April 23rd, 2008

Mask

(no subject)

On April 26th, 365Tomorrows will reach it's 1000th story. It's a huge accomplishment, and for the past several years, most of it is due to the hard work of Steve Smith, who has worked tirelessly to keep the site going.

I remember that when we started, we were told that it was doomed to failure, that it wasn't a big deal, that we couldn't keep it going, not even for a year. For every supporter, there was a naysayer. Then, quietly, over time, the naysayers, those who said it couldn't be done, got quieter and quieter. Now I hear nothing from them at all.

In the years since it started, I have written one hundred and ten stories for the site. I wrote eighty four of these stories in the first year. It's often said that life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. When you do a daily project, like 365 Tomorrows, it makes those other plans a part of your daily life. Life doesn't happen to you as much as you happen to life. It's challenging and rewarding. I had to work very hard in that first year, on top of writing papers for grad school, I was writing science fiction stories. It was difficult creatively and emotionally - but I couldn't have had a better teacher.

Once, in class, I mentioned that I had written about sixty stories in the past few months and the class (all creative writers) spontaneously burst into applause.

I've met wonderful people because of the project. I've been invited to conventions to speak about fiction, giving my work away for free, podcasting and to give a workshop. The first time I ever submitted a story, the editor knew my name because of the project. Warren Ellis has been quoted as saying that I've gotten myself a career out of the project. It was a great teacher, it taught me that this, writing and sharing my work, was what I wanted to do. It wasn't just a hobby, it wasn't a phase, it's what I wanted and what I still want out of my life.

Now, I make part of my living off my creative life - writing, photography and performing. I would like to make all of my living off this life and maybe, in a few years, I will. Every year, it gets better. Every year, the people who said it was impossible get quieter and quieter. Soon, I imagine, I won't be able to hear them at all.