Right in front of the eyes.

I’m not really prone to introspection at the best of times and when it involves self-praise I really avoid it. However I was asked recently why I had the phrase ‘hopeful writer’ in my biography. When I explained that I thought that I was still simply dabbling at this literary lark and that, one day, I would no doubt be caught out as the pretender that I view myself as, it was pointed out that I am either an idiot or full of false modesty (they actually said that I was full of something else, but we will stick to the nicer version of things). Now, I am really not one for false modesty either so that left me with the other option.

An idiot.

Honestly I don’t think that I am that either (at least not all of the time) so just as I forced myself to do back in February, during the lead up to Rare Disease Day 2012, where I ‘outed’ myself as someone who lives with a rare genetic disorder (no, it isn’t idiocy so if you want to find out what it is, or more about it, go read the archives) I was challenged to look critically, and honestly, at what I had accomplished, in terms of writing, so far.

So, here goes:

Back in September/October 2009 I had my first short story, ‘Rainbow’ published in a short-lived print magazine called ‘Offshoot’. Since then I’ve had another twenty-five pieces of work – poetry, micro-fiction, flash fiction, short stories, and even a novella – also published. Out of those there have been a couple of award winners, a story short-listed for the Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition. Individual stories ranked pretty highly in the critically acclaimed Preditors and Editors polls and had positive reviews in places such as Barnes and Nobles. I even have a collection of short fiction (aptly title ‘Short but Sweet’) available on Amazon.

I compiled and edited a collection of superhero fiction for an anthology entitled Powers, which included sixteen short stories and one novella. This was long listed for an Eagle award.

I started publishing two online magazines. One, With Painted Words, is published monthly and is for poetry, micro and flash fiction inspired by a different piece of artwork. To date it has published one hundred and forty two individual pieces of creative writing. The second, The WiFiles, is a weekly speculative fiction publication, which is queued up well into June 2013 and has accepted over one hundred pieces of fiction so far.

Coming soon is also an independent small press for collected anthologies, charity books, and much more.

Coming even sooner (as in it has already started) is my first real attempt at a novel. A LOT of work – planning, outlining and research – has already gone into it and I am now at the stage where that is all being collated into actual initial drafting. In other words, I suppose, I’m actually writing a novel.

To summarise:

26 publications – awards & short-listings – anthology edited – over 240 other peoples’ stories published – small-press on its way – novel commenced

If those paragraphs above were about anyone other than me I’d be impressed. I’d probably also be a little jealous. You see that is where I’d want to be, what I would want to have as MY ‘brags’. Of course, only an idiot would be stupid enough not to realise that those accomplishments were their own, wouldn’t they? Only an idiot would fail to see what was in front of their own eyes.

Sp what that boils down to is simple: either I stop using the word ‘hopeful’ – at least as far as it means prospective – from my bio or I start using the word ‘idiot’.