Looking Back, Looking Forward, the Year in Review

LOOKING BACK

Well, I had some goals from last year. They were:

1. Submit.

I had planned to submit my first book and a couple short stories to contests. Instead of submitting my first book (The Goblin King’s Skull), I wrote a second book and submitted that one instead. Now that I’ve received my first official rejections, I’m feeling more and more like a writer.

2. Take courses.

I complete to writing courses with David Farland. They were very helpful and encouraging and have definitely improved my writing.

3. Write! I did complete a second book, Death Warden. I am also about 75% through a new book (as yet untitled). So, not quite 2 books, but farther on the one than I had intended. Overall, I’m happy with the progress and have developed a consistent writing rhythm.

4. Get in a good critique group rhythm.

I continue to meet with my local group. I tried both Inked Voices and Scribophile. Unfortunately, I found neither to my liking. Hopefully, some time in the near future I will find some good critique partners willing to bite off larger chunks.

5. Network.

I’ll call this one a fail. I attended the GenCon Writer’s Symposium in 2017 and struck up conversations with a number of other attendees. Unfortunately, most of them were either thinking of writing or had been working for years on the same book.

6. Read critically.

I have been reading a lot in my genres and paying attention to different craft and structural elements. I hope to continue to escalate this.

LOOKING FORWARD

In 2018, my goals are mostly an extension of what I started in 2017.

1. Finish Writing More Books. By the end of 2018, my goal is to have four submission-worthy manuscripts. That means a lot of editing, and a lot of writing. I am also working the first time with a developmental editor on Death Warden. Hopefully, that will help me elevate my writing to another level.
2. Network (another attempt). Sigh. Being an introvert does have some drawbacks. I’m scheduled to attend the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York this summer including doing their Pitch Slam event. Wish me luck.
3.Get Representation. Part of finishing books is to get published, and I plan on going the agent route. I’d like to get multiple manuscripts out the door this year and hopefully land a good agent.
4. This blog. I’ve really debated what to do here. On the one hand, I have nothing to sell, and I feel that investing too much time in a blog at this point is time better spent pursuing writing actual books. On the other hand, I think it will be good to get in the habit of posting something on a regular basis, so that’s what I’m going to do. Mostly, it will focus on my own journey and what resources I find interesting.

That’s about it. Write. Get better. Meet people. Publish. Easy, right? Maybe not, but I think it’s doable.