“Marklar, or brick pile.” -my nephew, providing name suggestions for the baby
I rather like brick pile. Brick-Pile or Brickpile. It’s a nice strong name, unisex, and no one in the family’s used it in the last few generations.
These days baby spends her time kicking me to let me know she’s there and won’t be ignored. Fair enough, little girl. I won’t forget.
I spent a hefty chunk of my break planning to plan (and failing). Come new year I usually do set resolutions, or at least a few solid goals as to what I want to accomplish in the upcoming months. But this year I am feeling hesitant. It wasn’t just pure laziness this go around: more than any other year, I don’t know what 2016 will bring. I don’t know if it will be sheer madness, or bliss, or both (which is more likely). I don’t know if I’ll have time for anything more than baby, Carter, and work. Will I have time to write? If I have the time, will I have the energy? I don’t know.
I could force myself to get down to business and work on side venture, but on the other hand, why don’t I savor the privilege of having a good maternity leave?
So, I’m floating in limbo. It’s strange to start a year with very few plans beyond pushing a human being out of my private parts.
I think I may formulate a plan and then go with the flow. It may happen this way, or it may not. This year more than ever I feel I will have to retract my claws and let myself be blown around in the wind.
So let’s try this.
Year-end results, based on mid-year and Q2 2015 goals
-recovered from miscarriage, got pregnant, stayed pregnant
-finished head & hands drawing class (got an A!)
-earned a promotion at work, which is good because maternity leave will render promo impossible for a while
-Made $12.5k for the year, exceeding $10k goal
-Got over 200 sign-ups on newsletter
-One failed submission (no regrets)
-Did not learn paperback formatting, did not write one of my planned sequels
-Wrote/pub’d around 100k words overall
Given the amount of time and work I put into SV in 2015, I’m pleased with the results. Sure, I could have done better/more. But this is good. I’ll take it.
Soft-peddly squishy aspirations for 2016 (avoiding the word “goal” like the g-damn plague)
-Give birth to healthy baby
-Physically recover from pregnancy and childbirth
-Don’t go insane in first 3 months, and first 3 weeks especially
-Be nice to Carter
-Be nice to myself
-Read 75 books, track on Goodreads
-Doodle more often, weekly at least
-Take one more art class before due date (v. risky)
-Journal daily, or close to it
-Outline and write 3 shorts for bestselling series to keep reader engagement, but not reaching for anything grand or huge numbers
-Aim for February, May, September release dates
-Make $6k (a reasonable number considering drop off in publication)
-Read space opera bestsellers
-Outline and write my own space opera series (3 books, 70k each)
-Publish in September, October, and November.
Actually looking at the thoughts and hopes that have been fluttering around my skull in writing makes me realize that I am still being very, very ambitious. This is probably a bad thing, but it feels good to write it out. If I can accomplish half these things by the end of the year I will be overjoyed. If I can accomplish a quarter, I will be pleased. If I can only accomplish 3 things (the first 3 things on the list preferably) I will be satisfied.
Yesterday a royalty check rolled in from a distributor I’d totally forgotten about, so I’m already at $1,850. They actually pay me more each quarter, despite my works for them being rather stale. So yay! I’m almost 1/3 to my $6k goal! Maybe I’ll make my “reach” goal $12k again. But I think it will be somewhat less than that this year, as I’m not writing very much for my established pen name and sci-fi is a much less lucrative category.
Well, let’s get going.