Taking the Shortest Day to Reflect on a Long Year

Solstice always seems like a good day to post my year in review thoughts, so here we go.

For all that I started trying to concentrate on my fiction writing in about 2016, 2018 is the first year that I’ve done so in a methodical way, with any idea of what I was actually doing.

I stopped giving away stories for free on this site (that last being this one from November 28th 2017) and started challenging myself to write consistently and submit completed stories that had been properly re-drafted, copyedited and so on to actual markets that pay money.

As yet, I’ve not had anything published but my totals for the year are something like this.

First drafts – 20 (ish – my google docs and notebooks defy easy categorisation of works in progress)
Stories completed & submitted to markets – 5
Total number of markets submitted to – 17
Total number of submissions – 22

Given that my total in 2017 was 7 unfinished stories burned on this blog, that’s a considerable improvement.

For what it’s worth, that gives me 25 Rejectomancy points and I’m currently a level 4 Rejectomancer.

I’ve also chatted about stories on a podcast – the excellent Speculative Spaces – been to a conference about writing and learned a great deal at the feet of my more experienced Glasgow SF Writers Circle friends.

I mean to continue improving. My writing fell away in the second half of the year and in 2019 I’d like to finish and submit at least one new story every month, with however many repeat submissions. Constant work is the only way to improve and eventually get published. I’m also planning to hit up three writing conventions next year to hopefully learn even more things by being in the same room as clever people.

I’ve learned a lot this year about my writing both in terms of what I do well, what I need to work on and what works for me in how I allocate time and resources to my writing.

As ever, massive thanks go to my pals at the Glasgow SF Writers Circle for sharing their wisdom with me and being ever so supportive of my fumbling efforts thus far. Of course, I must also humbly thank my wife, Fey for being understanding when I’m spending hours glowering at a screen or a notebook and swearing because something I made up doesn’t work.

I’ve always loved stories and I’m finally doing the work necessary to translate my inner mutterings into things that I can share with other people. Thank you all for sharing this journey with me.


The Wheel Turns

The wheel turns,
so draw close your people
and feast on the last of the perishable foods
for we won’t all make it through the dark.

The wheel turns,
so raise a glass to those who’ve passed
and cherish the memories of the times you shared
for you miss them sharply in these short days and long nights.

The wheel turns,
so look forwards and choose,
will you be the grease in the gear, the grist ground beneath,
or the rock that shifts all into a better path?

If you want to support my writing on a regular basis, please check out my Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/chrisnapier) or if you feel like helping out in a one-off sort of way, buy me a coffee on Ko-Fi (http://ko-fi.com/chriscrowing.)

© Christopher Napier, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Napier with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Published by Chris Napier

Husband, father, writer, rocker, activist - based in Glasgow. The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.

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