2018: The Year in Writing

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So while 2018 didn’t work out even remotely how I planned in terms of the writing goals I set in January (for mostly, but not completely, good reasons), it did work out reasonably well in the end.

I didn’t achieve all of the original goals, much less the Stretch and Super Stretch Goals I never told anyone about, but I did get a lot of work done, and at least some of it is good work, if I do say so myself.

The Basic Goals

Outline Goals: Completed outlines for the third book in the Destiny trilogy, the final book in the Troll World Quartet, and a sequel to Draugr Rising that may involve some transplanted Japanese mythology.

Result: Completed outlines for the third and fourth Troll World novels as well as for Seven Days a King. Three, if not the same three I originally planned. Counting this one as met.

First Draft Goals: Shrine, Bad Teenage Poetry, and Fallen Heroes.

Result: Completed first drafts on Shrine, which is going to split into two separate novel-length stories, and Palace. Due to a realigning of the order of goals, I’m currently working towards the full Troll World series being completed. Counting this one as met.

Editing Goals: Arena to final draft. Hero’s Life to final draft status. Shrine to third draft. Bad Teenage Poetry revision notes. Translated: 3 final draft, 1 third draft, 1 set of revision notes.

Result: I left Arena at 3rd, under the understanding that I want to do the whole set as a single, gargantuan editing project. I did manage the 2nd, 3rd, and most of the final Draft on Hero’s Life, but that’s it. This is what happens when you essentially take 6.5 months off from serious writing.

Short story goals: 24 short stories drafted.

Result: two long shorts and a long novelette.

Short story editing: get some done, dagnabit.

Result: There are 40 stories I’ve selected for the Undead collection. As of this writing, 8 are at final draft, 8 are 3rd draft complete, and the rest have all reached second draft. So, not bad, all things considered.

Publishing: Photography and design elements for my small haiku collection.

Result: I just need the photography and can’t get that until the lilacs bloom.

Fan Fiction Goals: USS Marathon logs recording, the rest of the “Season 3” audio drama scripts, Fractured Unity novel completion, fan production list, book, comic, and merchandise reviews, meme collection.

Result: Fractured Unity converted to a novel. First draft only.


There were also Stretch and Super Stretch Goals, which I didn’t tell anyone about and would have put in the open when/if it became apparent that I was hitting all of the public goals. I didn’t manage most of that for previously mentioned reasons, so we’ll just leave that there other than saying I’ve set similar not-public goals for this year.

It may be worth summarizing what I actually did accomplish in 2018.

  1. 3 short stories drafted. Two longer shorts and a long novelette.
  2. Outlining and Plotting for three novels.
  3. First draft of three Troll World novels, plus the last one started, and 19k into another one entirely.
  4. Taking Arena to 3rd draft status and holding it there for the other Troll World books to catch up.
  5. A novel’s final draft towithin visual finishing distance.
  6. I’m ¾ of the way to releasing a collection of haiku into the wild.
  7. Lots of journal entries and blog posts.
  8. A few dozen book reviews.
  9. Just over 313k words, all told, counting up all the buckets, against 250k of actual monthly targets set for the months I actually managed real writing time in.

So while the year wasn’t what I’d originally planned, exactly, it worked out just fine overall. And think of what I could have managed if I’d pulled the 57k per month post August 1st average from January 1st on. I still wouldn’t be ahead of my long term goals, but I’d be a lot less far behind. Well, 375k words less, anyway.  I will try to do better this year.

It is worth noting that the amount of reading I did took a serious nose dive when I started getting the serious word counts again. There is only so much time available in any given day. Much as I might wish it otherwise sometimes, sleep is still a requirement.

Next up: the goals for 2019. They’re big and depend on me maintaining the pace I’ve developed since coming back to writing in at the end of July.

Be well, everyone.

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