Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012, we hardly knew ye

I've got a big blog post coming soon that covers the past few years, and my general thoughts about maintaining a writing career, but I'll save it for the new year. I don't want that to be the final post of the year, it feels a bit transitional, I'd rather cap 2012 off neatly. Nobody likes a messy blog. Apart from the people at, but they're a bunch of weirdoes.

And 2012 has been quite a whirlwind. I've had two movies released in UK cinemas and attended the premieres, written and directed a brand new short film, directed two phone adverts for FrightFest, ran a filmmaking workshop with Girl Number 9 co-conspirator Dan Turner, had a short story printed in a shared world anthology, did my first live short story reading at a Den of Geek event, had several meetings in America for possible new projects, and written tons of new material. During all that, I've had the usual round of rejections, bad experiences, and betrayals that are just part and parcel of this crazy business. I like to think I'm better able to handle them now, and will fight my corner when I need to. As always, a couple of people (who mistook my politeness for weakness) got added to the "Never Again" list. But also as always, I've found some surprising allies, people who have stepped up at just the right moment to be a hero.

The thing I still need to work on most is NOT working. I hardly ever take time off. That constant worry that you'll get left behind is a killer for writers, we feel guilty when we're not writing - and because we love telling stories, it doesn't feel like work, so we exhaust ourselves. I really need to look after myself physically and mentally, and take time off regularly. I used to have a rule about not working weekends, but that would make me too anxious, so maybe I'll just start with Sundays. In the meantime, I've stopped work for the Christmas break, and am off the clock until January 4th.

Usually in these summary posts, I talk about what I've learned, what I'd do differently. Thing is, I wouldn't do anything differently - I learned what I learned because of the way things happened, for better or worse. It's been a year of highs and lows, but then, isn't every year? Isn't that just life? Unless you're some sort of powerful superbeing, there'll always be ups and downs. Even if you *are* a powerful superbeing, ooh, the burden of power, eh??

So this year, just like every year, the lessons are the same: enjoy the good stuff, learn from the bad stuff, work hard, and be nice. And always have a spare printer cartridge. Especially that last one.

Here's to 2013!