Hang in there. Next week I am talking all about new things. But let’s look very briefly at my last year in writing and pull a few handy lessons out. I promise not to drop a single celebrity marriage/divorce reference, and to keep it under a thousand words.
I say that because writing for the internet was one of my big breakthroughs this year. I’ve done a lot of it and been well rewarded for it, thanks to a couple of generous employers and some good old-fashioned luck of the draw. Big Lesson Learned: the internet as an aggregate whole is kind of Downs syndromey, so learn to repeat key phrases loudly and often, and to live with the fact that three-quarters of what you say will never be understood.
Aside from that I got my usual practice in dealing with rejection, which hey, it’s a skill I can use when O Best Beloved finally snaps over the wadded-up towels on the bedroom floor. My dedication to resubmitting stories slipped some, mostly in favor of projects with quicker turn-arounds and surer money, but I remain faithful to the basic Big Lesson Learned: Good work gets rejected, crap work gets published, and it’s because of forces entirely beyond your control. No one accuses farmers or sailors of being crazy when they put their fates in the hands of ungovernable patterns year after year, so don’t let anyone say it about you either.
I learned a thing or two about writing comedy that this blog may occasionally reflect. Keep an eye out for new developments in that field this new year, since I only started aggressively pursuing publication (web-based) for humorous works in the last month or so of 2010. Big Lesson Learned: A personal blog is a great dumping-ground for humor articles that get bounced. Sorry guys.
Time management continues to elude me. I’m a late-night, down-to-deadline writer and maybe always will be. Big Lesson Learned: Keep the day job, because I’m actually less productive on days off — I can convince myself I have all the time in the world, and then suddenly O Best Beloved is home and wants supper and I haven’t done a lick of paid work.
Blogging — which long-time readers may remember me approaching with some ambivalence — remains a useful professional tool without my mining every social networking tool available for higher pageviews. I’ll be writing more about this in the next week or so, so I’ll leave it at the Big Lesson Learned: Once you have a non-zero number of blog readers on a given day, your audience is no longer “every random person on the internet.” It is those regular readers, so focus on providing enjoyable content on a consistent schedule, not on expanding your Twitter empire.
Ponies are still adorable, and I still couldn’t do any of this without O Best Beloved.
This went up way too late to say “See you in the New Year!” at the end. Ah well.