Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Ecstasy Of Hope

I write this post on the eve of the possible Mayan apocalypse and days before Christmas. I've prepared for both. (Translation: I bought snacks and am wearing a bathrobe). This is also the time of year people look back and reflect on what they've done - highlighting successes and distributing pats upon backs. I want to do that too, only I'm also going to look forward.

On The Editing Fronts
2012 was a HUGE year for me. My first works as an editor went out into peoples' hands. I attended my first GenCon. I was welcomed not as an outsider but as a friend upon my return to conventions. I had my hand in a lot of products, everything from vampires to wizards to comic book heroes. And that makes me tremendously happy.

2013 looks to be even bigger, though the number of projects I can tell you I'm involved in is larger, I just can't yet give up any details or specifics. I know, that's like a weird teasing move, and I don't mean it to be, but you're going to be amazed by quite a few projects that will be out in the coming year.

Okay, twist my arm. Here's a taste --> vampires, wizards, comic book heroes, lots of kickstarter-y goodness. (yeah, that's more of the same from 2012)

On The Writing Fronts
I made a big shift this year to get away from writing and move into editing, creating and helping produce other people's work. Part of that was a time decision, but it was also carefully made decision to play to my strengths and my happiness. I love to write, I still think I'm good at it, but I think I'm better at editing. (Though editing contains its own share of writing - it's different: writing for a purpose than writing for yourself)

It was not an easy decision, and contrary to what a lot of people may believe, not an economic one. As I'll talk about below, 2012 was the year I found out what it's like to be happy, and happy became the new currency of the realm.

So writing became the back-burner, with editing and consulting taking on a larger and more important role. Rather than being the somewhat clueless writer who occasionally edits, I'm the far savvier editor who sometimes writes. The shift in identity has been huge for me.

On The Personal Fronts
Wow, what a year. To put it bluntly, everything changed this year. I got my head screwed on straight, and I took steps towards being the kind of person I always used to talk about being - now I just am that guy. It's loads easier, far less stressful and I get to focus on the things that make me happy, rather than pander to other people and their goals that may lead me to being unhappy. A huge weight came off my shoulders and for the first time in about half my life, I have a sense of who and what I am. It's very empowering.

I feel less alien, less disconnected to people (though at times I will totally admit to being somewhat lost) and more comfortable as myself. I look for this to continue in 2013. Go me.

The Future
I want the Pay What You Want / What It's Worth workshops to really take off. I want them to be a success.  Not because I expect to make a truckload of money, because I'm not in this for the money, I'm doing this to share my passion, expertise and joy at helping writers come out from behind their shields and out from under rocks so that they can discover truly who and what they are. And make them better.

There's not a gimmick here, I'm not doing this to trick people, I'm going to offer whoever wants it a chance to get better, at whatever price-point works for them and their budget. There's a measure of honesty involved here, because people could very easily get jaded and just hand me a dollar, but if that's really what my time is worth to them, then chances are I'm not really going to change their minds, am I?

Also going forward, I'm going to work really hard at keeping my personal life (things not related to work and craft) off this blog. I am the occasional over-sharer, and have realized that it's not fair to other people to have what they may consider personal anecdotes or statements shared with the world at large. Hope you don't mind.

So what do I want out of the future? I want to continue going forward and up the path towards more success. More recognition. More talking about the process of editing and writing. More helping people. More getting good games and books and projects out to people who enjoy them.

I have the greatest respect for my colleagues, peers and friends, and it would be a travesty to not mention them here. A very large dose of gratitude, thanks, appreciation, and respect go to (in no order) Amanda Valentine, Ryan Macklin, Lillian Cohen-Moore, Brian Engard, Fred Hicks, Rob Donoghue, Shoshana Kessock, Cam Banks, Ken Hite, Jeremy Morgan, Brianna Reed, Jenn Steen, and the doubtless others I am forgetting to mention and link to. It would not have been the year it was without you in my life to some capacity. Thank you so much, for everything.

2013 is going to be amazing.

Happy writing