Sunday, April 17, 2005

Meaningless Milestone: My Paper Anniversary

Funny how these dates sneak up on you. It was one year ago on April 18 that came kicking and screaming (mostly screaming) into the world.

This site exists for one reason: I couldn’t see another project through to the end. Early in 2004, I decided to start a journal. I’d failed at this task in the past, but this time I had a plan. The journal would only chronicle my writing efforts. Projects started, contacts made, goals achieved. And maybe, if I was lucky, some mention of the occasional success.

I’m outing myself as a freelance writer here. I’ve never mentioned it on the site before. (I have to cultivate a sense of mystery somehow, don’t I? I mean, I told you what my real name is. It’s the domain name, fer cryin’ out loud.)

The diary lasted for 18 days.

I had to pack it in because it was affecting my work. I’d wrap up each day by recording the rejection letters I’d received, the assignments I didn’t get. All part of the business, I know. And if I do say so myself, over the years I’d developed quite the rhinoceros hide.

But I’d done so by moving on to the next query or the next project right away. Now I was dwelling on each day’s disappointments. Usually right before I went to bed. Not a healthy way to build a career.

So the diary bit the dust. But I wanted to keep writing in that style: quick, punchy, and on a regular basis. And if I was going to keep racking up rejections, I might as well have an outlet where some of my work would see the light of day, even if nobody stopped by.

The site has evolved over the months to become more what I wanted it to be, namely my pop culture autobiography. And it has managed to attract a few readers, for which I am extremely grateful.

In the 12 months since the site went live, I sold my first short story to a national magazine, which promptly went out of business. I finished my second novel, which now resides in a comfortable box next to my first. I learned some invaluable lessons in completing it, and met several people in publishing who have been kind enough to help me with my third.

Best of all, my screenwriting career is finally gaining some traction. In fact, I’ll soon be taking a few days off so I can go to Los Angeles for a round of meetings.

It’s been a busy year, and the next few months promise to be even more hectic. I may not be posting as often, and I may not gas on as long as I usually do. (Please, people, contain your emotions.) But there’s absolutely no way I’m going to give up this blog. I enjoy writing it too damn much.

Website Update: Links

To mark the big oh-one, I’m adding two new stops to the blogroll: Tony Kay’s Pop Culture Petri Dish and the singular If Charlie Parker Was A Gunslinger, There’d Be A Whole Lot Of Dead Copycats. Enjoy.