2014 was an odd year.
I had my lowest writing income of the 21st century due to Demand being off-line for so long. If we weren’t a two-income family, it would have been very not-good. My fiction output slowed to a crawl, due to the combined effects of the puppies and the film reference book (though I did have one new story at New Myths—issue 25 on the Past Issues link).
On the other hand, I did get the Time Travel Films Book under contract, so that’s cool. Still, when I list the highlights of the year, they’re personal, not creative. But they are highlights, and good ones. The puppies. Boston (and Boston and Boston). And TYG, of course.
Looking ahead, I have made certain concessions about 2015. I’m not going to be able to write as much fiction as I used to because a)the time-travel book; b)puppies. And I’ll be on a relatively tight budget compared to two years ago. Demand is up and running come Monday (it shut down for two weeks over the holidays) but I just can’t get as many articles done as I used to. The “obvious” solution is to find higher-paying assignments (which I will be looking for) but until then, I will have to be very strict to myself. Fortunately, books from the Christmas gift cards will keep me occupied through January at least.
On the plus side, I’ll still be doing better financially than 2014 (assuming no disasters intervene). And my revised schedule does give me the time to write at least a little fiction each week. The time-travel book is on schedule. I have three short stories scheduled to come out (two should be out this month). And while I don’t know the publication date for Questionable Minds yet, I’m hoping it’s 2015.
I don’t have a New Year’s Resolution as I prefer doing the 101 in 1001 approach (101 goals to be covered in 1,001 days). Though as I’m still working on my 2013 goals, I didn’t draw up a new one of those either. I did study the list and come up with some goals for 2015. They’re optimistic, given the limits on my time, but not outrageously so.
•Put out another ebook short-story collection.
•Finish watching the movies for Time Travel in Film. I think I can do TV as well, but I’m not betting on it.
•Complete six short stories.
•Get paid more for my opinion pieces (the newest one, by the way is out)
•Submit to 12 agents.
•Sell The Impossible Takes a Little Longer (or rework it—I have an angle that might make it more saleable, but I haven’t decided if it’s worth going that route).
•Complete the next draft of one novel. Probably Southern Discomforts.
•24 queries pitching article ideas to magazines. Four magazine articles sold.
•Getting the puppies trained. I’ve already started work, but we’re going to begin with an actual trainer later this month.
Plus some personal stuff, like making a return visit to my friends in Florida. It’s been too long.
The big challenge will be the fiction. I have no idea if I can pull that off given the limited time I have to work on stories. But if I focus, it’s not inconceivable. And focusing does seem to come easier lately—the time pressures really don’t give me any choice.
Happy New Year, everyone. Let’s hope for a wonderful 2015 for us all.