Monday, March 15, 2021

One Last Look Back

Just a bit of random musing, not quite so writing related. Or maybe it is.

Did my taxes last weekend. Well, I did the part of my taxes where I sort through a box of receipts and notes and paperwork and try to organize them by deductible categories so I can hand them off to someone more knowledgeable than me. It’s a pain, but I admit I also kind of like doing it. No really. Yeah, even though half of it’s just meaningless numbers, things I saved for this line or that expense.

It’s the other half that makes it enjoyable. That’s the part that becomes a little time-capsule look at the past year. Meals out with friends. Date nights with my partner. Hey, look, there’s me buying myself the LEGO Bookstore set to celebrate the release of Terminus. Here’s the assorted gas/comics/food receipts from my monthly road trip up to LA for the Writers Coffeehouse and the Last Bookstore dystopian book club.

Which is what got me thinking, because last night was said dystopian book club. It was also the one year anniversary of the last time we all met in person (and where my number of receipts dropped drastically). We’ve been meeting on Zoom since then. Last March most smart people were already seeing the signs and realizing how bad this could be. And even though *cough* certain people kept going on TV and saying “it’s not a big deal, it’ll be gone in a few weeks, don’t worry about it,” the rest of us were thinking maaaaaaybe we should just shop really late at night when nobody’s around. Or how much does getting groceries delivered really cost?

I’m guessing most of you are in the same boat. We’re all hitting our personal Covid-versaries about now. It’s been a brutal year, and I think, alas, we’re probably still in for some brutality to come. The fight’s almost over, but there’s still time for a cracked rib or a black eye. In fact, I’m tempted to say there’s definitely a few body blows in our near future, collectively or individually.

It’s also been a rough twelve months creatively. I mean, at this point a year ago I was about halfway through the first draft of a project. And a few months later I was... still about halfway through the first draft. It took a while to get the mental gears meshing again, and that’s considering I’m in the very fortunate, privileged position where lockdown didn’t change my life that much. My partner and I both work from home, and we didn’t have to stress about losing work. We don’t have kids. We’re used to just spending time with each other and not going out much.

What I’m getting at is if this year messed up my ability to write, I’m impressed as hell by all of you in not-as-favorable who’ve gotten writing done. If you worked up the energy and drive to get some pages done, that’s seriously great. If you managed to get some things edited, that’s just fantastic. If you managed to do a whole draft? Holy crap, that’s plain amazing. You got a whole draft done during this past year? That’s phenomenal! Talk about focus—you’re a friggin’ machine!

Did you get more than that done? Shut up. Nobody wants to hear you gloat about it.

No, it’s okay. You can gloat a little. Seriously, it’s unbelievable that you managed to stay the course during all this.

Again, if you got something done—anything—during this hellish plague year, you should be proud of yourself. Writing’s tough when things are great. If you can keep doing it during a year like 2020, well...

Think what you’ll be able to do once this is over.

2 comments:

  1. This was good to read. I wrote a 120k first draft over the last 8 months, and I've been following your A2Q advice not to show it to anyone yet. So this post is the closest thing I've had to an 'attaboy. ;)

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    1. Please consider this a *full* attaboy. A 120K draft is freakin' amazing over this past year. Congratulations.

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