We did it–we’re nearly there. The end of 2020. And while I hold no illusions that 2021 will be any better, it doesn’t mitigate my relief that of difficult years, at least this one is over and done with.
Though quite honestly, this is not the worst nor the most difficult year of my life; I can think of many that were far worse on a personal level. That being said, this year came with its share of trials, and when looking at it from a general scope in how it affected people as a whole, it would be remiss to ignore or deny the magnitude of hardships it inflicted on us all.
But I don’t want to dwell too long on that aspect. Every storm cloud has its silver-lining, and while I feel I didn’t do as much as I could have (or at least, had in previous years), I do feel pretty good about what I did manage to accomplish in the midst of all the madness.
So this will be my writing year in review: A list of writerly accomplishments to remind myself that however much I struggled, I still pulled a hat trick or two. Without further ado…
-Completed final draft of Fall of the Spectrum (Whispers of Nowhere, Book 2).
-In turn, published Fall of the Spectrum.
-Completed the seventh draft of The Mythos Trials (Whispers of Nowhere, Book 3).
-After 3+ years, I finally finished the first draft of Shattered Time (part of The Spectrum Chronicles, companion series to the Whispers of Nowhere Trilogy).
-Completed the fourth draft of Shadow & Flame (prequel to Whispers of Nowhere and part of The Spectrum Chronicles).
-Completed draft three of Arcane Guardian (also part of The Spectrum Chronicles; in this one, a series of stories focusing on Forneus’s life).
-Wrote a standalone novelette, “Split”.
And alongside all this, did an itty-bitty amount of work on the outline to Static (the cyberpunk I started over 2 years ago, and I must stress this point, occurred before I even knew Cyberpunk 2077 existed; an amazing game, but certainly not the inspiration for my desire to write my own cyberpunk tale. (Of all the timing. *resigned sigh*).
That’s my 2020 in review. I accomplished less than I’d have liked, but also more than I expected. If you find yourself overwhelmed by what you did or didn’t accomplish this year, feeling you didn’t do enough, think on this: If you made it to the end of the year, if you survived the pandemic thus far and you get up every morning despite the toll it’s taken on your mental health–then you’ve done more than enough.
As for 2021? I’m going to set the bar low this coming year. My main goals?
-Final draft of The Mythos Trials.
-Publish The Mythos Trials.
-Finish first draft of Static.
Beyond that, I’m going to let 2021 be a year in which I refuel the creative fire with all the things that make me enjoy writing to begin with. I’m going to let myself read what I want, when I want. I’m going to let myself game more without guilt, get outside with the dog and family more without thinking about what I should be doing. I’m going to let myself remember the rush of enjoyment that comes with creating, rather than let myself get hung up on the rules and guidelines. These are great for editing, great for disciplining yourself when first you embark on your craft–but like any anchor, they can either secure you in port, or prevent you from moving on to new horizons and adventures. There’s a time to be safe and secure, and a time to trust yourself at the helm.
If I manage to accomplish more than my goals, wonderful! If not, it’s enough to know that I did what I could and found some enjoyment along the way.
So here’s to the end of 2020: May we find ourselves sailing toward better times, and barring that, finding a reserve of strength to face whatever obstacles lie ahead.