Friday, December 30, 2016

2016: A Year In Review: The Writing

2016 was a weird writing year. I started the year with an agent, a new project ready to send out to editors and two other projects in the can ready for his approval. As readers of this blog know, that collapsed some time in April as I left my agent and re-entered the query world. And it's been pretty bleak since then. I fell into a dark place where I began to question everything I was doing. The typical collection of rejections from potential agents hasn't helped and the election crushed productivity. The summer was nothing but wasted opportunity and I've spent more energy trying to find a groove than actually writing. And it sucks.

So, what were my goals for 2016?
  • Finish the first draft of FALCON.
  • Finish a second draft of LABORS.
  • Finish a first draft of FROM THE DEEP or NORTHPOINTE
  • Work on SUMMER'S GLORY/SACRIFICE/STRIFE/whatever the hell I'm going to call it.
What I actually did:
  • Finished first draft of FALCON (73k)
  • Finished a second draft of FALCON (73k)
  • Finished a second drat of LABORS (64k)
  • Started and backburnered THE GREAT NORTHPOINTE-SILVER PINES WAR (10k)
  • Started and backburnered THE LAST MAGESMITH (2k)
  • Started and backburnered THE CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD (5k)
  • Started and backburnered EPIC SUMMER (5k)
  • Started and backburnered HEART OF ICE (12k)
  • Started THE PENSIONER'S BROOCH (11k)
So that puts my year at a very schitzo 255k words. It was the least productive year I've had in a while. I was really spinning my wheels, as you can see, in the second half of the year. There were some good concepts there, but my confidence was shot as I moved on and I found myself questioning what I was doing. It's not a good thing. 

That being said, I got a little confidence back writing BROOCH. Granted it's a novella (started as a novelette) and I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but I'm feeling something as I'm writing it. I get lost in the story and that's always a good sign for me. 

It's not all bad news. I've got two of my finished projects under submission with editors and I'm very hopeful at least one of them will get picked up. 

So, how do I move forward? What do I do in 2017? It's all about goals, right. So here are my writing goals:
  • Write the first draft of MAGICAL GATSBY
  • Write the GENDER SWAPPED ARAGORN epic fantasy.
I frequently talk about establishing a routine and I need to start living that. I need to sit down and no matter what I need to carve out at least an hour of my day to write. I have to stick to it. If I write at least 1k a day, I'll have 365k, subtract birthdays, holidays and random days off and we're looking at 350k. That's 4 books, like I have listed above (or one novella and three novels). I can do this. Now I'm not factoring in something happening with an agent that still has SCIONS or an editor that has SEASONS, but that would be a positive development, not a negative one. 

It's ambitious, but as the musical HAMILTON says, I need to "write like I'm running out of time."

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