When we began 2020, nobody knew just what was in store for us. Sometimes, the best thing you can say about a year is that you made it through. But I covered that already in Saying Goodbye to 2020. We’re in 2021 now, this post is four weeks late instead of the usual two, and it’s time to discuss the new year and all that I hope to accomplish. That’s right! It’s once again time to share my writing goals for the year.
My 2021 Writing Goals
- Finish the third novelette set in the post-Break world, A Sure Thing.
- Edit and release the next two books in The Many Travals of John Smith by late spring/early summer.
- Get back to writing the poetry that seems to fall by the wayside whenever I get deep in the weeds on a new book.
- Continue blogging every month.
- Have more writing-focused posts to counterbalance all the ‘hey my new book is coming out’ hype posts.
- Buy less whisky1.
- Write One Tin Soldier, the last book in my The Murder of Crows trilogy for release in October/November.
- Don’t screw up #7.
- Reserve December to write another novel, either Fire of Unknown Origin or Tea with Grannypocalypse.
- Learn ASL (American sign language).
- Stop writing 2020 instead of 2021.
- Figure out what the hell I am doing on Instagram, leverage it to take over the world, and then give everyone free cake.
The Good and the Bad
There is a lot to do this year. Three books and two novelettes? That’s a big ask for a writer who only managed two novels last year. I’m cheating a bit again because both of the John books have been written already. They’ll require a lot of editing and probably some rewrites, just like Investigation, Mediation, Vindication did, but that’s still easier than writing a book from scratch. Eventually, my goal is to release 2+ brand new books a year… but 2021 is not that year2.
A few goals are repeats from 2020. Every year, I do a great job treating Thursdays as days for writing poetry… right up until the point where poetry falls by the wayside as I fixate on finishing, marketing, and releasing my latest book. I’m going to try to be better about that and my scheduling this year. Given that this post is itself two weeks late, don’t expect miracles! Learning ASL was another 2020 goal, but I abandoned it when the pandemic hit, because I wanted in-person classes. Given that I’ll be stuck at home until this summer, I broke down and bought myself an ASL book for Christmas, and will work my way through it this year. Maybe I’ll take classes in 2022?
My most important goal on the above list is #83. I’m very grateful to all the readers4 who have discovered my little expletive-filled, post-apocalyptic superhero trilogy, and I feel a real responsibility to finish it well. Only two people know how the trilogy ends5, so it will be very, very interesting to see how it lands, first with my beta readers, and then with the general audience. I’ve had a strong vision of where this series was going from (almost) the start, which is generally a good thing… unless everyone ends up hating that vision. We’ll see!
The Very First Status Update
With February around the corner, I’ve made some progress on the year’s goals. A Sure Thing is written and in the hands of my beta readers. It’s a crime story set in the post-Break world, roughly twelve years before the events of See These Bones. I enjoyed writing it a lot, and am hopeful you’ll all enjoy reading it. If all goes well, the novella will be available on Amazon by mid-February. As with all of the post-Break novellas, this release will be digital only. I still plan to collect those tales into an omnibus, Stories From a Post-Break World, and release that as a paperback, but I’m going to need more than the originally planned ~five stories to keep the 6×9 print edition from looking like a comic book6.
On Monday, I’ll on the edit of Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff, better known as John Smith, book 2. It’s been a few years since my last edit pass, and I have a lot of polishing to do. I also have some demands from the first book’s small but passionate fanbase, including mahogany callbacks and more Bill. I think I can do at least one of those!
I’m commissioning a new cover for Investigation, Mediation, Vindication, in the hopes of better capturing the urban fantasy demographic. The goal is to change the look of the series in time for the release of the next two books. The new cover artist is very much in-demand, so we are working around his schedule. I expect all three books to be available with their new covers no later than June/July. I haven’t decided whether or not to post them on NetGalley this time around. While I like the service, it is expensive and we received only 5 reviews for Red Right Hand. It feels like the platform may be less viable for sequels?
As for my other goals, I… bought a lot of whisky at the start of January. Technically, that was before these goals were public, so I think I’m doing okay.
Best of luck to each of you in 2021 with achieving your own goals! Let’s make 2021
a fabulous year better than the endless hellscape that was 2020!
- Let’s just say our vacation budget was… repurposed… in 2020.
- 2022 won’t be either, as I have the fourth John Smith book to edit and release, and that one’s a 700+ page monstrosity.
- And technically #7.
- So many readers! January has doubled both November’s royalties and Kindle Unlimited page-reads, and that was previously my best month ever.
- And one of them forgot, because there was alcohol involved during the telling.
- Anything less than 350 pages looks a little slender in that size format.