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It’s that time again to take a look back at the year that was. And this year, not only are we at the end of a year, we’re at the end of the decade (and yeah, I know, technically the decade doesn’t end until the last gasp of 2020, but just give me this one, ok? *grin*).

So I thought I’d look back at 2019 and the 2010s and see what I accomplished as a writer, and what I didn’t.

I haven’t accomplished mainstream success yet. I am still very much a niche author, with a fairly limited (albeit wonderful and devoted) group of fans. I haven’t had any of my books turned into Netflix series (see “not a mainstream author” above). I haven’t snagged an agent yet. And I haven’t been able to get to the point where I could support us writing full-time.

But that’s only part of the story. When I look back, I can see all the things I have accomplished:

I’ve written and sold/published more than thirty short stories, novellas, and novels

I’ve published two entire sci fi trilogies, completing both in 2019

I made it into the Sci Fi Writers of America (Siffwah) this year, a lifetime goal of mine shared with many of the Greats

I’ve attended three GRLs, a NijiCon, a YaoiCon, and a RainbowCon, and have sold my books at LGBTQ+ Pride events all around Sacramento

I’ve started a very popular Queer Sci Fi group (with Angel martinez, and later with Ben Brock and Ryane Chatman) that now claims almost 4,000 members

My husband Mark and I started (with a huge assist from Kasje Harper) QueeRomance Ink, an LGBTQ+ romance directory with more than 500 authors and 3,700 books

I started (with Pat Henshaw and Christopher Koehler) a vibrant local queer author group called the Queer Sacramento Author’s Collective, with 50 members, 4-6 readings a year, and our first (hopefully annual) Queer Sacramento Book Fest in June

I won Rainbow Awards for five of my books, and one for best new gay author, in 2017 and 2019

I’ve had many stories that reached the top of the Amazon LGBT Sci Fi chart, and one that made it up to #64 in all of Amazon for a day, as well as being their top Hard Sci Fi book

And I’ve had more five star reviews than I know what to do with

But more important than all of these things combined is this – I have the love of a man who has stuck it out with me through the thick and thin of it, through lean times and sickness and my own bouts of doubt and frustration and depression. Through twenty-seven years, he has been there for me (and vice versa).

My husband Mark is a saint, and he believes in me and my talent unconditionally. Without him, none of this would have happened.

I think it helps, as we sit in our dark and lonely writer caves and wonder why things haven’t happened faster for us as writers, to take a long hard look at all the amazing things we have accomplished over the years. It’s a chance to remember all the little (and not so little) wins along the road. It’s okay to celebrate those wins – necessary for our sanity, even – and to remember why we started on this journey in the first place. The things that fired us up to become writers.

So as we close out 2019, I am being just a little selfish. I am looking back at the things I’ve done for just a moment, and letting it all wash over me like a million little stars in the darkness.

Then I’ll turn my attention ahead, to march once more toward the light in 2020.

To my writer friends, what have you accomplished this last year? In your writing career as a whole?

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