Last year was a year that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. It was a year in which I grew hugely as a person and as a writer.
On a personal level life was turned a little on its head in March when Tracie and I broke up. I’m not going to go into details, except to say it was an amicable break up. It was sudden though and it was quite clear to me that we’d made the right decision.
That changed a lot in my life about how I wanted to move forward. One thing I didn’t want to do was to dive straight into another relationship. I wanted to get my head, and heart, clear before even thinking about another relationship. I also wanted to make sure I knew how to be happy, or at least content, on my own. And I think I have done that. I still get my lonely points but they don’t last long and if I’m being productive with writing then it’s almost never.
I’ve been single since then, and I am okay with that. I’m enjoying having the time to myself and that time is letting me get writing, but more about writing in a bit. I think a few of my close friends may think I’m against meeting someone but if someone came along who blew me away then I’d embrace that, but I’m not willing to start dating someone who isn’t right for me.
That wasn’t the worst part of my year, I have family who are fighting serious health problems, but I won’t go into those in any detail at all. All I will say is that they are serious health problems that I wouldn’t wish on anybody.
A big upside of the year has been my cash flow. I won’t go into details but since becoming single it’s something I’ve worked hard on getting more stable. It wasn’t out of control but I was living a little close to the wire at times and I really didn’t like it. I’m not quite where I want to be, that’ll take a little while longer as I’m paying off a loan. But thanks to a little bit of luck this year is starting off really well now. Even without that bit of luck I would still be starting this year off on a good financial footing. Many months of being sensible are paying off and it’s a damn good feeling.
Now to the writing. Most of the year I was writing like I have always done, erratically. To occupy my mind I threw myself into writing after the break up and I got a short story written in about a day in April. That was also the first time I went to write-in with my local NaNoWriMo group. I’d been a member of the Facebook group for my region for a couple of years but this was the first time I really interacted with anyone from it, and I wish I’d done it sooner. This group has been incredibly supportive and inspirational since April and I don’t think I could have done as much as I have done this year without them (including a day when I wrote 7500 words, a personal best).
After that I turned to getting my vampire collection of short stories sorted out. Which I have done. This is a series that I have had stories written for since the end of 2009 and it felt really good to get the last story done and have them all tied together. I had to write a number of new stories to make the collection a decent size and to tie them altogether. This collection is with one of my primary Beta readers at the moment, and I’ve already had great feedback from another Beta reader. I’m hoping to have this out this year, I do have a date in mind but that’s staying with me until I have everything I need in place to have it published.
For NaNoWriMo I wrote a sequel to the story I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2013. Before NaNo began though I wanted to go through the first story and get it all tidied up, but it didn’t work out like that. I spent a lot of time faffing about and cutting huge chunks of it, but I didn’t get done before November and decided to sort it out after I finished NaNo.
I ‘won’ NaNoWriMo this year, finishing with a good few days to spare. The problem I found as I was writing it was that it was much better than the first book. So during December I started to re-write the first book. I set myself an outside target of 60,000 words and I was over 30,000 when I finished writing last night.
That put me on 162,870 words for the year.
I just want to take a moment to talk about the two collaborations that I’m working on. Firstly, The Residents. This is still in the brainstorming stages but we’re getting closer to working on getting the outline done.
Project Apollo is a little closer to being ready for Owen and I to get the re-write started. Due to Owen’s work commitments he was unable to give the outline of the first third of the book a good look, over the last couple of months. So hopefully we’ll be getting more of the outline done, and locked down soon.
That’s the general parts of the year that come to mind as I sit here and write this, next year I’m going to up my output for word count and also get things edited and closer to being ready for release.