It’s been a weird year overall in the writing. Financially, its been one of the best I’ve had since going full time and marks ten full years of not starving, which is nice.
But the year has also seen the end of some dreams. The Sigils and Totems mythos idea has stalled, perhaps fatally, and for all that I considered it to contain some of my best work, it’s not sustainable for a jobbing writer like me to keep expending energy on it in its present form, so it’s on the back burner.
Similarly, much as I like writing for Sherlock Holmes, the return on investment of time and energy just isn’t worth it. So he too has been put away.
To some of you this might see like putting money before art, but as I said, I’m a jobbing writer, and there’s certain realities I can’t afford to ignore. The main one is that the adventure focused, pulpy stuff is, for me at least, the stuff that sells consistently and garners an audience ready for more. So that’s where my priorities will lie in 2019, with the S-Squad team at the forefront, and another sci-fi thriller idea I’m thinking about as backup. There’s also a big honking fantasy trilogy I’ve got partially outlined that I might dive into.
But as I said, some dreams are dying. All through my career such as it is, I’ve wanted to make a mark in the ‘weird’ field, the quieter, more subtle stuff that I love to read. But when it comes to writing it, I always feel I’m coming up short somewhere in comparison with others more successful at it. Plus, to get back to the mercenary side of me again, there’s not as much money in it, so from now on, I’ll mostly be leaving that to those that can, and putting aside any dreams I have in that direction unless I’m specifically invited to write something.
I won’t be completely done with the weird. I’ve got another mostly new Carnacki collection coming in 2019 from Dark Regions, and I can see more of those coming somewhere down the line as I have a lot of fun with them. Similarly there’s a few more Midnight Eye stories in me yet, as Derek isn’t ready for retirement. But I doubt I’ll be writing much that would get me considered for any awards or Years’ Best anthologies; that’s another dream that’s probably passed me by over the years.
Still, I’ve reached my 60s, I haven’t had to go out to work in a suit for 11 years now, I’m still writing, and I’m still having fun.
Here’s to 2019.