December was a rather unproductive month. I did very little writing, and very little else for that matter. The holidays are always such a distraction that it’s difficult to stick to any sort of writing schedule between Thanksgiving and the New Year, so I rarely bother in December. This December was especially hard after learning that the publisher for the first three Chroniker City books wouldn’t be taking on the rest of the series, so I spent a lot of the month stuck between moping and extreme anxiety about the future of my career. Good times. You can read more about that in my December Update from last month. (I did get to meet up with fellow Harper Voyager author, Beth Cato, on New Year’s Eve, and after talking about publishing woes for an hour, I did start to feel better about things, strangely enough.)

Later in the month, I went ahead and did my 2017: Year in Review blog post, since I knew I wouldn’t get any more writing done, wherein I confess to being in such a bad state of depression that I finally decided to get outside help. I started anti-depressants last month and have scheduled a therapist for next month. I’m happy to report that the anti-depressants seem to be helping, without any weird side effects, which is a huge relief. It’s hard to explain the overall effects because I don’t exactly feel better, but at the same time, I notice that I’m able to cope better I guess. I’m not 100% yet by any means, but I’m no longer dangerously close to 0% either. I’m probably sitting at about 60-70% of my best self, which is better than I was doing for most of last year, so I’ll take that as a win for now. I’m hoping that therapy will carry me the rest of the way and get me back on track to being a functional human adult.

I didn’t get any more writing done on THE MERMAID AND THE BEAST last month, though I did manage a bit on DARK LORD IN TRAINING before calling it quits for the month, which is a bit of a disappointment, but c’est la vie.

I did hash out plans for 2018, however, and now have a better picture of what I want to accomplish in the immediate future, and how. My goals are fairly simple: I want to finish DARK LORD IN TRAINING and THE MERMAID AND THE BEAST, get an agent (or at least try), and self-publish REBEL ENGINEER. I think these are all perfectly doable and well within my power to accomplish, but who knows.

December Word Counts:

Blog Posts: 2,300
Short Stories: 814

Total Words for December: 5,541
Total Words for 2017: 169,922

Plans for January:

New year, new month, new plans. I’ve been shuffling priorities around to figure out the best path to achieving my goals for the year, and as far as I can see, that means throwing myself into THE MERMAID AND THE BEAST so that I can finish that first draft as soon as possible and start looking for an agent. DARK LORD IN TRAINING is very close to done, so I do want to whittle away at that as much as possible, but I don’t think I’m going to focus on it as heavily as I was originally planning to, since it will only delay work on THE MERMAID AND THE BEAST. I’m still going to try to update it once or twice a month if I can (or more, if the words flow); it just depends how things shake out once I get back into the writing groove. I really hate to push finishing the book out yet again, with no sure date of when it will finally be marked “complete”, but it’s also the lowest priority of all of my projects, being free to read on Wattpad.

So, concrete goals for January: write 30-40,000 words on THE MERMAID AND THE BEAST, which equates to about 1500-2000 words per workday. 40,000 words is very robust goal, considering I only wrote that much in a single month last year (thanks, NaNoWriMo), but I know I am capable of it if I put my mind to it, so that’s what I’m going to aim for. I would also like to write 3-4,000 words on DARK LORD IN TRAINING, if possible, but that’s more of an optional goal than a concrete one . If I fall short, then that’s okay. At least I tried. And if I write anything in addition to that, well, that’s just icing on the cake.

I really want this to be the year that I get back into the swing of things and back on track with my career. Last year was a bit chaotic, which made writing hard, but things should be a little more stable this year (not going to buy another house and eat up my entire summer, for example). Kiddo starts back at school this week, so I’ll get my mornings back soon. I’m planning to throw myself completely into my work and avoid as much as distraction as possible, so if I’m quieter on social media and such, that’s why, though I’ll keep updating here at the beginning of the month.

See you on the flip side!

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