Looking back at the past year of my life as a writer, the biggest event was leaving my full-time job with the State of Michigan at the end of August, and trying to make a go of it as a full-time writer. So far, I think it’s been going pretty well, though it doesn’t necessarily show in my wordcount spreadsheet and charts. But more about that a little later.
2015 saw the publication of my third Magic ex Libris book, as well as my very first tie-in novel.
- Unbound [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy]
- Fable: Blood of Heroes [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy]
I also edited a second collection of essays about diversity and representation in SF/F. There were a few bumpy spots in the process, but I’m quite proud with how it turned out.
In shorter works, I had a fairy tale retelling and an essay about politics and story. I also self-published a tie-in story for my Magic ex Libris universe.
- “The Girls From the Hood” in Chicks and Balances.
- “The Politics of Comfort” in Uncanny, Issue #2. January 2015.
- “Chupacabra’s Song” [Amazon | B&N | iBooks]
As for what I actually wrote over the past year, I tried something a little new, making a spreadsheet with daily word counts and other notes so I could try to get a better sense of my productivity. The graph isn’t perfect, but it gives me a vague idea what I was able to do from month to month.
The first eight months were spent working on Revisionary. (With a one-day break to write an essay about the Hugo awards, some time in April/May to do Invisible 2, and a week or so in early March to write a short story for the Shadowed Souls anthology, which comes out next year.) I turned the manuscript for Revisionary in on August 9, and then started outlining and working on a YA novel.
I spent the first half of September doing final revisions for Revisionary, which isn’t included in the wordcount graph, and then went back to the YA novel, before giving up on that at the end of September. Neither the tone nor the plot were working for me, and I decided I needed some time away before trying to write that book.
October was the first time I felt like being a full-time writer was really making a difference. In addition to finishing three short stories, I spent the last week or so outlining and planning a middle grade novel to work on during NaNoWriMo. I finished the first draft of the novel in November, and as of today, I’m more than 90% through the first rewrite. I’ve still got some work to do, but if all goes well, I might be able to send this thing out in January.
Finally, I wrote up a couple of pitches, and we ended up sending a three-book proposal to my publisher. I’ll announce more once everything’s official, but things are looking very positive on that front.
All in all, I’d say 2015 was a most excellent year from a writing perspective. I’ve got no idea if any of this will be interesting to anyone else, but I know it’s helpful for me to look back and see what I did (or didn’t) accomplish over the past year. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day and lose sight of the larger progress.
I hope you’ve had a good year, and I wish us all the best for 2016.