Happy New Year’s Eve! Stay safe out there tonight.
2018 was a bit of a rough year all around, right? It seems like no matter where you live, things are in a constant state of panic-inducing chaos. Here in the states that culminated with our mid-term elections and is ongoing in the state of the nation’s capitol. Still, I learned a lot in 2018. About writing, about the business of being a writer, about goal setting, and about myself.
Let’s start with the writing.
Back in December of 2017 I set a goal to write 1,200 words a day. Every day. For 365 days.
I mean, I knew I could write 1,200 words in a day, so how hard could it be?
(Pauses to let laughter die down)
Turns out, it’s not technically hard. What it is, is hard to maintain when you’re doing any number of other things, like editing, rewriting, publishing, or struggling with a plot issue. Or living a life not tied to the computer (weekends).
By mid-February I had already broken the streak and felt like a completely unqualified loser. Add that to the epic fail that was the contemporary romance I was working on and well, it was incredibly demotivating. So much so that my daily writing habit nearly faded completely.
I was getting bitter toward anything in my life that took me away from writing before I had the words down and that wasn’t a good place. Then summer hit with all it’s craziness and …
I changed tactics. Gave myself weekends off (unless I wanted to work) and eased up on the word count. I knocked it back to a much more achievable 5,000 words per week and started feeling a bit more success.
As for the production plan for 2018, it went off the rails with my word count. Still, I managed to finish two books. These will be published in 2019, so be watching for that.
The business part is easy. I published one book last year. It didn’t go gangbusters, but I did sell a handful of copies and am hoping to do a little more when the sequel comes out later in 2019. Yeah, slow publishing isn’t the best way to make money as an author, but you have to start somewhere.
And authors are exactly like people who plant trees. They both wish they’d started 20 years ago.
As for the learning about myself? Well, I learned that I am capable. I can do this thing. The writing gets easier with practice. The plotting gets easier. The procrastinating gets easier. The goal setting gets easier. Look, everything gets easier with experience and practice and I can see/feel that happening for me. It’s exciting in a time when I need something exciting to keep me moving forward.
Getting the words down comes faster, if not easier. And I learned that I really, truly love my job. I love it enough that I’ll keep going even if I don’t make crazy money at it.
2018 was a good year. I am really looking forward to 2019!