I’ve just spent my evening re-envisioning my writer goals for this year.
When I originally made my plans, I was living in a pandemic world. I didn’t feel good about my stay-at-home life, but one thing that seemed to be working was my writing. The philosophy was the apocalypse is coming. Look busy. My mate is also a project-driven individual, and so it was something positive for us to do—invest in our creativity. Believe me, I really wanted to get back out there into the real world, and it hasn’t been what I hoped for, given all the culture shifts, but when I sat down and planned out my writer schedule, I skewed toward the ambitious side.
I started writing The Autumn Warrior and the Ice Sword for three reasons: 1.) Writers are always looking for different venues to publish in, to perhaps expand their appeal. 2.) I wanted to feel closer to a particular time in my life when I had run the campaign this serial was based upon, and 3.) I had fear of missing out on a new thing, Kindle Vella. I have enjoyed writing the serial, and it’s made me more money than many of my other endeavors. I thought I could balance writing the serial and writing the book projects I wanted to write.
I also planned to write two Abigail Rath books this year, with the goal of releasing a Christmas one in the Christmas season. Based on the amount of writing I did last year, that seemed doable.
This was a lie, much like the cake is a lie. Here’s why. I didn’t really do all the writing I did for The Wrath of Horus last year in the pandemic. I started The Wrath of Horus in 2019, was slowed up by 2 deaths and 1 health crisis, and then finished it in 2020, and released it in 2021. I did do a lot of quality re-envisioning, thanks to my horror writing group, plus I wrote a whole extra novella, and that was a lot of writing, but it was also fine-tuning a lot of writing that had been done already.
Other things I failed to take into account when I made up my ambitious writing calendar?
Anyway you slice it, returning to the real world takes much more time than isolation. My commute grew to an hour a day from thirty seconds. Teaching in-person takes more time. Exercising at the gym takes more time. Going places to see friends takes more time. Eating out takes more time. Every appointment I make for maintenance or socialization takes more time. Living. Takes. More. Time.
Yes, I do rather like having friends, getting a haircut, and teaching my mythology course, thank you very much. But I do have to get used to planning all of that back into my schedule, including not only the event, but the getting there and coming from.
And then, there’s the trap I try not to fall into, but I did. I know many writer friends who have been sidetracked by editing or slushreading or other writerly tasks that distract them from their projects. Given my very full time job which I won’t be getting rid of for another ten years, I knew I needed to stick to a limited number of projects (read: one). And I fell into the serial trap. I needed to choose, rather than trying to do both. Curse you, interesting ideas. Damn you all to hell.
So, here’s how the future is going down. From this point forward I will be working on Abigail Rath Versus the Mummy’s Hand. I still have some cons to attend and a writing workshop to attend, but these are things I have juggled successfully with writing and work before. My serial will sit for a while. It’s like priority four now. The Crone, by the way, is priority five, but it is super easy for me to whip one of these out, and they are handy when you have something to say, so I suspect you’ll see more of these. If I haven’t had a chance to return to the serial at all this year, I’ll pull it off of Vella and see what can be done with what I have regarding publication. Right now it’s a bit scattered, and in order to be novels/novellas, it’d need to be more focused. At any rate, that’s a problem for next year, for sure.
Regarding my current plan Mummy’s Hand should be finished at the end of June and released around Halloween. Abigail Rath Versus the Krampus should be done December 31st, and regrettably will not be released for a year, because it needs to be released in a Christmas season and it simply cannot happen within a time frame needed for best quality this year.
So then, 2022 will be the year of Mummy’s Hand. In 2023, you’ll get Krampus, some sort of project pulled from The Autumn Warrior and the Ice Sword, an as yet unnamed new Klaereon novella to promote The Wisdom of Thoth, AKA Klaereon 4, which I’ll begin writing in June 2023. Or not. That’s what I can see right now, the best laid plans and all that.
Life is very good at the unforeseen, so I expect further revisions. I’d rather hope otherwise, but it’s what I expect.