Year End Retrospective

Wow, 2019 is over.

Weird.

So every year I try to talk about goals, and whether I’ve met my goals, and also just generally what I’ve accomplished this year. I’m a little late this time, which is on brand for 2019. You’ll remember from my six month post that things were kind of all over the place last year, but let’s talk about that a little more.

2019 was a really long year for me for a lot of reasons. I’m in the middle of several long projects both at the dayjob and in my writing, and it’s really easy to get bogged down in the middle of things. I’ve had trouble focusing, for a variety of reasons. I’ve felt exhausted, generally, even when I’ve rested. Only here at the end of the year do I finally feel like I’m finding my feet.

Despite that, or maybe as cause of that fact, it’s been an incredibly productive year. I’ve written about 90,000 words including only fiction and blogging, which is not quite as many as I’d hoped to write but is still quite a lot. I’ve also queried a bunch, about twenty times, which is more than I’ve managed any year prior. No doubt I will be querying even more once the Zombie Book goes through another round of revisions and is ready to face the music.

I have revised a whole novel and a whole novella, re-outlined a whole other novel project when it fell apart, and written only one single solitary new short story (though I’ve rewritten or edited a few more). I got a short story published! Which is a first. There are successes to count.

In my personal life, I’m more fit than I’ve ever been. I have traveled a bunch, gotten a better handle on my mental and physical health, taken up yoga, am still doing silks every week, and been in not one, but two aerial silks performances. I’ve also planted a bunch of plants, as one does.

There have been failures, too. My Patreon dropped below the number of supporters I was counting on for one of my projects. I realized that the Patreon will only grow as my career and fanbase does, so I’ve changed it around and am making sure it isn’t taking up too much of my time better spent elsewhere. Obviously I’ve been rejected a BUNCH this year (perhaps those numbers don’t feel very large to other writers, but they feel large to me even if they are well below my target number of rejections). I wanted to have that book that fell apart done, dammit. I wanted to have started the long slog of querying the Zombie Book already, instead of getting mired in endless edits as I found more and more weird parts of it that needed fixing. I wanted…. (The list of wants is long – it always is.)

I could focus on those failures, easily. But I don’t think that’s helpful for me, or anybody really. There have been unexpected opportunities I’ve chased, both in writing and otherwise, and I don’t regret any of them. I’m running after those because life is short and I can’t control a lot of things, but I can control my own ability to say yes.

So that’s my lesson for folks this year. Don’t let this business, with its many variables, consume you. Make beautiful words and say yes to beautiful things – trips, and meals with friends, and hikes in the woods – and let those beautiful things feed your words, the flame of them, and don’t worry too much about anything besides that.

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