I spent most of my day reading Prince of Stories, a book covering the work of Neil Gaiman by Hank Wagner, Christopher Golden, and Stephen R. Bissette. It features synopses of his comics, novels, short stories, and so forth along with details of his legal battles with Todd McFarlane and interviews and so forth. It's not a perfect book. For instance, the section on his Sandman series summarizes each issue and then includes a "People, Places, and Things" section that pretty much restates the summaries. Still, I enjoyed reading about his work and I chose this book to be my first of the year for a reason, which I will get to shortly. In the end, though, the book makes me want to reread Gaiman's work and pick up the stuff I haven't read yet. Guess the book did its job.
I learned yesterday that F&SF is going to be changing its publishing schedule to every other month starting with the Apr./May issue this year (I just received the Feb. issue in the mail yesterday). The issues will be bigger (longer than the usual double issues are) but they will be losing about 10% of their annual content. It's not surprising with the way things are in publishing these days and I don't fault Gordon Van Gelder for it in the least. I am also glad that the best SF magazine will still be published.
I chose the book about Gaiman because he is one of my favorite writers and I've felt he is an example of the sort of writing career I would like to have. I thought reading about him would help to inspire me. It's no secret that I've wanted to be a writer for a long time...really, ever since I was a kid. College was when I actively made the decision and then spent a long time putting a ton of pressure on myself and becoming depressed over the whole thing. It's a dream I've put on the backburner over the last five years or more as I found something I liked doing and found some self-worth for the first time since I was a teenager.
My "Year of 35" project back in 2006-2007 was a way of reconnecting with all of those old creative dreams. It was always my plan to include writing as part of the project but I was having so much fun with the music and it was on such a smaller scale that I was content.
I start this year realizing that I do still want to write and I think I'm in a better place to do so now. I've made changes in my life that have me heading in a direction for the first time ever and I am content with that direction. Looking back, I think part of my problem with writing is that I had pinned all of my hopes on it...I couldn't conceive of myself doing anything but being a writer. So much pressure. I don't have that pressure now.
I want to see what I can do. I'd love to eventually be published in a place like F&SF, because I respect the magazine so much and greatly enjoy many of the writers published therein. I know that's getting ahead of myself. I'm going to start by trying to get something down, to finish something I start, and see where it goes from there. It's a modest proposition and I'm perfectly fine with that. I'm looking forward to the journey.