Saturday, June 6, 2015

Quick Thoughts - Birthdays and Checking In

So my birthday was on Wednesday. I am (for those who would like to imagine me as some magical, ageless voice from the internet, look away now) 29 years old. Which feels to me both very young and also no longer very young. I mean, I'm under thirty, so I can't really be anywhere approaching old yet. I'm not even really middle aged. But I am almost out of my twenties. And my early twenties seem so long ago that it's like I was an entirely different person then. But I am a year older, and the blog is now over five months old, and so I figured I would take this time to check in with a sort of mid-year retrospective.

Spoilers: this years has been awesome. In so many ways this has been a great year even as I feel most of the time like I'm just spinning my wheels. I've had many stories out already (though none forthcoming so a little worried there, to be honest), including my first two professional sales! Which is huge. I was not really expecting them to come so close together, but it is amazing and I feel quite lucky that I'm already halfway to SFWA qualification (now that it's 10k of stories and not just three stories equaling $250 at at least six cents a word). A bit more difficult (and for which I feel really guilty about) is that it seems even harder now to handle the rejections. I mean, I get lots of practice (I just passed 100 rejections for the year so far this last week). But somehow it feels worse now. Paradoxically. Like somehow having that taste of success has changed things. But I'm just complaining now. I will move on.

As I said, Quick Sip Reviews is now over five months old. That's…well, not as old as I am, but it seems like it's doing okay. It's a lot of work to do, to review everything that I read, but I hope that it's also worth it. I'm one who rather obsessively searches out reviews of my works. I want to know if people are reading, what people are thinking. And while it is heartbreaking to read a bad review, and probably I should stop caring and stop paying attention to reviews, I find it so difficult. Because, as a reviewer, I do like to see what people think. And, heartbreaking as it can be, I do want to know the problems that people have with my writing. What works and what doesn’t. How I maybe can do better, or at least be aware if I'm succeeding at what I want to be doing. N.K. Jemisin had a great article last year about reading reviews and I try to keep her advice in mind when both reading and writing reviews (basically, learn what you can ever from negative reviews, even from reviews that you might not have a lot of "value").

So the reviews continue. There are a few things that I'm still figuring out. I am going to start doing (probably a very small amount) of reviews of slightly longer things that are more like collections. I’m not sure when the first will go up, but soon, soon. And I don't know, there are things that I think would be really cool to do. Like having a Quick Questions segment that I could fun on Sundays instead of my Quick Links (which have been slightly difficult to keep up on recently). I'd love to just send a few short questions to various writers asking them about their process or their thoughts or maybe other reviewers as well. Not sure, really, and I'm a bit busy just at the moment to make it happen, but maybe the time will come to reach out and see if there is any interest there.

Anywho, it was my birthday on Wednesday. I guess that's conducive to looking back. Taking stock. I'm super happy where the blog is after just five months. I hope that it's something that I can continue indefinitely. At the very least I want to see how I feel in another five months, or in another seven when the blog will be a year old. Because birthdays mean that time is passing, time that seems to pass quickly and yet take forever. Already January seems ages ago. But times marches on. There are stories to read, reviews to write, and trials to survive. As always, thanks for reading!

All the best,

Charles Payseur

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