include (but are not limited to): spells of dizziness, light nausea, mood swings, and headaches--or pretty much the equivalent of taking a very long drive in a car with a bunch of heavy smokers. Since my reduction regimen was one day on meds, one day off, that resulted in my having 'something like the flu' every second afternoon and evening.

Now that I'm off the meds I'm keeping an eye on my mood and have imposed an exercise regime to boost my mental energy. It'll be a while before I know if it's enough or if I need other kinds of help.

What I do know is that the first two paragraphs of this post make me greedy. I can write more. MORE. The others do it, and I want to be a professional too, so I'll have to be like them. And there are people out there who claim it isn't hard to write,[1] so I'm a wimp if I don't...

But I also have to face the fact that at the moment, after kicking a depression, steady does it. I'll participate in the world of SF and Fantasy, and do so with great enthusiasm, but I'll also keep some brain power and presence of mind in stock for me and my family. There's writing and there's life, and the former is only a part of the latter. 

So the coming year will hopefully feature more of the same (except epic battles against hedges and depressions) but at a manageble pace.

What are your plans for the rest of 2011?

[1] Refreshingly provocative and the ushering in of productionism in fiction... something I may take an issue with in a different post. But it's well worth a read.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 6th, 2011 06:08 am (UTC)
Congratulations on all that forward motion, Jakob!

Jul. 6th, 2011 09:08 am (UTC)
Thanks. In writing things sometimes go by slowly that you hardly notice the progress, so it's nice to stop once in a while and look back to see how far you've come.
Jul. 6th, 2011 08:55 am (UTC)
Your health and your family should always come first ;o) Don't kill yourself to write!
Jul. 6th, 2011 09:07 am (UTC)
That's the plan :-) Besides, I don't have any rabid fans demanding a new novel twice a year, so I might as well enjoy the process.
Jul. 6th, 2011 09:09 am (UTC)

Jul. 6th, 2011 09:10 am (UTC)

Jul. 6th, 2011 09:10 am (UTC)

Jul. 6th, 2011 09:11 am (UTC)
You are very brave, going off your meds. Be careful, be diligent, be healthy!
Jul. 6th, 2011 09:14 am (UTC)
Thank you!!! I've been doing well for quite some time, so I'm up for the task. And if things go haywire again, I know where to get help :-)
Jul. 6th, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC)
I need plans. I'm being lazy about making one. I've hardly subbed anything for over a year, and I keep asking myself how I hope to get published like that. Nor have I completed a short story that excites me in that time. *sigh* I need a swift kick to the behind or a troll threatening my life.
Jul. 7th, 2011 03:37 am (UTC)
I'm quite lucky that I don't really need plans to motivate me, or I wouldn't get any writing done. I'm lucky that I have so many ideas that I always have a story or five to tell. They want to get out of my head, and I want them out, and that arrangement kinda works :-)

Do you have any idea why your stories don't excite you? For me, it's sometimes because I'm too close to them, and I just need to finish them and ask other people for feedback. I'm a terrible judge of my own work, and I know more than one idea I've worked on that I hated that others loved (and the other way around). Finding that story you're really passionate about can be difficult... (Hope that's not too trollish, because I definitely don't think that's what you need :-) )
Jul. 7th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)
I don't know what my problem has been. I think mainly lack of confidence and discouragement -- not that I get more than anyone else, but I don't deal with it nearly as well as I'd like, and it hasn't gotten any better the longer I'm at it. I wish stories would just come to me, but I get disjointed ideas that need plots and plotting doesn't come easy to me. Characters and ideas are fine but they don't make the story.
Jul. 6th, 2011 04:48 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you've got a good routine going for writing and submitting. keep at it :)

As for my plans for the rest of 2011, I intend to finish (as in agent/editor pitch-ready) two novels, one of them is Barnum's Revenge, the sequel to Fur-Face. I haven't decided which of my other WiPs will be second.

Jul. 7th, 2011 03:40 am (UTC)
That sounds like the perfect plan for a writer who wants to write more :-) Happy working, Jon.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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