East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

My Greatest Failures of 2015

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62d133a7cdbe52686487bc5d6a34f604I did my first Best Failures post on the third of January 2015, and people apparently liked it.
So much so, that six months later, a guy on Facebook threw that post in my face as the “demonstration” that my writing career (if any) was a complete disaster.
Some guys have no sense of humor.

Anyway – a Best Failures post is a great way to put a year in perspective, and to find new opportunities to jump-start the new year.
Because, as ever, failures and disasters are not the end of the run, they are a starting point.
No matter what Facebook users may to think.

So, here goes a short retrospective of My Best Failures in 2015.

But first… among the failures of 2014 I listed the fact that I had been forced to put on hold my planned series of novellas, The Corsair.
Well, the series will be published in 2016, and not as a self-produced project, but through a traditional, high-quality publisher.
This just to stress the fact that failures are not dead ends – quite the opposite.


As for 2015…

First – my ebook sales
Yep, my ebooks sales took a turn for the worst, dropping a whopping 80% compared to 2014.
There’s no way to deny this fact.

Second – projects on hold
At least two of my writing projects are currently on hold – and all the notes and the research are zipped in a file saved on multiple platforms, waiting for a morer propitious time.
A pity, really.
I am particularly sad for the GreyWorld blog – which had started with a bang, but simply slowed down to a crawl since the summer of 2015.

Third – deadlines
Just like the previous year, I failed in meeting deadlines too often. This has caused me to lose some sales, and certainly gave a very bad picture of myself, in a professional sense.

Fourth – writing full-time
Life had other plans, and I was unable to practice writing eight hours a day, five days a week.

And this is a good starting point to sum up the failures and analyze’em – as there is a single underlying cause.
In May 2015 my father’s health suffered a very bad hit. In the last six months he’s been repeatedly hospitalized, and his self-sufficiency was greatly reduced. This not only caused him pain and distress, but it did hit our finances (hard), and basically forced me to spend part of my day assisting a bedridden person.
The situation is very slowly getting better, health-wise, and I am grateful to my brother for his assistance and support, but still I am not a master of my time.
Hence a great number of my other failures – missed deadlines and projects on hold especially.


A lot of the second half of 2016 was spent learning how to manage my time in order to be able to keep writing – but paying gigs had to take precedence.
Paying gigs means working with traditional publishers – which in turn means more deadlines and then lengthy waits as a publisher is inherently slower than a self-publisher when it comes to putting material out.
It’s a weird loop.

But hopefully I learned a few new tricks – and I am now ready to face a project-filled year.
Roleplaying games.
Hopefully a new novel.
The blog will also grow in some new directions.
And GreyWorld.co will also start firing again on all cylinders, even if it will take some time to put it back on the road.

As for the drop in sales, this is a matter that is bugging only my Italian-language ebooks – and considering I have decided to concentrate full-time on the English-language market, it may be a disappointment and a failure, but it is not tragic.

They say that running is just a matter of falling forward without ever touching ground.
Looks like I’m learning how to do it.
And no Facebook troll can come and tell me my failures are cause for desperation.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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