Writing

2017 Year In Review

In 2017, as you might have noticed, I sort of fell off the map.

This was not a thing I expected. The first year with a new baby, I thought, would surely be the time when I would get no writing done, when I wouldn’t send stories out, and so on. Not so. I think I did alright in 2016.

Things have gotten easier with the baby this year, so I’m not sure why I sort of shut down on the whole writing thing. Still, people say these periods happen and it’s totally fine. I like viewing it as a fallow period. As a calm, quiet, where maybe my brain is absorbing, though not actively putting anything out.

Also, yeah, the baby.

These are the only years I get with her at this age, so I’m not beating myself up about sort of tapping out on the writing thing this year. For the first time, I have zero submission stats. I sort of quit keeping track and hardly sent anything out this year.

There are a few numbers I do have:

-9 new stories drafted

-4 publications (2 reprints, 1 podcast!)

 

You’ll notice one of those publications this year was a podcasted story–my first! It was also a reprint–“Your Body, By Default”–which was originally published in Fireside Fiction. Having the story podcasted was a thrill–but it also brought to light some serious issues with the story. I apologized on Twitter for the fact that in this story I sort of try to tell a story that isn’t mine (about body dysphoria) to tell, as well as make no mention of trans people whatsoever in a story that talks a lot about gender. I definitely fucked that one up.

Lesson learned. I shall do better.

In May, I stopped doing edits/revisions on my novella. Last week, I picked that back up again. It felt really good to get back to things and I hope to continue revisions weekly until this job is done.

This fall, I once again competed in the Wyrm’s Gauntlet. I placed second this year, which was super thrilling. I can’t wait until next year! I definitely want to see if I can’t push my way into first place. 😀

My goals for 2018 are mostly to draft more. I’m once again going to attempt the 12 for 12 Stories challenge which I set out to do last year (and dropped the ball on). I’m heartened by how many people did “complete” the challenge, and how many didn’t write 12 but DID write a lot more than they would have otherwise.

All in all, I guess I did alright in 2017. Things got quiet. I’m enjoying my time with Estelle as she becomes her own person more and more. And I’ve got dreams and plans and goals for 2018. So that feels good. Really good.

~Alexis

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One thought on “2017 Year In Review

  1. OK, so you didn’t write much of anything this year. It happens. Just because you’re a writer doesn’t mean you have to write all the time. You did have other things going on, like . . . oh yes, a baby! Sometimes real life concerns take more of your time than you’d like, and things like hobbies or even the series business of writing have to be put on hold.. And maybe your brain just needed a break; I like the “fallow period” theory. I’m sure it’s just a temporary break and I’ll be looking forward to whatever you produce in the new year.

    Don’t beat yourself up over “Your Body, By Default.” I still think it was a good story. Maybe it could have been better; I’m sure it’s not the first time you’ve looked at something you’ve written and seen ways that it could have been better. But to paraphrase Leonard Bernstein (commenting on Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and some criticisms that were made of it), focus on what’s right with it, not what’s wrong with it. And as far as not making any mention of trans people, you can’t include everything. It’s not like you were trying to write a history of gender relations in the 21st century; you were simply telling a short, fictional story.

    I looked over your list of publications and it seems to me that you really hit your stride in 2013 (though some of the stories were probably written in 2012).. In that year you published 3/4 of the “By the Gun” series, with the final installment following in the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of Spark, as well as two of my favorite stories, “Dark Refrain” and “Pallbearer,” plus “The Writings of Brigham Worthing,” which is one of your best epistolary stories.

    It was interesting to see what you’ve been reading in the past year. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of stories and a couple of novels by Aliette de Bodard. She and Kage Baker have become my new favorite F/SF writers. I also read part of what may be the best SF anthology ever, The Hard SF Renaissance, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer.

    Have a very happy New Year’s. I look forward to some typically great stories from you in 2018.

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