2011…A Lost Opportunity

2011 is almost done, and I feel compelled to do my own “year in review” piece.  But please don’t misunderstand.  On the whole, I hate these things.  The concept has been overdone so much that it’s almost become a cliché to me, rather than a useful reflection of the year gone by.  But this was supposed to be a blog where I shared my experiences as I developed as a writer and new self-publisher.  So in this case is prudent to review 2011…both for you, who has taken an interest in what I”m doing (and I thank you), and myself, to gauge what I’ve done and to set a path for 2012.

Joe Konrath has a great post about resolutions for writers, and some of the things I need to address most in 2012, he has already dealt with.  Please check out that post if you haven’t seen it.


This review will be short because there really is only one rating I can give my writing career in 2011:

Epic failure.

That’s not to say there haven’t been any bright points.  Self-publishing two novelettes and getting some sales was a blast and clearly my biggest accomplishment. 

Interacting with readers and other writers through this blog and Twitter has also been great.  I’ve not done nearly enough with Facebook, and that’s certainly on the list to work on in ’12.

But that’s where the good of 2011 pretty much ends, for me.

So I’ve been self-publishing, Tweeting, blogging, (some)Facebooking, networking…What’s missing here?


Heinlein’s rule #2 (you must finish what you write) has kicked the crap out of me all year-long.  Dozens of projects, in various stages, reside in a couple of folders on my laptop and desktop.  The things that I have accomplished in 2011 CANNOT continue into 2012 without new stories to support them.  This is a hard fact.  All of the biggest proponents of self-publishing that I regularly follow – Dean Wesley Smith, Michael Stackpole, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Joe Konrath – all pretty much say the same thing:  To be successful, you have to produce new material constantly.

I’m not going to embarrass myself by saying how many stories I actually FINISHED this year.  This whiney year in review will embarrass me well enough by itself.  But I think the general reaction would be something along the lines of:  “What the hell have you been doing?”

Reasons for this failure?  Well, they vary.  Some things were beyond my control, but mostly it was time management, and incomplete preparation.  For example:  I lost NanoWriMo this year because my story idea wasn’t ready, and my damn internal editor kept telling me I couldn’t worldbuild on the fly and be happy with it.

Well, I’ve got a few days to figure that out so I can get back on track on 1/1/12 and see what I can make of myself by Doomsday.


About Thomas J. rock

Writer of Science Fiction

Posted on December 22, 2011, in The Daily Grind and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Use it as motivation to achieve where you think you failed. The experience itself has purpose. I expect you to use it for your benefit. Look forward to seeing your stories for 2012!

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