Making Your Gut Into A New Heart
Okay, it’s not New Years, yet, but I won’t see you till after New Years.
It’s been a very tough year. Very tough. It started with relatives dying, took some turns into odd personal health stuff. I ended up on Prednisone… 4? times for massive auto-immune attacks mostly brought on by stress. There were other things (including relatives health) adding to the stress, to the point sometimes I felt I was going to pop.
In the end the only books I wrote were two collaborations. The second one was a lot of fun — Guardian, with Larry Correia — since I’m a fan of the series, and it was lots and lots of fun to play in the world. But first I had to let myself go enough to do it. And then it had to get written amid all the maelstorm.
This is not where I wanted to be by the end of 2017. Not by a long shot. I expected to have released another Dyce book, another vampire musketeers, and started a couple of new space opera series indie. But indie, no one is waiting on me, like editors, publishers and writing partners. So traditional comes first, because it has to.
This is not where I wanted to be in my career, either, at 19 years in.
And with the end of the year coming on, one tends to think over everything we did, everything we failed to do, every missed step, every wrong done to us, every what-if.
Since I was already fairly low in the dumps, due to a) year from hell and b) flu, this isn’t helpful.
But the one thing I know about the field is that what counts most of all is persistence: not talent, not ability, not craft, but keeping going even after you have no feet.
I have feet. I have craft too. I learned it for moments such as this.
Someone once described a writing career as “A long series of kicks to the teeth. They were not wrong at least for traditional. I once sat in at a talk of writers older and more successful than I and the things they had survived and powered through earned them my undying admiration.
I’m tired. I’m depressed. I want to give up and take up a less stressful profession, like contract lawyer.
But what counts in the end is staying in the game. And there’s a whole indie thing I haven’t explored.
My grandmother, when you told her your heart was broken and you couldn’t go on, would say “Forge your guts into a new heart.”
So I’m forging. And if I have no feet, I’ll walk on stumps.
May you persevere in 2018, and may the slog be at least a little easier.
Go and battle.
Oh, yeah, there’s a free short story over on my blog The White Lady of Christmas.