Back in February (having just finished up the last few tweaks on The Steampunk Novel), I picked up the first thousand words or so of a short story I'd started the year before. It was the sequel to a story that was scheduled to come out from Crowded Magazine in May, and I figured it was as good a time as any to work on the next part of the adventure.
My real life was hectic. I mean, more so than usual. Mid-February our water got shut off and stayed off for seven weeks. Even once the water was back on there were court dates, legal papers to write, and all of the normal everyday real life stuff - housework, grocery shopping, getting my son to and from school, cooking, laundry, etc. But I kept plugging away on this story.
Only it was turning out not so short.
It climbed past 15k.
I started thinking of it as a novella.
And still it grew. And grew.
Finally, in mid-June, I reached "The End" and realized I had a 65k novel on my hands. It was a lovely little book with magic and spiders and a cross-world adventure and assassins and romance. And I was scared stiff about what the agent would think of it. Although there were some slight thematic similarities to The Steampunk Novel, it had a much different feel and tone. Less gothic angst, more humor, a few more fights, and lots of spiders. And I always struggle with humor. So I worried, but I sent it off and waited. (Not for long because my agent is awesome.)
Then made some revisions, wrote short outlines for sequels, finished the revisions. (In a lot less time than I originally anticipated.) And now there's more waiting. Again.
And new ideas are chewing on my brain. Because I love writing. I love my craft. But I am not doing this just because I love putting words on paper, but because, deep down, I want to do this for a living. Not the way Patterson does. Or even the way King does. (Although, you know, who doesn't wish fondly for a call saying "We just sold paperback rights for an assload of money.") But in a steady "This is my day job" kind of way.
And that means I don't need (or want) to loll around waiting for good news. Because when that good news comes (and I know that it will) it won't be like winning a billion dollars. At some point, I'll need to make more good news happen. Preferably by way of more book sales. Or, you know, maybe I'll get back into the film making world. (I still write screenplays sometimes, but that realm is even more competitive than selling a novel.)
But the point here is, I wrote one novel this year. Maybe it's time to write another one.