State of the Union

As 2016 kicks its last, 2017 circles the dimming fire, yellow eyes alight with eagerness. It’s hungry, this new year. Ready to pick the bones of the old, and yours as well, if you let it. I suggest avoiding that, if at all possible.

Anyway, here’s how I handled 2016. And how I’m planning to handle 2017.

I’ve accomplished a lot this year, relatively speaking. I wrote six books, of which four were 100,000 + words. I wrote three novellas of 30,000 + words. And I managed to sell around a dozen short stories of varying lengths and genres.

I already have contracts in hand for three novels next year, one of which is for an intellectual property I’ve never worked on, and one of which is a sequel. I’m also committed to writing a script, as well as three short stories. I’m in that grace period that relatively few writers ever get, when I know exactly where my next few pay cheques are coming from. I’m not going to lie – it’s a nice feeling.

This year also saw a significant uptick in my royalties, which is swell. Royalties are more than just money – in a way, they’re also a sign of your progress as a writer. More royalties equals more books sold equals more commissions. And more commissions means I can look forward to paying my bills and, y’know, eating.

Unfortunately, this is the year my organisational skills took a nosedive, mostly due to non-work related stuff. I started the year off badly burned out, both creatively and mentally. I forced myself to start and maintain a new posting schedule here, but everything else slipped right down the chute. As the year progressed, I attempted to streamline a lot of things – the Royal Occultist site, for instance. Not always successfully, but I’ve come to regard such things as a work in progress.

I also ran afoul of that old publishing bugbear, the delayed schedule, more so this year than any other. Several projects of mine, or projects which I contributed to, were either unavoidably delayed or, for all intents and purposes, derailed completely. This has led me to reconsider the way I’ve been doing some things, as well as who I choose to work with in the future. I haven’t burned any bridges, because I might very well like to amble back across them, sometime in the future. But I am trimming down my list of who and what to make time for in my schedule.

For the year to come, I’m hoping to make progress with my streamlining efforts – keeping everything updated and humming along, with no unscheduled breaks. I also need to work on my promotional efforts, as I have an increasing tendency to forget when and where I have stuff coming out. This might be a side effect of having more of said stuff coming out, or me just being a lazy cuss. Either is possible.

I’m also contemplating going off-grid, somewhat. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting up a Patreon account this year – all the cool kids have them, and it’d be an interesting experiment, if nothing else. It’d be for short stories, mostly, but maybe novels (or snippets of works in progress) as well, depending on how certain things shake out over the coming year. That said, nothing is certain, and I reserve the right to decide that I can’t be bothered with it.

That pretty much goes for all of the above, by the way. I reserve the right to decide that I can’t bother with 2017 in general. Maybe put it off until 2018.

In any event, here’s a song it seems somehow appropriate to close out the year with. Does to me, anyway. Your mileage, as always, may vary. See you next year.