2021 Writing Year in Review 2

Well. This is going to be painful.

Writing This Year

Novels: 0

Novellas: 1 (IP Project)

Novelettes: 0

Short Stories: 3 (all fanfic)

Flash: Wrote a couple of interstitials for Alasdair over at The Full Lid.

Scripts: 2 audio scripts

Paid Nonfiction: Book Riot newsletters and posts; a lot of stuff on my Patreon. Also I wrote a little how-to guide for Six to Start on writing nonfiction scripts.

Editing: I did a lot of editing this year, including the first time I’ve been hired to edit scripts. So that was exciting! I also got to work on a project helping someone with their maps, which was really fun.

Consigned to the trunk of awfulness, never to return: None this year.

Best/Favorite story of the year: I’m really happy with the IP thing I finished up, but I am not allowed to tell you about it right now. I’ll squee later.

Statistics

Words: 333,201

Time Spent: 197:05

Days Written: 267 out of 365

Not too different from last year, in a way. About 1.5K more words, 5 less hours. But I worked 26 fewer days… that’s almost a month off. So I did about the same amount of words in less time. Not sure if that’s good or bad.

Publishing

Queries sent: 2

Rejections received: 2

Pending: 0

Most rejections received: Probably Glamazon vs. Deus Ex Machina Man at this point. Because it’s a very awkward size for a story and I have no idea what to do with it.

Gross Earned: $12,040.39

My income is up about $3.5K this year, and that’s basically a combination of how much editing work I picked up, plus the payments I got for the scripts I wrote and the IP project I completed last year but got paid out for this year. Patreon and the newsletter I write for Book Riot are also relatively small but very steady income streams that I appreciate a great deal. I made a little over $550 this year in royalties again, which is actually impressive considering I didn’t publish anything new in the last year that would get me royalties.

Published this year:

  1. Interstitials for The Full Lid, 6/4 issue

…well, that was grim. The other stuff I’ve turned in this year hasn’t been published yet. How does it feel? Feels bad, man. I wrote an awful lot, and I made a sum of money I really can’t complain about, but it’s funny how I still feel like I did nothing. Wait, not funny. The other thing.

Favorite Patreon posts for the year:

  1. The Matrix: Resurrections
  2. Alone in the Dark
  3. F9
  4. Liveblog of Geostorm

How did I do on last year’s goals?

  1. Continue averaging 6,000 words a week. Stretch goal: 6,500? Well, I did 6400 average per week, so I hit that.
  2. Write 3 short stories. I am counting fanfiction as valid here, even if I haven’t showed it to you.
  3. Finish drafting The Smallest God and The Greatest Baking Show in the Galaxy. *sobbing*
  4. Finish editing at least one of the above and make it DongWon’s problem.
  5. Do NaNoWriMo I actually started drafting a new Captain Ramos story for this, then had to devote the word count to an IP project. But I did it!
  6. Finally start the goddamn epic fantasy book. New outlines need to be done first because things have shifted.
  7. Read at least 60 books. I read 64! If you’re curious about what I’ve read, I do a monthly book post at my Patreon.
  8. If possible, finish the collaborative project (WE ARE SO CLOSE!) and start on the next book.
  9. Focus more on writing sprints. Figure out a routine that works with day job. I’m getting there. The strategy that seems to work is on days when I have work, I need to eat dinner, play video games for a couple of hours, THEN try to write.
  10. Work on expanding the Patreon audience; keep up faithfully with the obligations there. I’ve definitely got a bigger audience than when I started in January, but I seem to have plateaued. I have mostly kept up with the obligations I set myself, though I think I need to reassess the amount of work that goes into the TV write ups versus the reward.

I’m not going to lie… this has been a rough fucking year, just as bad as 2020, if not worse. I’ve had a lot of tired-and-sad-all-the-time brain, which has made it almost impossible for me to work on my own original content. All that’s kept me writing is when I’m under contract with someone else. Having that deadline imposed from without manages to kick me into a place where I get the thing done, because I have to. I’ve never claimed to be a brilliant writer, but dammit you will get your thing on time if not early when it’s coming from me.

I’m excited that I’ve started getting more contract work (especially IP) and that I seem to be slowly building a client base. It feels great to have people who will come to me because they need something done quickly, and they know I’ll get it to them on time, to their specifications. What I am missing is also having my own work out there, and I’m feeling a little bit lost as to how to get going on that again. I’ve got partially finished novels. Hell, I have two finished novels that just need some editing. Doing it has been the hard part, because this has indeed been 2020-Won, and because it is a lot more difficult to go to other people to be rejected, as opposed to having people come to you with a job they already know they want you to do.

Thank you to everyone who has given me work to do this year and trusted me to get it finished. It’s been a lifeline when I’ve been unable to self-motivate. (The money has been great, too, definitely.)

Goals for 2022

  1. Keep shooting for the average of 6,000 words a week.
  2. Finish drafting The Greatest Baking Show in the Galaxy. Stretch goal: The Smallest God.
  3. Sit down and freaking edit We All Burn.
  4. Finish the Captain Ramos novella I started and write another one.
  5. Superhero novella–get it outlined and maybe started?
  6. Finish that collaborative project. It’s going to happen this year. I can feel it.
  7. Keep up with Patreon and Book Riot obligations. Expand the audience if possible.
  8. Start dipping toes back into short fiction.
  9. Read at least 60 books.
  10. Do more posts on this blog. 2 per month seems like a reasonable goal.

Final Thoughts

The best thing I did for myself this year was I massively curtailed my Twitter usage. I’m still feeling burnt out and depressed, but I think it’s helped immeasurably. I’ve also greatly curtailed my news consumption; I read the local paper, I keep track of headlines, but I’m not the news junky I was before and I think it’s helped me a lot. The 24 hour news cycle is basically designed to make us feel constant impending doom so we keep watching, and it sure had that effect on me.

The other thing that’s helped me a lot, perhaps weirdly, is Bungie enabling crossplay for Destiny 2 so I can play my silly video game with more people. I’ve made a lot of friends in this isolated pandemic hellscape, and I think we’ve all worked to keep each other slightly more sane.

Compared to 2020, this year felt like we were settling in for a long haul, and the Omicron variant has only cemented this. I finally gave in and took a proper staycation this last week, and I’m… glad I did so. I needed some time, even if all I did was spend it in my house, playing video games and reading. I’m still trying to find a way to make my life work, and I know full well I’m a lucky person in that I’ve got my health and I’ve got a job that lets me work from home. That acknowledged, I still have to figure out how to live it… and then write in it.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading, thank you for sticking with me, and thank you for hanging in there. I wish you peace and happiness and strength for the coming year.

Let’s buckle down and do this.

2 thoughts on “2021 Writing Year in Review

  1. Reply JohnDel Jan 7,2022 09:16

    Yeah! You are back! (Snoopy dance time, combined with Kermit flail. So basically all of your favorite things about childhood having an epileptic seizure.)

    Even if it is only one brief “I ain’t dead yet” post, Goal number 10 will be nice for your friends and fans to see.

    You are right about last year being a no-fooling crapshow of a year. And while it looks as if this year is going to start off just as badly, I think that we may finally, finally, *finally* get out of the Slough of Despond sometime around the middle of the year. (I also believe in Santa Claus. And hot chocolate.)

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