Tuesday, December 30, 2014

One Writer's 2014 Year Review

Let's be honest here. I make a list of goals every year. It's that New Year's tradition thing. Since I usually make an incredibly long list of impossible goals for myself, at the beginning of 2014 I decided to go easy on myself. My goal was to write 1000 words a day. This seemed doable since my writing days typically concluded with 2000 words.

However, the trouble I encounter each year is that I don't write every day. This year was no different. I'm a sporadic writer. I write great chunks for many days in a row and then a few weeks go by with nothing. There are many factors involved here...family and my own mind being the biggest two. I have 3 small children and a husband who worked a job that took him away from home for months at a time. Essentially, I was a single mother who occasionally lacks self-confidence as a writer. This is no excuse, I know. Many writers are in the same situation. Many succeed and many fail. I always feel that I fall somewhere in between.

This year, I've decided to look back on my year and celebrate my accomplishments. And for the benefit of other writers who share similar struggles, I'm going to share these with you.

Writing Accomplishments

For 2014, I created a new word count spreadsheet that I did my best to follow on my writing days. For the most part, I believe I did a good job recording my results although I know there were quite a few days where I fiddled around with a story and didn't bother to write the numbers down. This is something I want to improve on for 2015.

New Stories Started in 2014
  1. Contemporary Holiday Romance =7993 (completed)
  2. Paranormal Romance w/zombies = 65,317 (completed)
  3. Paranormal Romance w/aliens = 7329 (unfinished)
  4. Urban Fantasy w/zombies = 12,088 (unfinished)
Older Stories Worked on in 2014
  1. Historical Paranormal Romance w/ghosts = 12,160 (unfinished)
  2.  WWII romance = 2142 (unfinished)
  3. Historical Paranormal Romance w/witches (The Merriweather Witches: Book 5) = Sadly, this one I didn't keep track of since I jumped around in it so much.
That gives me a total of  107,029 of new words written in 2014. That's really not so bad. I'm happy with it though I did not succeed with my goal of writing 1k a day. Still, I've never kept a yearly word count total before so for my first year keeping track I think that's a good baseline to start.

But that's not the only writing I did this year. I also keep a dream journal where I write down all the strange dreams I have at night. Often, those dreams turn into stories themselves. And since this is the first year I transcribed my dreams onto my computer instead of a paper journal it was easy to add up what I wrote.

Dream Journal Word Count = 20,696

For a Grand Total of 127,725 original words written in 2014. Again, I'm pleased with this. That averages about 350 words a day. Far from my original goal, but considering I actually didn't write every day... Well, that's what I get.

What I did not add were the various blog posts or guest blogs that I wrote for this year. I could easily add that to the count, but that's a different kind of writing for me and I feel it should be kept separate. I know other writers like to add those words in with their totals.

Publishing Accomplishments:

Book Published in 2014

I had a new release this year! In February, I celebrated the world-wide release of The Witch's Thief - Book 3 of The Merriweather Witches.


New Contract Signed!

I signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for The Witch's Kiss - Book 4 of The Merriweather Witches in early 2014. Edits and revisions were completed over the summer and this book is now due for release sometime in early 2015.


Book signing

November 1st I attended my very first book signing! Thanks to my friend and fellow author Ash Krafton for talking me into it! I had great fun and hope to do more in the future!
Photos courtesy of Ash Krafton

Personal Events in 2014
  • My husband got a new job that gives him more time at home - as in every night home! We enjoy a lot more family time now which my children adore!
  • I'm an avid genealogist. Unfortunately, this contributes to time away from my writing, but I've managed to discover many new branches on my family tree this year. I also worked on scanning family photos onto the computer and recording memories for my children. This is extremely important to me. 
  • My grandmother passed away on October 15, 2014. She is dearly missed! After suffering several years from dementia, I know she's happily reunited with her daughter (my mother) and her parents whom she missed. I wanted to include this here because she was a very important part of my life.

  • I'm pregnant with my 4th child! This kind of explains why for about 3 months I didn't have the energy to write or read or even clean the house. My first trimester was very rough on me. For a while, I thought I was just extremely depressed until I found out I was pregnant. That explained the lack of energy! This was an unexpected pregnancy. Although I always wanted to have a 4th child, my husband and I had come to an agreement that we were done having more kids. I gave away my maternity clothes and a lot of the baby clothes that I had been keeping over the years (just in case!). My surprise bundle of joy startled me with a total burst of shock and happiness! And it's a boy! He's due in April 2015! Now if only my husband and I can agree on a name...

So that's my year in a short blog post. In the next few days I'm going join a mass of other writers in declaring my goals and resolutions for 2015. Hopefully, I'll keep a better track record for myself during the year so I can post my accomplishments for next year! 

I'd love to hear about your writing, publishing or personal accomplishments as well! It's great to share good news!  

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