Monday, December 30, 2019

2019 Year-in-Review (5 Year Plan Revisited)

Whelp, we survived another one. There seemed to be a few close calls there, but somehow we keep on trucking. In my personal life, it would be pretty hard to be worse than 2017 (please don't try, 2020), so I'm thank for anything that shows even mild improvement.

And hey, the close of this decade is a pretty big one for me. In the last ten years I moved to a new city, bought a house, started a new career, had two kids, published my first books and stories - it's been a momentous time in my life.

A few years ago for Insecure Writers Support Group day, we were supposed to describe where we saw ourselves in five years. I instead wrote a pretty specific list of goals I wanted to accomplished in those years, and every 12 months since I've been revisiting that list to see how I'm doing on it. It's always good to finish any sort of calendar milestone by judging ourselves, right?

FIVE YEAR GOALS (3 years in)

Write 3-5 books.

Here's my big one for this year, which was a secret until now: In the past twelve months I've actually written two new books. (Okay, as of this writing the second one still needs another chapter or two, but I'm pretty damn close). That's huge for me, since I haven't completed a full-length manuscript since Hell Comes to Hogtown came out in 2016. It's not that I haven't tried; I've started probably a dozen novels in the last three years, some of them I've even got 20-30K words deep, but for various reason none of them ever made it to the end. That changed this year.

Now, one of the books was a fun, silly (and illustrated!) middle-grade book I wrote for my kids and nieces which will probably never see the light of day for anyone else, but I'm still counting that as a win. The other one, though, I'm really hoping to do something with in the near future...

Total: 2 revised/rewritten books, and 2 new books. I'm actually doing pretty good.

Submit at least 3 books to agents/publishers.

Because I'm behind on my new books, still have not submitted any NEW books to a publisher, so unless I have a flurry of productivity in the next two years there's no way I'm going to meet this goal. I did submit the book I revised last year to a few places, and while I received a little interest, nothing really materialized. Total: 1 books submitted so far.

Self-publish 2-3 (full length) books.

None this year, but it looks good to have at least one out in the coming year (fingers crossed!). That will still only be 1 in the last 3 years, but hey, that's better than the 35 years previous.

Self-publish at least 1 Werebear vs Landopus story per year.

Missed this one this year. Wrote a lot of words, but unfortunately none of them made it into a Werebear vs Landopus story. I've got ideas for another few stories in this series and more set in the same world, but it's just a matter of moving them up the list of dozens of other things I'm working on. Total: 2 for 3!

Write at least 2 short stories per year and submit them to anthologies/magazines.

This continues to be my most successful area. I had two stories published this year (that were submitted last year) in Masquerade: Oddly Suited and Strangely Funny VI, and I wrote and submitted 3 more. I also just received word a few days ago that one of those stories were accepted and will be appearing in the coming year! I'll have details on that in the coming weeks, and I'm sure you'll hear lots more about it then. Total: 3 for 3

Collect at least 100 rejections.

I had 19 rejections this year, which is a record for me. I also received one back 2 minutes from the time I sent the email! That brings my total to just over 50, which means I'm really going to have to submit some crap to as many places as possible in order to hit 100 in the next 24 months.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Two full stories is great. And two short stories published. You might not make the rejection goal but have fun trying!

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

You have been amazingly productive, even without all the disruptions of your personal life! Keep up the good work.

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