2012 in Review: Writing

So I think after this year, I can sort of take a rest. Not a long one mind you, but maybe I’ve earned the right to not demand so much of myself. I know that sounds close to the verge of resting on one’s laurels, but I don’t imagine that’s what I would be doing. After having released at least one book a year since 2009, I do think that maybe I can take a year off and just focus on revisions and other things.

Okay, no, that’s bullshit.

As I mentioned in the first year’s assessment post, I have figured that I have impostor complex, and so I feel that if I am not writing and publishing, then I will be found out as a fake and summarily eliminated from publishing and academic opportunities. So even though I have been publishing in a manner that others might think prolific, I still go and look over at other people and admire them their intense productivity.

But again, as this series of posts is as much me working through my shit as it is me sharing some thoughts with you, wonderful blogosphere, I have to be honest and admit that I think I did alright in terms of output for the year.

An emotional breakdown yielded Writing 30, a collection of essays about being 30, written in roughly 30 days, of about 30,000 words. I talk about the literary life, management strategies, being a teacher, working through family issues, and a bunch of other topics through the course of the book. The larger project was to capture my thoughts, beliefs, issues, and concerns, at that specific time in my life. I am thinking I can do it as a series, written every ten years (hoping I live so long) that tries to capture whatever I am at the moment.

A smaller, fun project that I undertook, in attempts to write yet another girl out of my head and heart, is Love Haikus, which though in a different literary form, I consider the spiritual sequel to The Kobayashi Maru of Love (which also saw new life with a print run with major publisher Visprint Inc.) Love Haikus is precisely what its name says, a series of haikus each one dedicated to a geeky crush. The geeky crushes can be fictional or real. I don’t really like poetry, I respect the form so much that I could not fathom attempting to write modern poetry. But I love the haiku, and I thought that this would be an interesting project. I asked two artists to illustrate the book, Mic Chua and Dark Chapel, and they are currently hard at work bringing these characters to life. The plan is to give the book away, for free, in digital form, for Valentine’s Day. Then, well, if it strikes a chord with people, maybe interpret the book in the format of a children’s activity book, and find a publisher for it. But at present, all I want to do is to get it out there, and for people to have fun with it.

The big project for the year has been the novel. God what a grueling thing writing that novel was. It was just a true struggle to get words on the page sometimes. Other times the work was flying from my fingertips and I could not stop. All told, I think that it was a much bigger, grander thing that I imagined it to be when I began. But in the end, it is reflective I think of, well, me. And my limitations. And my concerns. Whatever happens with it, I can tell you all that I held nothing back, and my heart and mind are on every single page. I never phoned anything in, never did any of it half-heartedly. At this point I can be proud of that at least. Whatever shortcomings it has, I will admit to. But hell, I dreamed of writing the kind of novel that I do not see on store shelves, and I think I did manage that. I am letting the bastard sit for a while, then will get to revisions soon.

I still have a creative output due for the year, and that is a film treatment for something that I plan to go into pre-prod with by January. It’s my first attempt at directing, but I think that I might be able to manage it. I’ve got some good people on board with the project, and a lot more encouraging me to push it forward. Now I have to get to it.

So yeah, writing-wise, I think I did alright this year. As always I feel I could have done better. But writing three new books and a new edition to KMoL seems like quite a bit of work.

Do I deserve a rest? Sure, maybe. So next year, I will finish a project that I began this year. That means that I’ve already written three or four essays for it. It’s called The New Consumption, and it’s a love letter to various media that has helped to shape the way that I view the world. Maybe for 2013 that one book should be enough. That’s a rest, right? I can stop for a while?

One Response to 2012 in Review: Writing

  1. Dodo Dayao says:

    “I have impostor complex, and so I feel that if I am not writing and publishing, then I will be found out as a fake and summarily eliminated from publishing and academic opportunities”

    I don’t think I’ve outgrown this complex myself. I’ve had it even when I was in advertising. I still have it. so far, so good, though. hehe.

    Good luck with everything man. Specially the film. 🙂

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