A roundup of 2011

More and more I find myself sounding a lot like Arkwright from Open All Hours, both in terms of being a grumpy old git, but also because he used to say ‘It’s been a funny old day’ quite frequently. Well, it’s been a funny old year. Like the last five years really, my job situation has been unstable and uncertain. I realise this is not something that is unique to me, and in fact the whole country (and the world) is going through a vast raft of problems, but I’m going to be selfish for a bit since this is my personal blog.

So, I’ve had a funny year in terms of jobs once again. My last contract ended and I was on the dole for a little while before I found something else. A former employer got in contact and it was both a step into the past and a step forward as new opportunities have opened up. The future in terms of my job situation is still not clear, which is disheartening and taxing, it means I can never completely rest and always have one eye on the calendar, one foot out the door of any place I work, but there’s not much I can do except knuckle down and get on with it. I’m sure another job will turn up, I just hope it’s sooner this time rather than later.

Job stuff aside, it’s been an interesting year in terms of my creative output. One comic book project continues to chug on slowly, but I also started a brand new comic book partnership. It was something I had been thinking about for a long time but only made steps to implement very recently. Why I didn’t do it sooner I have no idea, and now I wish I had. Pete Rogers and I have been co-writing something and whether or not this particular comic project is a success I think we both want to work on something else together in the future.

My work on the latest novel continues but this year has helped bring a certain level of clarity to it which I think was previously lacking. I’m more certain what my book is about. That sounds kind of obvious, and surely I should know what it’s about if I wrote it, but as a friend of mine said, there’s the story and then there’s what the book is about. I know what I need to do to finish the first draft and I’ve already drawn up a list of corrections for one of the many polishes, although now I’ve seeing them more as clarifying what I originally meant, or added specific details to make it clearer. After that and a few more polishes are complete, I’m going to give to a small group of close friends to read. I’m also not going to put a time limit on when I think the book will be finished and ready to submit to an agent. This is probably the hardest thing about the whole process for me, as I want this book out there, want to get on the road, want to be moving forward, but I think I have something special and need to make sure I’m 99% happy with it before I show it to an agent. I’m never going to be 100% happy with it. There will always be bits I want to tweak endlessly but I’m still a long way from reaching that point.

I’ve also started work on another creative project in a more professional capacity, but I’ve signed a bit of paper that means I can’t talk about it much. This will change in the first quarter of next year, so I look forward to being able to give a few more details, but at the moment it’s another iron in the fire, it’s another opportunity for me that could blossom into something else. I’ve definitely got more eggs in more baskets going forward into next year and I just hope that one of them pays off so I can spend more time doing something I love. I would love to be one of those lucky people where their passion is also their job.

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