2012 / by Josh Guess

2012 has been a strange year for me. Through the end of 2011 and most of the way through this year I was in a deep depression with only occasional moments of normality. During this year my writing income doubled from the previous year, yet in the last month I've seen what I think is a serious long-term decline in my sales. I hope I'm wrong.

I finished Monster yet after I was done I realized the book wasn't at all what I wanted it to be. It needs a lot of work to be a true sequel to Beautiful and I want to do that work and get the book out. The problem is that I wrote almost all of it during that depression, and reading over it puts me back in the mindset I worked so hard to get out of. I don't know if your own emotional problems can create PTSD, but it feels that way. Monster is shelved indefinitely as I work on other things.

I'm at a strange crossroads as a writer. I have a huge amount of material I want to crank out, good ideas that need barely any work to be fully-fleshed out as stories. I've spent long nights working at the nursing home thinking about them on my rounds. Most of them only need the one thing I've had in short supply: time.

Time is the worst part. Yeah, I have it when I get home in the morning, but that's when I'm exhausted in every way. I've written that way before, and in fact I write Living With the Dead that way almost every day. LWtD takes up most of my mental energies any given morning. More writing on top of that is counter-productive.

I started Write The Future in an effort to spend all next year just working on my writing. The campaign is over at midnight tonight and the total contributions stand at just over $1,000. That's no mean feat for a guy sitting on his couch writing about zombies, but it's only about five percent of my goal. That's okay; I honestly didn't think I'd get that far. The project looks like it'll fail in about twelve hours, all the backers will get their money back in the next few weeks.

I'll keep on working and tucking away money here and there. I'll try to save my writing income as much as possible so that someday I'll have a nest egg that will allow me to risk not working. All I need is time to write those books and a bit of luck, and I'll live my dream. Eventually I'll be writing full-time and the stress of this year will be something I can look back on as a learning experience.

Complaining seems pretty dickish at this point. I've had more success than I expected by any measure. Over this year I've reached more readers than I thought possible. I've made new friends and learned a tremendous amount about the art of writing, and it continues. Work is hard and it sucks, but that's how it is all around, right? I've got a roof over my head, the best wife and family anyone could hope for, fuzzy companions at home who are always happy to see me (yes, Jess and I keep Hobbits in the house) and the future has yet to be written.

My readers are the best. You are the best. You've been the most supportive group of people, and I know that while it may take a while, I'll get there eventually. Because of you! That's the truth. I could be sitting here writing the next great classic (I'm totally not) but it wouldn't mean a thing without you guys. I'm thrilled every time I get messages from you, or words of support, or anything really. You all keep me motivated and in total honesty interacting with you on a daily basis has helped calm the emotions that wrecked my productivity so much of this year.

Thank you for all of that. Whether you're a close family member or someone I met on the internet (and there are more of you than I can easily count now, many of you now dear friends), you mean the world to me. Even if I had to give up writing (tragic wheat thresher accident? Choose your own adventure) tomorrow I would still treasure each moment, past and future.

I'm not giving up. I will write and write until my fingers bleed, and I will achieve my dream. I don't make resolutions, but 2013 is going to be my year one way or another. I promise that.