2016 was a rough year for my country and for the world. Anyone who knows me in real life knows how I feel about that.
However, for me artistically and personally, it was a pretty great year! I paid off my anesthesia school loan this December after a sustained push beginning in July of 2015. I still have about $16,000 of my nursing school loan, but the interest rate is much lower, and my monthly payments are about $200. My monthly payments with the anesthesia school loan were over $2,000. That will make a monumental difference in my finances, which I haven't yet begun to feel, since I only just paid it off.
In addition, this is the second year in a row that I've made a profit on my writing business. Not a huge profit, but still. I made more than I spent.
I wrote more this year than I have since I started keeping detailed records in 2013. (I've been finishing novels for over two decades, but I didn't start keeping an excel spreadsheet until 4 years ago). My average word count in 2016 was right at 500 words per day. I wrote a total of 183,194 words in the year. The maximum I wrote in one day was 6,722.
For comparison, my best previous year on the spreadsheet was 2014, where I averaged 332 words per day, a total of 121,490, and a daily max of 4,910.
I wrote a short story every single month this year for the Patreon donors, plus one extra for a friend, totaling 70,000+ words - well over a novel's worth of stories! I've never written that many short stories in a single year before. I didn't know I could do it. I also wrote Eve and Malachi Books 3 and 4 (not yet released), which basically constitute 2 more short stories (so 15??). Plus a play for my family. Geez.
In addition, I finished 2 novels this year:
- Jager Thunder (Refugees Book 2) - a 150,000 word mid-epic installment that I've been chipping away at since Nov of 2014.
- Secret Project - a 58,000 word fantasy erotic romance that I wrote in a joyful frenzy, most of it in 3 weeks in Oct and Nov. This book has a name and a marketing plan. It'll be released under a pen name, but it won't be a secret. I'll announce it here in a few months.
So that's the stuff I wrote, but most of it hasn't been released outside of Patreon. My releases this year were:
- The Scarlet Albatross - ebook in Feb, audio book in April, paper book in Dec.
- When We Were Young - Short Stories from Panamindorah Volume 3, which includes 9 of the stories written this year - ebook and paper book in Dec.
- In addition, I released "Taking Tricks" as a stand-alone novelette in ebook and audio book in June. That one is also in the above collection.
Things I will certainly finish in 2017:
- The official audio version of When We Were Young (now in production)
- The ebook, paper book, and audio book of Jager Thunder (finished draft is now in final edits)
- The ebook, paper book, and audio book of Secret Project (finished draft is now in early edits)
- The finished draft of Secret Project Book 2 (I'm already 8,000 words into this).
- 12 stories for the Patreon, plus 2 more for friends.
- Another short story collection.
Things I will probably finished in 2017:
- The Cormorant (Refugees Book 3 - final book in this trilogy) - I'll get started on this for sure. I do not know whether I'll finish it.
- Eve and Malachi Books 5 and 6.
- The production and release of Eve and Malachi 3-6 and accompanying kickstarter and/or art sale to raise money for the illustrations.
Things I might start (not all of them, maybe some of them):
- Secret Project Book 3
- That mystery involving Chance in Danda-lay
- A Cinderella retelling I keep noodling on
- An urban fantasy that wants to be a middle grade book, but I don't know.
- That zombie story I keep threatening to write.
There is also an excellent chance that I will move in 2017. I have a 6-week assignment in New Mexico at the beginning of the year. After that, I'd like to go back to doing assignments of more than 2-3 weeks at a time. We'll see if I can manage that without the giant student loan to feed.
In summary: I made some good art in 2016. I'll make some more in 2017. I hope you do the same.