Around November, Writing Twitter starts talking about the end of the year. It’s NaNoWriMo, so people are often talking about writing anyway. But also, it’s the time of the year when, if you’re a writer in science fiction or fantasy, you should be posting your “What I Published This Year,” or “Awards Eligibility” post.
A lot of writers use this time to celebrate the works they’ve published over the year and encourage others to nominate them for best of lists and prize consideration, like the Pushcart Prize or Hugo Awards. Journal editors on the literary side announce their nominations for the Pushcart around this time. 2019 is also the end of a decade, so now people are also posting encouraging writers to share what they accomplished in the last decade. We’re sharing pics of ourselves in 2009 and 2019 to show the passage of time.
But I know that a lot of creatives struggle with all this.
This year seems particularly hard for me to process. In 2019, I published ten poems and no stories. In 2018, I published eighteen poems, including a chapbook, and five stories. The fact that I published no stories this year is really hard for me to look at. I keep thinking, I should have submitted more. This fact is not helped by the fact that in 2019, I generally wrote less.
There are reasons why my submitting, writing, and general publication numbers varied this last year. Since October 2018, my father passed away, I helped my mom get adjusted after grief, I bought a new house and moved, I had several battles with illness, traveled a lot, adopted two rescue dogs, I had one car flood out due to Houston weather, I bought a new car, and generally my personal life was wild.
So among these personal issues, I was also working on a novel (halfway finished) and a novella (in revision), two longer projects that take a lot more time than shorter stuff. I also wrote a lot more nonfiction (fourteen articles to be exact) and…