But only by a little.
43,785 – That’s how many words I ended up either revising, rewriting, or straight up newly drafted during November. I’m taking the old Vacancy serial and revamping it for a trilogy of novels and thought I’d use NaNo to help track my progress. I didn’t take it as seriously as when I draft a completely new work, I had no daily wordcounts, no strict work every single day thresholds (which would have been hard with minor surgery and Thanksgiving anyway), I just tracked what I did, and I didn’t start til the middle of the month anyway. I’m pretty happy with where I ended up, and I might just keep tracking til this revision is done.
I won’t, however, probably release The Weary Traveler in 2020. Boo! Hiss! Bad job, Me!
The plan I laid out in 2019 was to publish four books in 2020, the last of which was going to be a holiday-themed sci-fi/paranormal dark comedy. I still really want to write that book, but I shelved the idea in April when I originally intended to draft it, and decided to work on the second book in the Vacancy series instead. I’m ultimately glad because I know I need a series before I can start advertising and really ramping things up, and I didn’t want to put off this trilogy for much longer–I got a lot of practice with my three standalones, and I feel ready–but I am a little bummed with myself that I’m not reaching my goal.
Still, three outta four ain’t bad.
I want all of the Vacancy series out before the middle of 2021, and I want the first book out as soon as possible, aaaaaand I want to start drafting the next thing (another urban fantasy trilogy probably) early next year too. I’m more motivated than I’ve ever been, and I’ve taught myself to be productive (like anything, it takes practice), but the rest of the world is sapping so much of my energy lately. Husband says I have to take the rest of the world into account when I’m looking back on my production. He’s right: I lost hunks of time this year to a lot of things, and none of them were really breaks. I might be working from home (and loving it), but this pandemic has taken a lot from all of us including any kind of getaway we might have imagined.
2020 has just felt like the year of things that don’t stop whether those were personal or on a national or global scale. I’m displeased with my health, both physical and mental, and there is so much chaos that’s descended on us in the last couple months that I’ve practically forgotten all the bullshit from the rest of the year that definitely did happen too. And yet, I’m working harder and producing more than I ever have in my entire life. If other things were good, I can’t even imagine where I’d be after a year of giving writing my all, and in a way I’m mad, but in another I’m, frankly, impressed.
It’s not over, not on December 31st, not on inauguration day, not when we get the first doses of the vaccine out, not when our house finally goes back up on the market, not when it finally sells, not when we figure out where exactly we can move. There’s always a next thing, an invisible, looming horror you can’t even perceive (not that I want you to live your life with that thought, it’s just how things feel right now), but it would be nice for there to be less next things, the horrors to loom a little shorter, and the triumphs to be a little bigger.
2020 was my year of content. It worked. 2021 will be my year of breaking into the market for real. The year of, maybe, six more books (and maybe even that Christmas black comedy as a bonus). And maybe even this time next year we can go outside a little less scared.