The state of the writer at the close of 2017

This post is about writing in 2017. I want to make that clear, because writing aside, 2017 was a pretty great year for me. The family prospered, we’re happy, well taken care of, and all in all in a good place right now.

But for writing, 2017 sucked in many, many ways.

I had high hopes for the year. In 2016, I played with self publishing a novel, and for what I put into it, had some pretty good returns. Such is hubris. In 2017, I put a book out that I thought was good; it was copyedited, it was cleaned, it was a story I enjoyed telling. I lined up advertising, promoted the book, etc.

It flopped, and it was pretty disheartening. Since that release, it’s been a real struggle to be motivated. We all know the stories of so-and-so who was met with repeated failures before they succeeded. It takes perseverance to keep going, and in 2017 I learned that I might not have it.¬†Or maybe I do? We’re three days into 2018, and I do have a project I’m working on. No point in saying more than that at this point, but I haven’t given up the ghost just yet.

On the short story front, not much to be said. A story I sold in 2016 saw print this year, but otherwise it’s been a string of rejections. This doesn’t surprise me too much – the short stories I was sending out were, for the most part, written years before. Since I started focussing on longer length fiction, I haven’t written much in the way of short stories. Even so, I currently have a story out there waiting on feedback. It’s a big market that takes a while to reject, so I’m not hopeful.

2017: not a great year of writing. Here’s looking to 2018 and the promise of getting some words down.


Safari, High Sierra, and Google Hangouts Pro Tip

A quick tip if you are a Safari user, on High Sierra, but your daily life requires you to use Google Hangouts with some frequency. If you fall into all three of those camps, you’ve faced this frustration already: the hangout starts, but although the camera light comes on, your end of the video never starts.

As someone who would rather use just one browser, and (don’t tell my coworkers) finds Safari a lighter browser that gets the job done just as well, here’s a work around until the Google plugin authors get around to acknowledging and/or fixing this bug:

If you launch hangouts in Safari, then start up PhotoBooth, the process of turning the camera on by PhotoBooth will activate the camera in Safari. It’s a crappy work around, but I got it (and tested it as true) from Apple directly.

Hope this helps someone else out there, because I spent a month or more of frustration and browser swapping before finally asking. FWIW, the problem appears to be in the plugin from Google, not Safari itself (which is where I started my investigation).