Looking Forward and Back

2017 has been a crazy year and it went by at break-neck speed, somehow even fast than last year. How does that happen? Since we’re in the last throes of the year, I’d like to take a few minutes to look back and ahead at what’s coming up for me in 2018.

Perhaps the highlight of my years as a writer in 2017 was the publication of my second novel, Withered World. I dove into a genre I haven’t played with very much and came out on the other side a better writer. Most notably, I know that I will never again write a novel in first person! But, I finally was able to tell the story of a character who’d been with me since I was 17 years old.

I also participated in my very fist convention and sat on a panel at ConQuest 48! I even got paired up with the toastmaster for the entire convention, a prolific author named Jonathan Maberry! I was super nervous to be on a panel with a writer of his accomplishment, but he was all encouragement and very nice. We had a GREAT conversation and I’m certainly looking forward to participating in next year’s convention over Memorial Weekend.

Another great accomplishment for me was participating in NaNoWriMo in November. I did a modified version of this novel-writing challenge, instead striving for 30,000 words as opposed to the standard 50,000. I wanted something that I knew I could accomplish and a pace that I could maintain.

I really ended up enjoying the NaNoWriMo process and have more than 30,000 words to show for it. I’ll be ending the year with nearly 40,000 of my newest project, NightWind with plans to have a complete first draft by the end of January or early February. I also learned a lot from this process and believe that it is a viable option for producing content going forward.

One thing I would like to improve upon is my blogging consistency. Once I got into the NaNoWriMo season, my blogging suffered a bit. I had posts pre-written for the month of November, but really didn’t get back into the swing of things in December. December is always crazy, of course, and it’s next to impossible to get anything done. But, first up on my list is to get back to posting weekly again.

Secondly, I’m planning to publish again in 2018 which will mean 3 novels in 3 consecutive years. Not bad for someone who is working full-time and writing for fun on the side. As I mention above, I’ll hopefully have a complete first draft of NightWind by February and then I’ll start the revision process. I’ll be looking for beta readers, so if anyone out there is interested in lending a hand, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

Thirdly, I’d like to participate in a speaking engagement sometime in 2018, whether it’s sitting on a panel at ConQuest, speaking to students, or something else, I’d like to brush up on my public speaking skills and work on some new ways to get word out about my books in hopes of finding more readers.

Lastly, once NightWind is published, I plan to start working on my Sappho novel once again. I started this project a number of years ago, but got bogged down in the details and lost my confidence. After writing a few books and wrapping my mind around the project again, I’m ready to dive in and write the book I believe will truly showcase my storytelling skills.

A new year means getting older. But, I decided a long time ago to adopt my dad’s philosophy on that front. He tells me that every year and decade of his life is better than the last and I am determined to live my life with this perspective. There’s no shame in getting older. It’s not like we can stop it anyway. But, I plan to enjoy the ride to its fullest. 2018 isn’t even here yet and I already have lots of plans for travel, moving to a new place and more. It’s going to be another exciting year and I’m sure it will be amazing with my family and friends by my side.

Happy New Year to all of you!