Where am I?

Two years is a long time between posts. Yet I used to remember a time when I posted more often. I used to think of myself as a blogger. I mean, what happened?

First, the numbers:

  • 4 posts in 2016
  • 3 posts in 2015
  • 4 posts in 2014
  • 0 posts in 2013 (holy moley)
  • 8 posts in 2012

2012 is when I started this blog, nickcoding.com. But I blogged before, way before. In my other blog, the one I maintained for many, many years, the one I started in the  early days of blogging, I had a lot more posts.

  • 4 posts in 2014
  • 4 posts in 2013
  • 15 posts in 2012
  • 58 posts in 2011
  • 113 posts in 2010
  • and it goes back all the way to 2004…

Wait, what? I went from 113 posts per year to basically 0. So why?

I guess my life changed a lot. Things seemed easy for a long time. I was young and optimistic. I thought people would want to hear what I had to say. I thought the world was my oyster, that I had unlimited possibilities ahead of me. Then reality set in. Things started to get hard. My view of the world and the opportunity in that world began to shrink. I had mounting responsibilities. I had setbacks. I started to realize life wasn’t such a cakewalk. I started to realize I wasn’t actually good at what I did, or at least there were a lot of people who were a lot better. I went on the defensive and I stayed there. Why would anyone give a shit about what I had to say? So I stopped blogging. Not that blogging is a reliable measure of a person’s worth, but it was something I did and then something I stopped doing and there was a reason for it.

So where do I go from here? Why am I even writing this? The answer is simple. I’m writing for me, not for you (sorry). I always did. It’s OK, blogging was always my means of taking notes, in a public way. It was a way for me to document for myself what I was working on, what interested me. Like many bloggers in the early days I posted my musings because maybe someone would comment on it. Maybe someone would find my tip on managing a photo library as useful and they would thank me in a comment and then I’d be floating on a cloud all day because I actually reached someone.

You see, I wrote this book (a novel) and it means a lot to me. It means a lot to me for you to read it. For probably two years I’ve struggled on the editing process but now I realize what I’ve struggled with. I’ve struggled with me.

So how do you beat yourself anyway? How do you get yourself under control? I don’t know, exactly. But what I do know is that I have a growing anxiety. I have a growing discomfort. I have a growing anger and utter dissatisfaction about what I’ve done about the gap between what I’m doing and what I want to do.

And still, There is a gap in who I used to be and who I am now. Yet this is a different kind of gap. I used to be naive, hopeful, stupid. I’ve closed up, dried out, and shriveled into cynicism and self-doubt. But something has been setting me free and in this freedom I’m shedding all of my baggage. I am cleaning house. I’m feeling hopeful again.

My mother said something amazing to me yesterday. She told me she had a new idea that inspired her. She said if you believe you’re never too old, that it is never too late to begin again, then you are free.

Establishing my groove

Last weekend I attended the annual Writer’s Digest conference in NYC. The event served as an informal deadline for me, to get my revisions done so I could pitch my story to agents of the science fiction genre during the conference’s Pitch Slam event.

So I did that and it was great. I had a number of agents show interest in my story so I began to send out queries. One step closer to rejection letters!

The book is on the long side at 104k words. I’ll be spending the next month or two waiting for more beta reader and agent feedback and ruminating on tweaks that I can make. Like every writer, I hope the feedback isn’t disastrous–necessitating major work–but that’s something I need to anticipate and accept. When it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get the work done, then that’s what I’ll do. That aside, I’ll be researching more agents to query. I’ll start fleshing out my ideas for follow on books. I’ll keep writing.

I need to establish my groove.

Continue reading “Establishing my groove”

On Beta Reading

I’ve been on both sides of the beta reading spectrum in my journey to write my first novel, The Harvester. Rewarding is the best word I can think of right now when I think of both the experience in beta reading for others as well as the experience in working with people who’ve read my manuscript. My friends have been wonderful and this past January I joined a writing group and the past six months has been a whirlwind of discovery.

That said, know that whatever I say here are the words of a beginner. I know nothing. I am learning as I go.

Continue reading “On Beta Reading”