2017 was an interesting year for me. I got a lot done, but not as much as I had hoped. I published my first book,A Moonlit Task, in February. Yearly sales showed 468 sales and 56,675 pages read (or roughly 163 borrows).
I also published six short stories. One a Steampunk called Into the Void, and the first five installments of The Korrigan Chronicles, a series of stories following a dwarf named Korrigan who is the last dwarf on earth. Each one takes place about a decade apart, and his story will eventually converge with Nancy from A Moonlit Task. I love these stories. Each one is in a unique area of the world with its own world-building behind it.
Had I met all my goals for the year, however, I would have had the rest of the Korrigan Chronicles and the next two End Gate books out. Life has a way of intervening, and I decided mid-year to change directions and go with LitRPG for my next series. It was a tough decision, and I will be publishing the book soon, I promise. Just waiting for some final changes to the cover and I can do a cover reveal!
In 2017 I wrote a total of 281,000 words or 770 words per day. Here is the breakdown:
- Eloria’s Beginning: 130,000
- Mightier Still: 25,000
- Janitorial Services: 10,000
- The Curious Case of Brendalynn Bobbins: 10,000
- The Korrigan Chronicles: 34,000
- Blog Posts: 72,000
Habits over Goals:
I learned three valuable lessons in 2017:
- Habits are more important than goals.
- Because of this, I’ve stopped worrying about most goals, and instead, I’m focusing on daily habits. As long as these things get done, everything else tends to fall into place. Write 500 words a day, and you end up with 2-3 books written by the end. Edit the same number of words per day, and you end up with 2-3 fully written and edited books in that same time.
- Take care of yourself, especially as an author.
- We already lead very sedentary lives, and sitting in front of a computer isn’t helping. This year I’ve walked 1277 miles, or 3.5 per day on average. That is up from 2.9 average for 2016. I have more energy, and the constant weight gain I’ve had for the last decade has slowed. I plan on continuing this trend in 2018.
- I’ve spent my life on computers. I was one of those rare 80’s kids that grew up typing and playing video games on my dad’s old Heathkit home-built computers, then upgraded to a 286, 386, etc. I’ve been doing this a long time, and all that typing and mousing has taken its toll. I’m only 42, but I’ve already got pretty severe RSI from poor ergonomic habits. As such I’ve made some changes to my stretching, keyboards, and typing methods. In 2018 I plan on getting into dictation to further reduce the strain on my wrists.
- I am an Artist, not a pulp novel writer.
- Or how I stopped worrying and learned to accept that I’m da bomb. Anything I put my name to has to be the best I can produce. I can’t pump out novels and put my name on them. Anything I publish has to be the best I can make it. Other people can put out “pulp,” and that’s great for them. They’re making a killing at this writing thing, but I have to stay true to me. I have to edit it until I don’t see anything wrong with it. I then send it to beta readers, taking the time to let them reply to me so they can point out the story’s flaws, then I have to fix those flaws, and reevaluate my story. It’s just who I am as an author. I tried to do something different this year, and it backfired big time. I’ve learned: be true to myself as an author.
- That being said, this doesn’t excuse me from only releasing one book every four years, or pining over every word like an “arteest.” I have my habits as outlined above and I’ll be working on improving those, thus increasing my output slowly and naturally.
2018: Glancing Forward
2018 is going to be “My Year” when it comes to writing.
- I’m going to continue taking care of myself, losing weight, and upping my daily self-care habits.
- I’m going to increase my daily word count, and add in daily editing goals as well.
- I have a goal of 6-7 books published for 2018. Many of them are well underway.
- I’m going to finish the Korrigan Chronicles and release an expanded compilation.
- I will launch my new LitRPG series called Enter the louVRe, and complete the first trilogy arc for The End Gate Series.