end with a … bang?

I feel like I should do some sort of end-of-year wrap-up because hey, social pressure says that’s hot right now, but … well. I’m never really sure how to approach those kinds of things.

There’s the total high points version

(please imagine that font in sparkles and with accompanying trumpets)

… and those are all awesome things, totally deserving of exclamation points. They’re also the sorts of things we’re used to seeing on these year-end wrap-ups or, say, in your relative’s holiday letters.

Nobody wants to make depressing lists in the middle of winter.

Like, as a completely non-specific example …

Okay I just added this up and now I don’t want to say it.

82 rejections.

That’s across multiple projects. Multiple rounds of querying. Various places. Over the entire year. So and on and so forth, but … ouch.

Or, hey, if we want to go with “middle of the night depressed thinking,” how about the number of manuscripts I’ve written this year that probably won’t be read by more than my usual small group of friends?

4, if we’re going most pessimistic. Because hey, maybe in a few years I’ll be able to come back and check one of them off. But … well. I’ve drafted 4 novels this year (1 rewrite and 3 new ideas) and right now they’re all in various stages of revision that may or may not end up, eventually, one day, with publication.

Or! How about the number of files I’ve opened and started typing, but haven’t finished? That looks like an even dozen. And oof, one of them I’ve been trying to write for over a decade now, but I still haven’t found my way in. (Flashback to the one about failure.)

I know, I know: that’s the most “glass half empty” way to think about things.

Not my earlier post about failure. That one’s very “glass half full.” Because it shows how I’ve kept trying. And all of these stats, both the “yay!” and the “:sadface:” stats, show all of that, too.

I don’t want to end with toxic positivity (Rejections mean you’re putting yourself out there! Abandoned-for-now projects are proof you’re trying!) but it definitely feels better to acknowledge both sides of the year. To say “Buy my debut novel!” but also to allow a peek behind the curtain a bit at the piles of work that don’t always show, for example.

The stuff that can feel like failure.

I’m not good at New Year’s resolutions, for the record.

It feels like too much pressure. And I know that the whole measure of success of “don’t break the chain!” is when you miss a day and just hop right back into building a new chain, but … that’s never really worked for me. (I guess that’s why there’s so much self-help advice – like writing advice, it’s definitely not one size fits all.)

So I’m looking ahead to 2023 more as challenges and deadlines (the good kind, because these deadlines come from a yes! instead of a rejection) and opportunities, and I’m hoping the sparkle font list and the depressing list keep balancing each other out.

Here’s to you and yours being happy and healthy in 2023.

3 thoughts on “end with a … bang?”

  1. I’m really, really struggling to detach my identity from the ability to make money. Like, I don’t make money, and I cost a lot of money. So, in my head I’m thinking, “But Dr. Frost! You have a whole JOB! Why are you bummed about the rejections?!” And that’s just silly, because of course you’re bummed about the rejections. (Congrats on the job, btw).

    I’m trying to shift my feelings toward “money come, money go” but having been poor in the past makes me jaded. Also, just remember that Stephen King used to be an English teaching writing fiction in his laundry room on a typewriter. You’re in good company.


      1. See I’ve had people telling me I’m doing it BACKWARD – like don’t start as the published author and become an English teacher, that’s the wrong way around. 😆 But I think what I wanted to share is the fact that being a published author doesn’t stop the work and the rejections, or the post-rejection feels. But, if you want it, you have to keep going.

        Liked by 1 person

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