Thursday 30 December 2010

At Year's End

Well, here we stand on the cusp of 2011, so it’s time to look back on the year that’s almost finished. Quite a year it’s been, too, certainly on the writing front.

Once again, I’m lucky enough to be paid for writing about music and musicians who have some meaning to me. Records labels sent me CDs for possible review (or send me downloads, as is becoming more common these days). I’m exposed to some of the most interesting music being made today – or in previous years, in the case of those glorious compilations of West African rock from the ‘60s and ‘70s. I have the chance to interview musicians like Tim Eriksen and Justin Adams whom I’ve come to know and respect. That’s pretty damn good.

The fact that people will pay me for all this stuff is still sometimes strange to me. I’m glad they do it, even if I’m not publishing as much music journalism as I did a decade ago. But with that lower quantity comes greater discrimination, so I’m definitely a happy bunny. And along the way I hear some great artists like Mama Roisin and Krista Detor I’d never have come across otherwise.

That said, my personal crowning achievement for this year has been the publication of The Broken Token. Or, rather, that was the first. The second was receiving a contract – with an advance – for my next two books. Now I’ve published plenty of non-fiction books, most of them crap that paid the bills handsomely, although holding my first-ever book was a magical feeling. It couldn’t compare to holding my first novel, though. That was my baby, nearly as lovely as my son. It had taken a long time to reach that stage, and now I’ve started on a new road. No idea where it will lead, but that’s part of the fun, really.

So, yes, I’m looking forward to 2011. More writing, the new novel out in May…life is good, and I hope that for the coming year yours is just as fine.

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