It’s that time of year of again. The air outside has turned to a chill, while Christmas lights twinkle through the long, dark nights. And that means another year is almost behind us. It’s time to take stock of progress over the past year and turn our eyes forward.
Earlier in the year I set the following goals:
1) 16 new stories (later revised to 8 + 1 novel)
2) Start indie-publishing stories
3) Put out a new story every other month
4) Enter Writers of the Future contest every quarter
5) Enter Jim Baen’s Memorial Writing Contest
6) Attend on craft level workshop
7) Attend the local sci-fi/fantasy con
I’m pleasantly surprised to say I hit all of them with one caveat to number 4. The novel, The Oracle Algorithm(due out in March 2015), happened by happy accident. It started as a novelette, then a novella, and finally a short novel. So I hit that one unintentionally, but I’ll take it! I also, quite unintentionally (or at least without paying active attention) wrote eight short stories.
I also wrote some flash fiction, which I don’t count here. And that leads to one of the bigger revelations I learned in 2014: I can’t write flash. But more importantly to me as a writer: I don’t liketo write flash. Honestly, that revelation was a bit of relief. I can now happily ignore it.
I started the year saying 2014 would be the year of Indie publishing for me and that has proven true. I started regularly releasing titles in April. It’s been quite the learning curve and journey, and there’s a long way to go. But I’ve started! And I’m really excited about the 2015 lineup. So much good stuff coming down the pipe.
I entered both contests (numbers 4 & 5). The Jim Baen contest is hard sci-fi confined to no more than 60 years in the future, so it was a bit different than I normally write. I tend to go a bit more … speculative and farther into the future when I do sci-fi so I had to reign myself in a bit, which wasn’t as much fun. I think I’ll be skipping that one in the future, but you never know. I entered Writers of the Future 3 out of 4 quarters, but the missed quarter wasn’t for lack of material, but instead was a conscious decision on my part to stop entering. The connection L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology was something I ultimately decided I couldn’t reconcile, and wouldn’t feel comfortable winning. So I’m done trying to win that.