2013 In Review

It’s been quite a year. It’s been filled with ups and downs, but decidedly more ups than downs. I wanted to take a moment and reflect on both my achievements and my short comings, as well as lay out the way I see 2014 taking shape.

I set out at the beginning of 2013 with a few goals in mind. One of those goals was to publish 350,000 words. Coming off of 2012, where I only published 80,000 words, I knew this was going to be a big feat. However, being a professional writer, I knew it was something I had to shoot for.

So how did I do?

I published a total of 202,000 words, falling pretty short of my target mark. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel! While I only published that many words, I actually wrote another 120,000 words on top of that. About half of those words are slated for release in 2014, with the other half possibly being released, or possibly being used as a virtual doorstop on my hard drive.

I will say that, while I didn’t hit my target word count for 2014, I did learn quite a few things about other aspects of the publishing business. Things such as successful book launches, marketing, and building a readership. There were some other very positive takeaways from the year as well. I joined a few writing groups and connected with many writers in Houston. Continued, active participation in these groups is high on my priority list for 2014.

So what’s the plan for 2014? Well I’m going to adjust my goal a little bit. Word counts can be a bit finicky, though I still enjoy using them. My overall plan for success is that I will publish no fewer than 8 novels (a novel being no less than 50,000 words) during the year. Some of you are probably dumbfounded that someone might attempt to write that much in one year–but I’m no stranger to doing things that sound crazy on paper.

This past November, I participated in National Novel Writing Month. The idea is that everybody interested in writing a novel gets together and strives to write 50,000 words of their novel within the month of November. That’s 1,667 words a day. More if you don’t want to work over Thanksgiving! In mid October, I was sitting in a coffee shop planning my NaNoWriMo novel with my friend Alyssa, when she informed me that there were people who were crazy enough to attempt the full 50,000 words in ONE DAY! So, me being me, I informed her that I would be doing that as well, and that I would be doing it on November 1st.

How did it turn out? I hit the 50,001 word around 11:30pm on 11/1/13. It was one hell of a day!

So, to wrap up this too-long-winded blog post, I’ll reiterate that my 2014 plan is to write 8 novels, no less than 50,000 words each, and then reassess where things will go from there. I appreciate all of the love and support everyone has given me over the last two years. I know I couldn’t have done as much as I have without it.

Happy New Years!