Looking Back on A Decade of Writing (Part 1)

It’s around this time of year that retrospectives start to pop up. While I will be doing one for this past year a little later in the month, I did want to do a retrospective of a different kind starting today.

As emphasized throughout the year, it’s been ten years since I made the decision to take my writing more seriously. While I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, it was with this decision that I made a decade ago now that results of a different kind have started to manifest.

It’s with that that I wanted to take this time now to walk through my journey and growth as a writer the past ten years, just to show how far I’ve come and what I’ve overcome to get to where I am now. Also, because I’m going to be covering so much turf, this first part will only cover the first five years, while the following post will detail the latter. Let’s get to it!

So, as I wrote about earlier in the year, my drive to write creatively had been dormant for a time that only wound up being reawakened in the summer of 2012 through getting involved in the Kollaboration movement and witnessing Chris Colfer’s start as a published author. Both of these instances empowered me to get back on the creative writing horse, and that started to manifest in the fall.

Short stories of all kinds started coming to me out of nowhere, as I would voraciously write them with an urgency — as if to say that if I didn’t then, they would be forever lost. By year’s end, I was under the presumption that I should compile them altogether into a short story collection. It seemed the most logical decision with what I was working with.

But as time went on and more short stories were written, they started connecting with one another; where characters in one story would cross paths with characters from some other one. This was around the time I was getting lost in David Mitchell’s bibliography for the first time, and it was apparent that his style was subconsciously having an effect on me.

I don’t recall off the top of my head exactly as to when I made the decision to make A Moment’s Worth a novel instead. All I know is when I did, it made the most sense for me, and it really aided me in organizing exactly how these stories would flow.

All the while, I was multi-tasking with so much else; ranging from college, to my continual involvement with Kollaboration, and a summer internship. In retrospect, it’s mind boggling for me to comprehend that I did all that, while writing a very experimental novel. But then again, it was a simpler time, and I was just over the moon happy that I was finally writing a novel.

A Moment’s Worth came out in the summer of 2014. The response was… modest (to put it lightly). I definitely did not have the network and support system that I have now, and so having to launch a book all by yourself was brutal, to say the least. Don’t get me wrong — I’m still very proud of what I accomplished then. It’s really just the response that I wish could have gone a little better.

About a month after A Moment’s Worth came out, I started on notes for An Absolute Mind. On Christmas Eve of that year, the writing process for my second novel had begun.

Writing An Absolute Mind was comparatively easier compared to A Moment’s Worth. By that point, I had already gotten the hang of writing novel-length works. It also helped that the story was more straight forward, with a beginning, middle, and end, and without vastly different scenarios playing out in each chapter. In addition, and as I’ve talked about in previous posts, the idea for this novel pre-dates A Moment’s Worth, and so the world and its characters were on standby up until that point where I finally brought them out to play.

Much like before, writing An Absolute Mind was a balancing act with everything else going on in my life outside of it. But there was a major difference, which is that by this point, I was fresh out of college. An Absolute Mind was written during a time of job hunting and through deaths of family friends. By the time I was editing it and getting it ready for publication, it was already 2016, and I don’t think I need to tell you what a rough year that was for everyone. It was truly difficult having to write and edit when the world and life as I knew it was starting to look dire.

When An Absolute Mind came out, it was a week after the 2016 presidential election. Yes, really. The themes and subject matter addressed in the novel were on the brink of relevancy, and that was noted a lot in the coverage that was done about it over the next two years. It was a novel that unknowingly came out at the right time, and while the response to it improved by only so much from its predecessor, there’s a part me that, even now, wishes it could have done just a little bit better.

By this point, we were entering a different kind of era, both for the world and for my writing. I shall reveal just how in the continuation of this retrospective next week.

If you are able to, I hope you can go support me in all that I do by leaving a tip over on Ko-fi. I do a lot of writing that I get paid very little for or not at all, and so this is a way of showing your support other than just reading my content. Donations of varying quantities and frequencies are greatly appreciated.


2 Replies to “Looking Back on A Decade of Writing (Part 1)”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: