My Own Year In Review (Armand’s 2011) Part 1

As far as my own writing and publishing goes, I had my best year so far… 2011 was mostly positive, and I got a lot done, more than I realized before I sat down to write this quick post… which will now become a long and bloated post with several parts, because… why not? It’s my blog and I can do what I want…

I just hope someone reads it…

Can I term it a huge success? Nope. For me (and I speak only for me) success means getting into a professional groove with my writing, being able to have breathing room with worrying about bills and life and being able to write and sell books…

In 2009 I released 6 books, the same in 2010… most of those were Metal Queens releases. In 2011 I put out 25 books (and I’ll dig deeper into them in another post)…

Of course, I juggled a 45+ hour a week retail managing  job with a writing career until September… in the first eight months of 2011 I was able to release 15 books but 10 once I was home 24/7… I decided (OK, the jerkoffs at my job decided) that I was going to be a full-time writer, at least until the Holidays came and went… there’s nothing worse than trying to find a job at the end of the year in a recession and having 20+ years of retail management experience as a resume…

So I decided to just worry about the career… for the first time in my life I was able to focus on writing, promoting and publishing… and not worry about anything else (if possible)… I could get up when I wanted, write all day, and sit around in my shorts and dirty Slayer T-shirt and never have to brush my teeth again…

A good, dear old friend of mine (Liz Harrison if you’re keeping track) once told me that I had a problem with BALANCE. Man, was she right. My first mistake was not treating any of this seriously in the beginning, so I shambled through September and most of October playing stupid Facebook games, reading book after book on my Kindle, and putting out the Rymfire eBooks releases whenever I had the inspiration. No set schedule for publishing or writing.

In the meantime, I grew nasty with Kim and the kids, couldn’t focus, felt lost as a man and as a writer, and fell into a pit of self-loathing and self-pity. I wrote sporadically, but most of my time was spent sleeping, watching horrible B-movies and endless episodes of SportsCenter.

I could lie and tell you that something magical happened one night, the Writing Angel came to me in my sleep, or I fell and hit my head and began writing, but… it just happened.

Around November, once I’d put together my two short story collections (more on them later) I realized I had nothing else to write, nothing in my head as far as new ideas. It wasn’t writer’s block because I couldn’t even get up and start the laptop without wasting three hours on a game.

But, come November, it clicked for me… I got serious, and I know it was partly thanks to a re-focus on my own worth as a writer and by studying those before me. I became obsessed with reading other author’s blogs (notably Scott Nicholson, John Everson, JA Konrath and Brian Keene) and making notes in my head about the right and wrong of what I was doing.

Here were authors that made a living off of their writing, who could take pride in paying the electric bill thanks to a story sold. My sales were averaging less than a hundred bucks a month across the board, not enough to keep me remotely afloat.

So I began to write. And never stopped. I began to think in terms of promotion by doing a blog tour for my Skulls collection and re-energizing my Metal Queens series of non-fiction females into Heavy Metal by getting serious and deciding that releasing them whenever I felt like it wasn’t working. I set the 13th of each month for the next issue and so far (two in, a third due January 13th) I’m keeping it up.

I started making a schedule for myself each day, depending on what was going on… when Kim was in school and/or at work I had free rein, but didn’t spend all of that time playing games. Instead, I set realistic goals like 500-1,000 words per hour on a certain story or editing three stories from an upcoming anthology or reading through ten stories of the slushpile…

I still can’t balance properly,I’m still so tunnel-vision with my writing that I ignore everyone around me… I guess I can try to work on that for 2012 and hope that it does… but it’s a goal for 2012, the old New Year’s Resolution (which I absolutely hate, so I won’t waste my time making a stupid list so I can break it in three weeks)…

I am hoping 2012 brings me some financial relief when it comes to my writing, a steady sales record, steady writing and publishing, and the recognition that I want from peers and readers… I want to be known as a great writer, and known as a great guy who you can talk to, joke with, and get to know…

Armand Rosamilia

2 Responses to “My Own Year In Review (Armand’s 2011) Part 1”

  1. I read this whole post. I laughed about the ‘Writing Angel.” I think that sometimes in life we experience a shift in perspective – some fundamental change, and it may not be one event that triggers it, but a build up of signals until you finally hear the message. For me it was the realization that while I had a long time left to live, I was just done wasting that time (like playing mmos for instance). I needed to stop playing around and get prolific. To follow my original dream, which is to be a writer. For myself, I declared 2012 ‘The Year of Writing.’ The goal is to get the word count up, to study about writing and read fiction, yes, but also to just simply get the words in the processor. I’ll be self-publishing at KDP and Createspace at the end of the year: that’s the goal. For now, my short stories go on my blog. Here’s a bit of inspiration for you: http://www.mediabistro.com/ebooknewser/j-a-konrath-earns-100k-from-1-book-in-3-weeks_b19352 <– that guy is a self-published horror writer.

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  2. […] got a great response, so I’ll follow the same basic format… here are the links to the My Own Year In Review (Armand’s 2011) and My Own Year In Review (Part […]

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