2012 is just about over. I’ll be glad to shake the last dust of it from my feet. After a rough 2010, where we lost my mom, stepfather, and brother-in-law, 2011 was a year of recovery. I wrote more and more as 2011 went on and had a very productive summer. The fall of 2011 was tough at work and I had to slow down on the writing front, but I picked up over Christmas break and drove into the first couple of months of 2012 with enthusiasm and energy that I hadn't possessed in some time. Everyone who reads this blog knows what happened next and I won’t rehash it. I could have found the time to write after March, but my will broke for a while.
I've never kept word counts for my yearly production but I’d estimate that I've typically produced between 100 to 120,000 words of published fiction a year for the last decade. In 2012 I actually did decide to keep records. I only produced about 50,000 words of what I’d consider publishable material. About 10,000 of that was produced in January and February and has been published. Another 15,000 of what I did later in the year is scheduled for publication in various venues. In fact, much of that material was written because I had requests or contracts for it. I don’t know if I’d produced much of it without that motivation. The rest of my 2012 writing consists mostly of partials, most of which I hope to finish in 2013.
2012 has ended on a high note emotionally for Lana and me. Her cancer is gone and life is steadily getting back to normal for us. Despite that lift in mood, though, I have really just wasted my Christmas break as far as writing is concerned. I wrote one 1000 word short story, and that was during final exams. Since I've been home for break I've done virtually nothing. I’m not quite sure why. It just seems far easier not to write.
I see 2013 as an important year for me in writing. If I don’t do better than in 2012 I’m thinking I might as well just admit that I’m a dabbler rather than a writer. Fortunately, my production this year was so low that I scarcely have anywhere to go but up. I’m going to try and use these last few days of 2012 to re energize myself a bit. I've been overdosing on reading fiction in hopes of feeding my muse some stimulation. We’ll see how that works out.
What I need, and I know it, is the discipline that has served me well over previous years. I've never been a prolific writer and have always had many other work commitments, but throughout most of my life since graduate school I have written steadily. It might have been just a small amount, but it was nearly every day. Even if I was tired, or sick, or depressed, or overworked at school, I produced a sentence, a paragraph, a page. 2010 knocked that pattern off kilter, and 2012 kept it off. But it wasn't the events in those years that did it. It was the change inside of me.
Maybe it’s time to shrug back into the harness.