the creative cantway review 2022

What went well this year?

  • Got serious about the craft. Started calling myself not only a writer but an author.
  • Put a website together, learned some basic graphic design, and started blogging.
  • Expanded my writing community in a meaningful way through networking, a critique group, and beta readers.
  • Became a First Line Reader for DreamForge Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
  • Hired an editor for the first time: Mica S. Kole.

What didn’t go so well?

I had some progress and significant setbacks in 2022. As a new writer honing my skills, I’ve only managed to finish one story in 2022, and I made no submissions to any writing contests, which is distressing, to say the least.

As a disabled veteran and a full-time stay-at-home dad, it’s been rough finding time for writing, not that I let myself use those as excuses. My oldest started first grade last August in person as opposed to last year’s distance learning, AKA school of Dad. I spent September & October berating the school because my son was assaulted. The situation escalated to me getting interviewed by a local reporter about the school district’s overcrowding and safety issues. I’m still in contact with the superintendent about ongoing policy changes my scrutiny incurred. Still, the principal, teacher, and school counselor stepped up in a big way so that I feel confident my son is safe from bullying for now.

There’s not much I can do to free up writing time until my youngest starts school August 2024. My oldest is going through a phase where he brings home sickness from school every other week. My family hasn’t been spared from bimonthly waves of cold, flu, or covid all year. Ugh. These are the main reasons why I haven’t made as much progress as I would like.

I wish I could emulate Robin Hobb—how she was able to raise four kids and find time to write. She wrote at night, when her kids were asleep, and in every free moment. Her assessment was that if she couldn’t write prolifically she would make up for it in quality. But she had consistency. As a writer, it’s important to not beat yourself up about things you can’t control, at least that is what I try to tell myself. Consistency is one of the more important factors that determines if you can make it as published author, and that’s where I’ve taken the biggest hit in 2022.

In addition, I spent a significant amount of time critiquing for other writers and blogging—time that could have been managed better.

What am I working toward?

So far in 2023, I’ve submitted a story to Writers of the Future Contest, 2nd Quarter 2023, for volume 40, plotted another novelette, and have drafted three-quarters of a science fiction short.

I’m determined to improve my consistency, and next year I will report more successes. So get excited!


Author Jarrid Cantway


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