It’s the end of the year! And that means it’s time for me to look back at what I accomplished, and
lament review how it went!
(Also, I full acknowledge that this is going to be ridiculously boring to anyone who isn’t me. Sorry. It’s tradition.)
Reading: The trend continues!
If there’s one thing I’m pretty consistent about, it’s reading. I actually read more this year than I have in any year since I started using Goodreads (which is 2013, apparently). This is good, kind of, because I’m pretty sure that’s the only thing I did well at this year. Er. We’ll get to that in a second.
According to Goodreads, I read 44 books this year. And, like always, they were all over the board–I read an awful lot of fantasy, yes, but that definitely wasn’t all I read. I read everything from non-fiction to history to science fiction.
And, for something like the third year in a row, my favorite book of the year wasn’t a YA fantasy! I fell absolutely head over heels for the Ancillary Justice series–an award-winning adult SF that absolutely sucked me in. All three of them were amazing. I think I read the whole trilogy in a couple weeks, followed by the author’s other book, Provenance. And I just preordered her upcoming fantasy. They were good, okay!?
Honorable mention goes to Record of a Spaceborn Few, the third Becky Chambers novel, which didn’t make me cry as much as A Close and Common Orbit, but was still a mindblowingly pretty bit of worldbuilding. Overall, Ms. Chambers’s series (which Goodreads calls the Wayfarer series, I guess?) is also now one of my new favorite trilogies ever. It’s also an adult SF, which is kind of bewildering–I’ve honestly never read that much SF. This year, I was all over it.
Writing: This year was a garbage fire
No more warm fuzzies. Let’s talk about writing.
For the last few years, I’ve averaged about 200,000 words a year. That doesn’t mean those words used very well–in 2017, I reached 251,000 words by rewriting a single story over and over, then writing a 70K NaNoWriMo draft that I later threw out. I ended up with one reasonably polished final draft, yes, but it was hard.
So while writing more words doesn’t mean I was more productive, this year was still total garbage at 90,163 words. Argh!
This doesn’t mean I didn’t do anything, of course. Let’s try to be positive!
- I finished my last edit of my current YA fantasy.
- I pulled together all my query materials and queried a bunch of agents.
- I stopped querying at 40 agents, with a 12% request rate, because I got the first R&R of my life! So now it’s time to do some major overhauls, cross my fingers, and see if mayyyybe, just maybe, this manuscript might get me an agent.
- And hey, I’ve got 2 full requests and a partial still out, anyway–so who knows? Maybe they’ll be interested in it, too.
I didn’t get a ton of new writing done, and that’s… well, because I’m learning a lot about how I work, I guess. I didn’t get much done during the year I queried Justice Unending, either. That’s enough to write a blog post over–and I probably already have!–but it’s interesting to see that my work habits change whenever I’ve got a query out.
But the last couple of months have been pretty productive–and now I’ve got an R&R to worry about!
Out with the old, in with the new!
Honestly, despite not writing nearly as much as I wanted to, I accomplished most of the things I wanted to do last year. I finished my draft! I queried! Querying went better than last time!
I didn’t finish the sequel to Justice Unending, although I do have some early drafts and a fairly complete outline. It needs a lot of reworking, but it’s in decent enough condition that I can hop back into it soon enough.
So what are my goals this year?
- Finish my revise and resubmit early in the year. Then submit it, cross all my fingers and toes, and hope for the best!
- Write the sequel to Justice Unending. It’s outlined! I keep getting Amazon reviews complaining that I haven’t finished it yet! Whoops. Yeah, let’s try to get to that this year.
- Get back into short stories. I haven’t written one in a loooong time.
- Sketch out lose outline ideas for sequels to my current project. This shouldn’t be crazy difficult, but I need to remember to do it. So, yes: it’s on the to-do list!
All very straightforward and obvious. Isn’t that nice?
And that’s it!
OK, so 2018 wasn’t my most productive year. But I also had the most successful query of my life, and that counts for something, right? And now I’m all ready for 2019, with a fancy productivity planner, some clear goals, and a shiny R&R to guide me. So here’s to a brand new year!