I’ve been thinking about what I really want out of my creative life, my life as a writer. There are all sorts of things I want: to write the stories that come to me, to say the things I want to say. To have people read and enjoy what I write. To participate in a writing life, go to conventions, spend time with writers and editors and publishers. I’d even like (if you’re listening, universe) to make money.
But what I really want is to do cool projects. Yesterday, I saw a link on a facebook post by Ann VanderMeer to this wonderful video:
Below the video on YouTube is this explanatory note:
“Myster Odd: a short film in celebration of the release of the ODD? anthology series from Cheeky Frawg Books, edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer. Volume One is available now as an e-book through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Wizard’s Tower Press, and Weightless Books.”
The film is by Gregory Bossert, whom I met at the World Fantasy Convention.
Talk about a cool project, the video and the anthology series and the conjunction of the two. What cool project am I going to be able to work on next? I don’t know. At the moment I’m working on a story that I’ve been asked to write for an anthology, and I need to work on publicity for The Thorn and the Blossom. (Now that was a cool project.) And then I have a poetry anthology to put together, probably over winter break. And then what? I suppose the next step is the novel. So I do have cool projects, don’t I? I mean, more than most people, and I’ve been very lucky to have those opportunities.
I’d like to do more. I’d like to be able to be creative more often, but I do have a job, and a commute, and a child to take care of. The ordinary parts of my life take a lot of time. (If I still owe you something, I’m so sorry. I owe so many people so many things at this point. And I’m getting sick. I mean really actually sick: I’ve been sneezing all day.)
Oh yes, and I need to turn In the Forest of Forgetting into an ebook. (Would anyone be interested in an ebook version? Would you?) Just in case you don’t remember, that’s my short story collection, published back in 2006:
But what keeps me going, especially when I’m this tired, when the Advil doesn’t seem to get rid of the headaches, when I feel overwhelmed by my ordinary life and have barely any time to devote to the extraordinary one I’m trying to create for myself, is the thought that there are so many cool projects out there. So many things to do. Because in the end, the cool projects are what count. Not the conventions, or how many people asked you to sign books, but what you actually accomplished.
I’m going to go rest, because I need it, desperately. But I have a story waiting to be written, and poetry waiting to be collected, and all sorts of things that I want to do. Those are the things that keep me going.