Despite, 2016 being a generally shit year overall, I got a lot of writing done, hit some exciting milestones in my writing career, and read a lot of really amazing books. And now that we’re at the end of the year, it’s time to look back at what I accomplished, and then look forward to what I want to accomplish in the year ahead.
At the beginning of 2016, I wrote THIS POST. My goals for the year were simple: write, edit, and publish another Chroniker City novella; edit and publish The Guild Conspiracy; write the first draft of the next Chroniker City novel; finish Dark Lord in Training; and finally finish editing my fantasy novel. I managed some of those things, but definitely not all. My plans got thrown for a loop pretty early on when revisions for The Guild Conspiracy turned out to be more intense than expected, and later, my marketing efforts for the novel took up a lot of my time. Also, the US Election kind of sidelined all my writing efforts for the last part of the year.
I also committed to attending more events in a professional capacity this year, and as a result, I attended two conventions (one of them being WorldCon!) and did several smaller events at the local library, as well as three separate signings at the local Barnes & Noble. I’m on track to do even more next year.
So, how did my goals for the year stack up? Let’s see…
- Write, edit, and publish another Chroniker City novella = HAHA NOPE
- Edit and publish The Guild Conspiracy = YEP! I DID THE THING! YAY ME.
- Write the first draft of the next Chroniker City novel = equal amounts of nope.
- Finish Dark Lord in Training = no, but I did make some progress.
- Finish editing my fantasy novel = no, but I also made some good progress on this.
So, just what did I write this year?
Words Worded in 2016:
This year, I endeavored to keep track of my monthly writing and editing output, project by project, and (this blog post included) I have written and edited a grand total of 349,143 words this year. I can’t say if that’s more or less than what I’ve written in past years, but it’s 349,143 words I didn’t have at the beginning of the year, so I call that a win.
Here’s a breakdown of what projects those words belong to:
Blog posts: 43,295
The Guild Conspiracy: 197,177 (two major editing passes)
Dark Lord in Training: 21,006 (includes some editing)
Written in the Sands and Stars: 71,782 (brainstorming + partial rewrite)
Other (short stories, reviews, brainstorming other projects, miscellanea): 15,883
Books Read in 2016:
I had a goal to read 36 books this year, and I’m on target to read 45 before the year is out. I hit a bit of a reading slump early in the year, but then, over the summer, I discovered the World of Warcraft novels and I’ve been a reading fiend ever since. Out of the 45 books I’ve read this year, 17 were Warcraft novels. YEAH. I read 26 novels by women, 18 by men, and 1 co-authored by both genders; of all the books I read, I can confirm 3 books by LGBT authors and 4 books by POC authors (both of these numbers would be higher if I had read something other than Warcraft novels by the same two authors, I’m sure).
Top 10 books of the year (in no particular order):
- NIMONA by Noelle Stevenson
- MASKS AND SHADOWS by Stephanie Burgis
- EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire
- LIKE A RIVER GLORIOUS by Rae Carson
- DAY OF THE DRAGON by Richard A. Knaak
- BEYOND THE DARK PORTAL by Aaron Rosenberg and Christie Golden
- The WAR OF THE ANCIENTS Trilogy by Richard A. Knaak
- THE RISE OF THE HORDE by Christie Golden
- THE LAST GUARDIAN by Jeff Grubb
- THE SHATTERING by Christie Golden
For 2017, I’m planning to up my reading goal to 50 books. All I have to do is read the books already sitting on my nightstand (and my Kindle), and I’ll be golden.
Goals for 2017:
I’m going to be a little less ambitious in my goal-making for 2017. I keep an updated queue of projects I need/want to write, and after considering my goals for next year, I realized I definitely want to have something published by the end of the year, so I had to shuffle things around a bit to put my steampunk series at top priority again. It’s the most likely thing to get published by the end of the year since I already have part of a series underway with Harper Voyager, so at the top of the list it goes, despite having a handful of other projects I had considered working on instead. C’est la vie.
So, my goals for the year are…
- Write, edit, and publish another Chroniker City novella (untitled).
- Write the first draft of the next Chroniker City novel, The Chroniker Legacy.
- Finish my fantasy novel, Written in the Sands and Stars, and begin querying.
- Continue writing Dark Lord in Training.
I think that all of these things are doable, though I will still have a very full year ahead of me, despite the shorter list compared to 2016. Depending on how things go on each project, I may have time for more or less than expected. I just have to make use of the time I have and hope for the best.