A Retrospective on 2016

The year is coming to a close, and I — like everyone you know — am taking the time to review it. Obviously, this is my favorite thing that happened:

Ashley M. Hill & August Baker Get Married
obligatory wedding photo <3

I did a lot, though. My husband and I moved in together and got married all in the same month. I changed positions at work, started school, had some pretty stark mental health issues there for a bit, and have been just generally dealing with Adult Stuff a lot. It was a busy year, both externally and emotionally.

I have not written as much as I’d like, though.

As such, I’ve been reviewing my writing habits, as well as  goals, and thinking, Okay, where do I go from here?

The real answer is: I don’t know. But I have some ideas.

What Did I Write in 2016?

This is one of those things that I want to look at first: what did I do? I went back to find my “goals for 2016” post and basically laughed in my wee baby face. To be fair, I made those goals before The Year of Doing Everything had been planned. (We didn’t decide to get married until February, and I was just starting to think about going back to school in January.)

I started working on my edit/rewrites on The Witch-mother’s Coven, which I still hate at a working title but it’s what I’ve got. My goal has been to finish those by the end of January, but that may not happen. I was moving at a pretty steady clip and then hit a wall when I was staring down the barrel of several scenes that needed to be almost entirely rewritten. (Also, finals week was fast approaching at that point.)

I’ve written seven short stories in 2016, four of those for The Confabulator Cafe.

Of the other three short stories:

  • One is done and currently on the submission carousel.
  • One is complete in rough-draft form, with a goal of getting it on the carousel by mid-January.
  • One got immediately trunked — it had an idea and some nice visuals, but what it came together as was so messy that I don’t want to bother with it for now.

I also decided to weed my “current” projects into two places: trunked or limbo. Things I still want to write some day, but that I have no current goals for, are in limbo. Things that sounded good at the time but just aren’t ready to be in my writing queue have been trunked, at least for now.

So right now my “current projects” queue includes my novel, and whatever short stories I happen to be working on. (There’s officially three, but two of theme haven’t been opened in a while.)

I’ll tell you what, though: I had ideas in 2016. I’ve still been keeping a digital notebook for when I have ideas, and I still write them down to come back to later. I came up with a whole new novel concept that I wrote pages of notes for, and then tucked away to come back to later.

So creativity is less an issue than time, energy, and emotional space to write.

What Do I Want to Write in 2017?

Truth be told, I’m not sure what’s going to be realistic here.

I’m still planning to finish The Witch-mother’s Coven and see what beta readers think. I’d like to do that here in the doldrums of winter, before life gets hectic again in the spring. I do not know how feasible that will be.

Other than that, I think I’ll just focus on keeping my short story output up. I have plenty of ideas in Evernote, waiting for me to tackle them.

I do know that I don’t plan to blog. I decided this year that I don’t terribly want to write about my thoughts and feelings on things anymore — that I don’t have the time or space for it. I plan to use the blog here to keep up with news as it happens, but that’s pretty much it. I’m just not much of a blogger.

So: keep your eyes peeled for news, I suppose.

Here’s to a hopeful 2017.

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