Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 Review

Image from Dollar Photo Club
Finally have a few minutes to breathe, so I can tally and report on my final numbers for 2015. I didn't even come close to meeting my word writing goal. That said, when I looked at what I DID accomplish, I don’t feel bad about it. Here’s all that got done in 2015:

Word Count Goal for 2015 – 500,000
Words Written for 2015 – 379,320 (375,772 of that in fiction, the rest in a NF book I worked on a bit) – for an average of 31,610 written per month; worst month was 3,583, best month 56,977 – I didn't get to write much in November, usually one of my highest months.

Publishing Goal for 2015 – 7 paperbacks
Published in 2015 – 9 paperbacks (3 long novels, 3 short novels, 2 short story collections, & a novelette), plus 3 short stories published in e-book that aren't yet in p-back – BEST PUBLISHING YEAR YET!

Completed in 2015 – 3 old projects finished – 2 short novels, 1 long novel

Other Details for 2015

Written start to finish – 1 long novel, 1 short story collection, 4 short stories, and 7 stories of a short story serial that isn't yet complete.

Plus, I created 38 memes, 9 paperback book covers, and 18 e-book covers, as well as making significant additions (over 5K words) to 2 old projects and minor additions (5K or less) to 4 others.

Needless to say, despite failing to meet my word count goal for the year, it was a good year all the way around in so many other ways. Given how the last 3 months of the year went, I don’t feel bad at all about the word count goal flop. I may not have gotten 500K, but I still got 379K more written than if I hadn't tried at all. Add in the number of projects published and all the other stuff, and WOOHOO!

Moving On…

This morning, I received feedback from my first reader for a completed short novel – so I need to find time to get to that, make any needed fixes, and get it published. That's the final book in a 4-book medieval fantasy series (the other 3 were pubbed in 2015). When I have time and adequate brain function, I'll package those 4 in a set as well. The cover for the set is already done and waiting.

Also, I've got a short story serial ready to start releasing once I can find the time to do the e-book formatting. Hoping I can get started on that this week.

I’m still making 3 trips a week an hour away to do work on the house we're trying to move to, while using my off days to keep up with the current home (laundry, dishes, sweeping/mopping floors, and all those other mundane tasks), plus resting so I don't cause another health flare up like I did on Christmas day that makes me utterly useless for anything but holding down furniture.

I've tried to write on many of my off days, but I can’t focus enough to get more than a handful of words down before I lose my train of thought and forget where I was going. Trying to be patient about that, which isn't easy since I've always driven myself pretty hard to meet my own expectations, no matter how unreasonable they were. I'm doing better on that score, but it still rankles from time to time that I have limitations. One of the ways I've found to deflect frustration is to use that down time to watch movies and work on visually creative projects instead of word-related ones. Beading and jewelry-making has come in handy more than I can express for keeping me from really getting aggravated with myself over the lack of word-related creativity. I still try to write a bit each day, but at least I'm not berating myself for not being able to do so when it flops. I just shift my focus from writing to visual creativity. At least I'm accomplishing SOMETHING constructive that way.

Anyway, in figuring out my goals for 2016, I kept all of the nutsiness in my life at present in mind. I’m not sure when we’ll finish the transition to the new house, but once that’s done, it’ll mean making trips to the old one to finish the work it needs so we can get it on the market. That won't be as draining as my current schedule, hopefully.

2016 is shaping up to be a year of upheaval from start to nearly finish, and I was tempted not to set any goals for the year and just do whatever I could whenever I could. If I do that, though, I may not get much of anything done, so…

Goals for 2016

400K new words
5 paperbacks published
3 old projects completed

That 400K may be pie-in-the-sky, all things considered, but I'll aim for it anyway.