2014 was only the second year in which I have felt like I could legitimately call myself a professional author. Inspired by Lynn’s far more impressive year in review post, I decided to do my own.
This year I wrote four new short stories and edited a story from 2012 that’s been sitting on my hard drive.
Two stories that had been accepted in 2013 were published this year
I created my official Goodreads author page and added my books to it.
Ghost Novel Progress (aka That Damn Novel I STILL haven’t finished yet)
I’m pretty disappointed that in 2014 I only made it through chapters 3-6 (and I hope to update this at the end of December with several more chapters–7 is mostly written, and I have outlines for most of the novel’s chapters).
My goal had been to finish the entire first draft and it didn’t happen. Part of this is that my time management sucks and I own that. I’ve also been afraid to suck, which I talked about in this post. I’m starting to work past that anxiety so I can make forward progress. I’m also learning that it’s okay if the story doesn’t always get written in perfect order. These may seem like obvious things, but they’ve become personal hang-ups.
The ghost novel was first written for a Literotica Halloween short story contest over a decade ago. (Sidenote-Delilah Night wasn’t the name I used there, and I have since deleted that account and the related stories from Lit.) The characters have been haunting me since–no pun intended. This is the third or fourth time I’ve tried to write it as a novel in the past 10+ years. I always seem to hit a point where I (a) am frustrated with my slow progress (b) freeze because I refuse to move on until I’m completely happy with the existing chapter or (c) I write myself into a corner and can’t figure my way out. So I put down the metaphorical pen and move on with other projects both writing and otherwise.
I’ve wondered if this is the wrong first novel to try to write professionally–perhaps there’s too much baggage associated with it? However, I’ve let some people read what I’ve written thus far in this attempt and they’ve encouraged me to keep going. At this point, I’m my own biggest obstacle. Part of me feels like finishing this book in particular—regardless of whether in the end the book is publishable, or ever sells a copy, or needs to be burned because it sucks—the act of successfully taking a novel from writing to publication once will allow me to do it again without needing a multi-year process. Also, this book needs to get out of my head so I can focus on the other books I’m dreaming up.
When I see writers like Lynn, Alison, Sommer, etc doing as many projects in a year as they do I feel intimidated. Just how do they do that? I’m sure, though, that the answer is experience will bring improvement.
How do I think I did?
I had hoped to write more stories this year, but I am really happy with where my skills are today versus a year ago. I’m learning to identify and short circuit some bad habits (ex.–characters begin to do things instead of just doing them). My start to finish speed on short stories has improved. I’ve made a number of friends online this year within the community.
Overall, I’m pleased with 2014.
Goals for 2015
I said it before, but I’m saying it again–by the end of 2015, I want AT MINIMUM a full first draft of the Ghost Novel
I would like to write around 10 short stories. I haven’t been good about writing stories without a specific call in mind, but I’m hoping to do so even when there’s no call out that speaks to me.
I want to look at where I am a year from now and to know viscerally that I am better at my craft then than I am today.
Filed under: acceptance, In Progress, novel, process, Published, Submitted, Writing | Tagged: 2014 year in review, 2015 goals, Alessia Brio, Alison Tyler, Among the Stars, baby it's hot outside, Choices, Coming Together: Among the Stars, Coming Together: For the Holidays, delilah night, Doctor's Orders, For the Holidays, Ghost Novel, Jessica Augustsson, Just for Him, Love is a Virus, Lynn Townsend, New On the Naughty List, nine to five fantasies, other days, Plunder, sommer marsden, Sucking, writing | 13 Comments »