Every year when I sit down to do one of these, I always begin by feeling like this was the year I let things slip. When I didn’t move forward as much as I would have liked, or accomplished enough to feel like it was time well spent. Then, once I actually take a real, objective look at the things I churned out, I instead find myself wondering when the hell I managed to sleep. And this year is no exception, if anything, it’s even moreso. But I’ll get to that later.
2015! Woo, it was a… interesting one, all around. Some good, some bad, some that’s hard to quantify yet. This part, at least, is easy: the victory lap! I managed to get Super Powereds: Year 3 written, edited, and ready for publication at the same time that the serial finished posting, meaning I kept my promise about zero delay between ending and e-book, which was no small feat of time management. I also put out Split the Party and Undeath & Taxes, both of which I was very happy with and people seem to be enjoying. 2015 was unique in that way, since it was the first time all of my releases were sequels to existing properties. I also wrote my first web-serial-length book without doing it as a web-serial, a personal goal I wasn’t sure I’d be able to achieve. Audiobooks kept on rolling out, as I found that I liked the work Tantor did and they liked the way my books sold enough to continue creating more of them, which made me extremely happy. I joined Throwing the Gun, the Pen and Cape Society’s podcast, and then a few weeks later started my own with Authors & Dragons. I learned enough video editing software to make a drink-along Power Hour as a Christmas gift to you all. I began researching Cons for the 2016 season, and even sending in guest and panel applications for a few.
This was also a year I learned a bit about myself, though. Namely, that even I have limits. Doing Forging Hephaestus in the summer ran so far overschedule that I’ve been behind on all the other work I need to get done for 2016 releases, and I likely won’t get my head above water until after January. That has made for a trying second half of 2015, as I’ve constantly felt under the gun and had to grapple with burn-out. However, now that I’m nearing the end of it, I’ve decided to take a lesson from this moment and not put myself in such situations again. Since one of my three books next year will be Corpies, which is almost totally written, I’m going to use the downtime to knock out a few smaller books, like Infinity Villas and Second Hand Curses, which will put me ahead of schedule for 2017. Essentially, I’m going to try and stop running right from completion-to-editing-to-market, and instead build myself a book buffer so that I’m never again fighting to get back on schedule. It’s the same policy I use for serials, and it’s about time I started using it in the other half of my business.
As always though, the minute that clock struck midnight, 2015 ceased to matter (except for taxes) and my attention is turned to the New Year ahead. In case some of you managed to forget from last year, I do New Year’s Goals rather than resolutions, and this year will be no different.
Sidenote: For those wondering, I hit all of my 2015 goals except for the movie deal, which was mostly a joke anyway, and getting back up to running 5 miles. Making progress, but I’m not there yet.
1. Publish Corpies on e-book: It’s about time the rest of the world got to see Titan, and with the wordcount being so close to done this should be an easy win. I’m aiming for spring release, assuming I can work out the editing and cover creation on a solid timeline.
2. Publish Fred #3: This one is really in REUTs hands, but since contracts have been signed and I’m finishing up the first draft next week, I don’t see it being an issue. I do still have to think of a name though. Shit, maybe that should have been the goal.
3. Write and Publish NPCs #3: Though this book is still only in the outline phase, it’s got a solid one so far, and I think it will be damn fun to write once the time in my schedule opens up. Aiming for another October release, in case anyone wants to mark their calendar.
4. Get Forging Hephaestus Ready for Publication: I think I’ve mentioned before, but FH is a long book. Like, between SP Year 2 and Year 3 long. And without having done it as a serial and gotten feedback from everyone, it’s going to take a long time to edit up to snuff for publication. So, rather than setting an arbitrary date that I might easily blow past, my goal for 2016 is just to get the book ready to go. If it comes sooner, awesome, but better I take the time needed to get it perfect, because I really do love this book.
5. Write either Infinity Villas or Second Hand Curses: Those of you on my Patreon have already gotten a peak at Infinity Villas, and with the downtime I have from Corpies being written I’m going to try to knock out it or my other back-burner project. If possible, I’d love to do them both, but spreading myself too thin with FH is what caused 2015 to be so hectic, so I’ll be playing that one by ear.
6. Do More Video Stuff: Between last year’s mixing of cereal and booze, and this year’s Christmas Party Power Hour, I’ve found I enjoy doing video projects with my friends, and some of the feedback I’ve gotten from you all has been pretty positive. This isn’t something I can do frequently enough to put on a schedule, but I want to make an effort to work more of it in during 2016.
7. Attend One Con as a Guest: I’m really trying to get familiar with the Con scene as more readers write in to me asking about it, and even getting to sit in on a panel would fulfill this criteria. I’m just trying to get my feet wet and learn, so I’m setting what I hope is a sensible goal for a mid-list author like myself. Only time will tell on this one, but I will be applying.
That’s all for my goals in the New Year, but feel free to share yours in the comments below. Let us know how you did on last year’s and what you’re aiming to accomplish in 2016.