Wow, another year in the can. It’s been an interesting one too, for the world at large as well. This was a year of contraction for me, of learning to scale back rather than let myself become over-loaded and have things fall to the side. Before writing this, I read the 2015 Wrap Up and the need for that is painfully clear in last year’s writings. Last year I discussed the fact that writing Forging Hephaestus blew up my schedule and how I wouldn’t have my head above water for a month yet. The truth is I didn’t actually break through the waves until around May, I was playing one form of catch-up or another until then.
In 2016, I ended the experiment that was Starter Serials. It was a lot of fun, and I felt like it did serve a purpose, but ultimately I created it because I wanted a place where new serial writers could get their feet wet before starting a site of their own, and in the time it existed the other options for that ballooned significantly. Starter Serials wasn’t needed, and taking it off my plate freed up a fair chunk of time. I also stepped down from my presidency of the Pen and Cape Society. Truth be told, I wasn’t a very good president during my second year, I was always running between one project or another and I didn’t take the time to lead as I should have. Since I stepped away, the PCS has gotten a lot more active under its new leadership, which is as it should be.
Now some of you are probably wondering why, in a blog where I traditionally celebrate accomplishments of the past year, I took a whole paragraph to talk about things I quit. The reason for that is simple: quitting is in itself an accomplishment. Running your own business like this, it is easy, too easy, to over-extend yourself. You try to do everything, and in the end only pull off a handful of things while half-assing all the rest of it. There’s nothing wrong with trying something new, just like there’s nothing wrong with recognizing that it hasn’t worked out or isn’t needed anymore. For those of you wanting to go down the full-time writer path, it is vital that you learn to manage your time, creativity, and energy properly, because you don’t have infinite of any of them. Letting go is important, shifting priorities is necessary, so don’t be afraid to do that when needed.
In terms of overall accomplishments, it was a pretty good year. I did my first con, Comicplaooza, then did my second con, CONtraflow, with most of the A&D guys. We had our first live podcast at CONtraflow, in fact. In the book world, I released my first-ever spin-off, Corpies, and it did well. The third books in both Fred and the SS&S series came out as well, both of them outselling their predecessors. Tantor released audio versions of all of the current Super Powereds books, which have been a great shot in the arm and gotten the books out to a whole new audience. Tantor even liked them enough to sign Forging Hephaestus and try to produce it in advance, so that the audio version should (remember, not in my hands) be out with the digital and print versions. I created my first ever hardcover book! And while there’s no movie or TV series for anything yet, there has at least been interest in a few properties. Maybe Super Powereds: Year 1 being an Audible Finalist for Best Fantasy Book of 2016 (I know this is bragging, but this is the paragraph where I celebrate accomplishments so it’s permitted) will get me some attention. Maybe that goal isn’t as far away as it has been in years prior.
But, as with all years, 2016 has come to its end. So the slate wipes clean, and I have to start working on new accomplishments to celebrate. Let’s get the ball rolling on that with some goals (no resolutions here if you recall) for 2017!
1. Finish Super Powereds: Year 4: I don’t have a release date for this book yet, and I won’t anytime soon. But in 2017, I plan to finish writing Year 4. My current plan is to take the next few months and write as far ahead as I can in the story. By March, which is the latest I could wait to start a book for Fall 2017, I’ll have to make a choice: keep writing and turn Super Powereds: Year 4 into my fall release, or pause to write something else and put out Year 4 sometime in 2018. Which I choose will depend entirely on how far along in the story I am. Remember, even once I finish there’s still editing and proofing that needs to be done before the book can come out. It’s purely going to come down to pragmatic issues in terms of timing, however no matter what I plan to wrap writing the story in 2017. It’s a little bitter-sweet to be honest, but I’ll take time to reflect on that when I’ve actually reached the end, not before.
2. Release Fred #4: As always, this is in REUTS’s court in terms of timing, but seeing as I’ve got the first draft already written, I don’t forsee this being a big issue. Some of you might notice that, unlike last year, the next Swords, Spells, & Stealth book isn’t in this entry. That’s because if SP:Y4 takes the fall slot, the next SS&S book won’t be out in 2017. Like I said earlier, there’s not infinite of anything, so we have to choose our projects carefully.
3. Do a Con with the whole A&D crew: As much fun as we all had at CONtraflow, I’d really like to attend a con with the entire team present. We’re working on this behind the scenes, and while nothing is certain I will say that the possibility of pulling this off is viable. I have a minimal amount of ability to influence this one, but I’ll still do my best.
4. Movie/TV deal: You know what, there have been enough close calls, and I’m ready to see something happen, so I’m putting this on the list. Let’s make 2017 the year Drew gets his first TV/Movie deal, followed by 2018 as the year you finally see one of the properties on a screen. Other than the words on your computer screen, I mean.
5. Complete the Authors & Dragons secret side-project: I can’t tell you what we’re doing, hence the word secret, but me and the A&D guys have been putting something together for the past few months. I’d like to see it pulled off and released in 2017 for our listeners/readers who have been amazingly patient.
That’s enough droning from me about what I plan to pull off in 2017, tell me about your New Year’s Goals in the comments below. Thanks so much for sticking with me through another year, it’s been a great one, but let’s make the next even better!