2016 was a mediocre year for fitness for me, and I'm wondering if that contributed to multiple illnesses over the year. I usually only call in sick one or two days a year, sometimes not even that. This year, I called in sick for at least six days, for three different illnesses. Ugh. The bout in October, with the cough that took me an entire year to shake, was especially bad.
My diet has been crap overall: I eat too much, and none of it is particularly healthy.
On the other hand, when I was healthy I did generally exercise four or five days per week, so there's that.
347,300 words of original fiction for the year.
So this was a good year for Churning Out the Words. I finished the first draft for three books this year:
The Moon Etherium
Birthright (about 40% written from 2006-2015; wrote the last 60% of it this year.)
The Sun Etherium
In addition, I'm about halfway through Fellwater, which I may or may not ever do anything with, but what the heck, we'll count it.
Anyway, I've gone from the sort of person who felt like writing 500 words a day was unreasonably ambitious as a goal, to someone who thinks that taking three months to finish a draft means I'm slacking.
I've also finally managed to write book-length-books, instead of doorstoppers like my first three finished manuscripts. Bonus!
The Business of Writing
I published two books this year: Further Arrangements, in February, and The Moon Etherium, in September.
I edited The Moon Etherium this year but haven't finished any other edits. This was the year for ALL THE WRITING and NONE OF THE EDITING. At least it feels that way. At a guess, I'm 10-15% done with the revision process for The Warlock, the Hare, and the Dragon. After a month. I need to build up some steam on this.
I made less money in 2016 than I did in 2015, despite publishing twice as much work and getting royalties over 12 months instead of over 3. Yes, the first three months of sales for A Rational Arrangement were better than all the sales of ARA since then, plus all the sales of FA and TME. This is depressing but not really unexpected; at the time that I first started posting about ARA's sales, I thought they were largely due to effects that I couldn't duplicate again.
Still, I am particularly sad about The Moon Etherium. It's made less than $200 in the first three months of release (that's less than 5% of ARA's sales over its first three months). I love this setting and these characters and looked forward to writing more about them. But with this level of sales, I can't justify sequels which will do even less well. I've drafted The Sun Etherium already, and will probably edit and release it for the ten people who are interested. But unless some miracle happens with sales, that'll be the last book of the series.
I did a fair amount of sketching and small marker and digital pieces in 2016. I did probably my best digital painting ever, and decided it wasn't good enough to be a book cover. I did a couple of cover variants for Further Arrangements and I finsihed the headers for ARA and drew some new ones for TME.
I don't really feel like I did much, art-wise, and I'm okay with that. I want to be a writer, not an artist. I did a lot of writing. Good enough.
I didn't get out much this year, I went on four trips this year: two to Seattle to see terrycloth and other folks in the area, one to North Carolina to see my parents and visit Myrral, Kage, and Envoy, and one to Atlanta to attend ProgPower with alinsa. I did a few long-weekend events locally; Contra KC and WorldCon.
I was on two panels for WorldCon, which I gotta say was cool.
I got out a few others times to see Corwyn, but my main social outlet remains the Internet, and low-key methods of keeping in touch like Twitter, LJ, with some direct messaging in various formats.
I feel weird about this. There are people I want to see and did not this year, and more travelling is the only way that will happen. I am very fond of Corwyn and do not see him often enough. Also, I really love being by myself and not dealing with people. So actually fixing this thing where I am super-anti-social is hard, because socializing is a lot of effort. It is not work so much as exertion: I like doing it but I'm lazy and so I don't. Also, not having a car
What a year this was. I've been basically happy for most of it. Some things have made me sad: the awful 2016 presidenial campaign and its unsurprisingly awful results. On a personal level, I'd hoped that publishing more books would revive my books sales and I'm sad that it didn't.
But I didn't have any major bouts with depression and very little suicidal ideation, so that's good. I am pleased with the writing that I've done, both in quantity and in the stories that I've written.
After I finished making all the revision notes, I've been reading and revising WHD in order. My goal for February is to get through at least 300 more pages. This feels ambitious, since I only revised 129 pages in December, but then again, I also made 16,000 words of notes. I can convert "time spent making all those notes" into "time spent revising an extra 170 pages".
This goal assumes I'll revise an average of 30 pages per non-work-day in January, and do no revision during the work week. Since I revised 45 pages yesterday, this doesn't seem too unreasonable.
It will also put me on track to finish first-pass revisions in February. I will probably do a little extra clean-up that's not page-by-page at that point, and then kick it out to beta readers. Then I can do final edits some time in March. If all goes well.
I've been posting month-to-month goals, and I will continue to do that. But I actually have some goals for the year as a whole in mind, so I might as well post them here.
- Serialize and publish The Warlock, the Hare and the Dragon. Serial will likely launch some time in April-June. I'll release the book a month or so after the serial starts.
- Publish the sequel, Birthright, probably sometime in September-December
- Hire a professional-quality artist to do cover illustrations for the above.
- Stretch goals: Finishing drafting a new book or three. Publish The Sun Etherium, probably in December.
- Also, keep doing the monthly updates. Those are handy and not too arduous.
The release time frames are extremely squishy. If I get two books published in 2017, I'll be happy. I don't really care how late in the year it happens.
The stretch goals seem ridiculously optimistic, but the truth is that I wrote much faster in 2016 than I ever have before and I don't feel like I'm going to slow down that much. And it would be silly to publish three books in 2017 and then have nothing written and ready to revise for 2018.
So. Sure. I think it is realistic to revise three books this year and draft three new and different books.
Also, I am a pod person and I'm very sorry if you liked the Rowyn I killed and devoured in 2016 so I could take her place. If it's any consolation, she felt no pain and also got to miss Brexit and the Trump election so, y'know. There's that.