Wow, it's been two years since I started this blog. Two years since I started getting serious about my writing. Two years since I've said to myself, I'm gonna do this.
So where am I now?
Well, first off, I'm still unpublished. I wish I could say that this surprises me, but I knew from the beginning that it would be a long hard road before anything of mine actually hit print. Also, I knew then that my writing was nowhere near the quality it needed to be, but I've kept working at it and I have seen an improvement.
So how do I know I've improved? Two things; feedback and rejections. Okay, I start with the rejections idea since that's probably got people scratching their heads. One of my major accomplishments was to start submitting my stories for publication, rather than just writing them and saying "Gee, it would be nice to get published." None of them have been, but I've started noticing a change in the rejection letters I've received. The last few have provided feedback, rather than just stating "This isn't for us". Yes, it's still a rejection, but anything that helps me grow as a writer is to be cherished.
Now, about the feedback. Two things I've done to get this. First, I joined critters.org, a critiquing site where I provide critiques for others and they give me feedback on my work. It's helped a lot, both to pump me up when I get some positive comments about my work, and when weak areas are pointed out. Second, I've joined/help start a small writing group. So far there are only three of us, spread out over a large geographic area, but it's a beginning, and any and all feedback from fellow writers helps.
Aside from my writing, I've started going to conventions and meeting people (and picking up some great books I'd have otherwise missed on the way). In some ways this has opened my eyes to how the publishing industry works, especially when it comes to science fiction and fantasy. I've made a few new friends, and I hope I've presented myself in a positive light so that if and when I do get published I'll have a good reputation so that people will want to recommend my work. Of course, whatever I write has to be good enough to deserve the recommendation, but I find it's more likely to happen if people remember you fondly rather than thinking you're a dick.
Oh, and on a more personal note, I've been going to a gym for a full year now. This is the first place I've actually been able to do that. Most times, I'll go to a gym for a few months, get frustrated, quit, or start going infrequently. For the past year I've been going steadily, missing only the odd day for whatever reason.
So what now. Well, there is this CBC Radio short story contest I've just started working on a story for, and hopefully there will be an announcement on a new Tesseracts collection soon. So, onward and upward.