With the start of a New Year, comes a time of reflection and planning. We often look back over the last year to evaluate what we've achieved or didn't achieve. Then we look forward to the coming year and the infinite possibilities that it brings.
From what I understand, 2016 has been an extremely tough year for many of us for different reasons. Aside from the long list of celebrity deaths that seemed to occur on a clockwork basis, I've talked to many people who've had a rough year, too. From losing jobs to failing health, there are many of my friends who needed some extra prayers and positive thoughts sent their way to help them cope.
In the Schneider household, we had our share of difficulties. My husband was in a motorcycle accident and had 2 separate surgeries, all of which put him out of work with no pay. Not such an easy thing for a growing family. I won't even begin to discuss the most recent discovery of the theft of royalties from the ARe debacle. You can read about that here and here. That hit many authors, publishers and readers quite severely. To add to the struggle of having a reduced income was the string of bad luck concerning our appliances. The list of broken down appliances is almost amusing. Two air conditioners, a dehumidifier for an overly damp basement and the washing machine broke down exactly a week prior to the dryer as if they had conspired together to make life as challenging as possible for us. I've been spending a small fortune at the local laundromat for several months. I'm there with my kids several hours each week to clean clothes for 6 people. If I had the chance to save that money instead, I might've been able to buy 3 or 4 washers and dryers by now.
C'est la vie.
The Pirate's Lady was published in November, my first historical romance with nary a hint of a paranormal element present. It was quite an accomplishment for me and it was educational to work with a new-to-me editor.
Also, I completed NaNoWriMo for the first time. Well, actually the second time. I completed it with a 65,000 word gothic novel the first year I joined the challenge, but never had the chance to verify the word count since my computer crashed on the last day of November. This year, I managed 52,209 words for Loving Boone, my newest WIP and it was verified.
Reviewing the lovely word count tracker that I obtained from the talented Svenja Gosen last year, I wrote a total of 97,485 words during 2016. Just a little shy of my goal of 100,000 words, but I'll take it. Besides writing most of Loving Boone, I'm in the midst of writing an untitled alien romance which is where most of the other words came from and I edited and revised an untitled paranormal romance featuring zombies.
Not too bad.
Goals for 2017
Looking forward to a new year brings with it a list of new goals. I have some personal goals such as finish incomplete projects around the house, get better organized and try to teach my kids better organization (I can hear parents laughing as you read this!), as well as some goals I didn't finish last year. I want to further my study of the German language and my guitar lessons sort of got set aside. I'm teaching myself to play and my 20 month-old son loves music and thinks my guitar is a toy for him to play with. Trying to find the right notes at the same time as keeping his little paws off the instrument presents a unique challenge.
As for my writing...
I found my writing groove during NaNo this last November. I write during my son's afternoon nap time. That gives me about an hour or two each day to work in relative peace and quiet (at least on the days the rest of my brood is in school). I write new words in the afternoon and work on edits in the morning or at night.
If I plan it correctly, I have the opportunity for a productive year.
- Edit and/or revise Loving Boone
- Finish writing the first draft of the Untitled Alien Romance
- Complete edits for the Untitled Paranormal Romance with Zombies
- Write a new novella for Camp NaNo 2017
- Write a new novel for NaNoWriMo 2017
- And, of course, I have a long list of books that I'd like to read and review
I have a few other WIP's that might join this list later in the year. I'm also considering joining the self-published author community this year. The wonderfully successful spec-fic author and my dear friend, Ash Krafton, has offered to help me through this big step in my career once I was ready. I'm thinking this year I might take the plunge.
Here's hoping everyone enjoys a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous 2017!
Happy New Year!