As much lip service as I give Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day, my true favorite holiday is New Year’s Day. Actually, New Year’s Eve is way more fun, but to me the two days are pretty much one extended holiday. I love looking back at my accomplishments of the previous year and setting up my goals for the next.
What has become sort of a tradition for me is to post a quick summary of both, and for a couple of reasons. I’m still a firm believer in the idea of setting written goals, and that writing them down publicly will help you better achieve them (although I am doing the goals thing a bit different this year.)
And as for sharing my accomplishments, well, I know that might look like an attempt to boast or whatever, the reason I do it is mainly to remind myself that I am still making progress. This helps when I feel like giving up. We all feel that way sometimes, right? Secondly, I like to think that by showing what I’ve done in the last year, that a reader of this blog might say, “Hey, if he can do, then so can I” and one of the big reasons I run this blog is to inspire new writers to go out there and do it.
So with that said, let’s go…
Looking back at 2017
In the non-writing world of the day job and family, it’s certainly been an interesting year. But mostly good, and in a few ways great. Our oldest started kindergarten and our daughter started preschool. Our other daughter turned two and started talking, and all three of them got to welcome a new sibling as our fourth kiddo was born in March. Fun times all around 🙂
Onward to the writing-reward stuff…
It wasn’t only my two-year-old learning to talk this year, as I scheduled quite a few panel discussions, readings, book signings, and even my first solo talk on the business of writing. Regular reader might have seen some of my posts on those events. Everything went pretty good, except, of course, for the time I got run over by a car while walking to one of the panel discussion. But what can you do, other than be thankful for being alive?
Still doing the podcast with Scott, and I’m pretty happy with what we’ve got out there so far. The two-year anniversary episode of the show will air on January 6, so I hope you give us a listen. If you haven’t checked out the podcast before, you can click on over to the podcast page, or subscribe through Soundcloud and iTunes too. And if you are a listener and would like to support us, please check out our Patreon page, where you can get special stuff for as little as 50 cents per episode. (Cheap plug!)
Theme of Absence has remained consistent and is getting more submissions than I can keep up with, which is cool with me. We are listed in both Duotrope.com‘s Top 25 Most Approachable Fiction Markets and Most Personal Fiction Markets, which is a great honor for me. We also hosted the third annual Halloween contest and received twice as many entries as the previous year, which just blew me away. I love running the site and still hope to see it start turning a bit of a profit so I could increase the payment for the authors. Ooh, that’s a good segue for another Cheap Plug. Check out the Theme of Absence Patreon page if you’d like some perks for as little as 25 cents per story 🙂
Oh, and I do still write fiction sometimes!
For short stories, I had three pieces accepted and received 18 rejections (3 personal). Maybe not the best track record, but it is worth noting that my story Hydromancer was voted Best Short Story for the October-December issue in the Bard & Sages annual reader’s poll. That truly made my day, so thank you to all of you who voted for me 🙂
As for novels (which should really be the most important part of my writing career) I don’t have too much to say, unfortunately. I have some WIPs that I go back and forth between, mostly an epic fantasy trilogy and a YA horror novel, but it’s going very slowly. I also have a finished first(or second?) draft of another YA fantasy novel, but I still fear that cleaning that up would be more work than writing something new. Anyhow, in 2018, I need to shut up and pick one and try to finish it.
Sound like a goal to me, huh.
Looking forward to 2018 (Goals!)
Okay, I going to do this a bit different this year and instead of setting real goals with deadlines here, I’m going to simply list everything I’d like to accomplish. Sometime in January (and not on this blog) I’ll prioritize and make them more specific, but for now, I just want to show my “wish list” of things I’d like to do in 2018.
- Submit one new short story every month.
- Complete a first draft of a new novel.
- Get current on my Theme of Absence submissions. (Have an empty inbox.)
- Maintain a schedule on this blog. (Three new posts, plus Five Links Friday & Podcast each week.)
- Get current on the Theme of Absence Patreon feed. (Review stories as they are posted.)
- Start the Mystery Project I’ve talked about in the past. It’s in the early pre-planning stages right now, but we’ve had a lot of technical difficulties.
Okay, that is probably a good place to start. That’s a pretty hefty list, and the only thing keeping it from happening is time, so we’ll just have to see what we can do.
Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a great, safe New Year’s Eve, and a wonderful and successful 2018.
If you’ve got any goals you’d like to share, feel free to leave them in the comments section. I’d love to see what you’ve got going on in 2018!