Eston in 2016
Hi and a happy new year 2017 to all of you. I hope you had pleasant holidays and that you are ready for another year on this wonderful planet that is ours. I wish you and your close ones all the best for 2017.
While building my writer's platform in early 2016, I browsed many author's websites for ideas. This is when I came upon a blog post by Brandon Sanderson, called State of the Sanderson. In a very lengthy post, Sanderson provides a summary of his past year and his upcoming projects. If you are interested, you can read State of the Sanderson 2016 here. I liked the idea, which is why I am here writing this post.
2016 was a huge year for me and my writing. In a way, it is the year when everything officially started. I launched my website in early February. It included two short stories: Emptiness and Lake. I also built a presence on a few social media platforms, including Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook. I put together a newsletter and created an author's page on Amazon.
During the summer, on May 28, I self-published my fist novella, The Burden of the Protector. It was a huge achievement and I'm still very proud of the final product. Looking back, it was a long road which started in 2014 for the story itself. In a way, though, it is the culmination of work started three to four years ago. I learned a lot through the process (and still have much more to learn, both about writing and the process of publishing). Although it's only been 8 months since the launch, it feels much longer. The exciting part is that this is only the start, the first of many more stories to come.
In June, the short story Logbox appeared on my website. The novelette Zanathu was added to the site in August. This means that in 2016 I published about 5 stories of varying lengths. Not bad start, isn't it?
In November 2016, I successfully completed NaNoWriMo, an interesting experience that I recommend to any fellow writers (you can read all about my experience in my previous post).
On a note unrelated to writing, 2016 was a very challenging year at my full-time job. After 18 years of career, for the first time, I was extremely unhappy at work and stress was catching up with me. It was all very unexpected. For my own health, my doctor recommended a leave of absence. Professional consultation associated my experience of the past 2 years with bullying and harassment in the workplace. I am now back in the office and some residues from last year's events are still unresolved. The stigma of mental health is very strong with some individuals in my work environment, making this whole thing difficult and unpleasant. Still, I am doing much better and I now have a supportive supervisor with whom I can rebuild. Having this type of support makes a world of difference.
On a more positive note, in December, I completed my MBA studies, writing my last exam. It was a 3.5-year project and is definitely a source of pride. Having the MBA completed hints at the possibility of having a bit more time for writing... until the baby comes, that is! Indeed, Leigh and I will be having our first child in April. Although the biggest changes will happen this year, once our baby is born, the news certainly had an impact on us in 2016. A positive impact. We are very excited. As much as I learned about writing in 2016, I learned just as much about pregnancy and babies. It is all good.
So, what are the plans for 2017 you may ask?
Many! The main projects continue to be The Stander of Ul Darak (a follow up of sort to The Burden of the Protector) and Deficiency (a science-fiction novel set in the same world as Logbox). I am currently working with Tom Edwards on the cover for The Stranger. I am also reworking some elements of the story. I hope to publish it by the end of 2017, but then, I had initially hoped to publish it by the end of 2016, so who knows how long it is going to take. Deficiency could also take a while. The story is in a good state, but I need to complete another review. I may or not self-publish Deficiency, which could have an impact on the launch date. I am thinking of sending it to an agent and explore that avenue. I have not yet made a decision. I also started working on The Ruins of Zéah, which is the follow up to The Stranger of Ul Darak. I have only completed one draft for The Ruins, as part of NaNoWriMo, so there is a lot more work to do on this one.
I have also started collecting information for what I think could be a massive story set in the world of Arvelas. The project is currently titled Arvelas EPIC and is in the early inception phase. I am hoping to start writing in a month or two, if I can wait that long.
The novelettes Saralda and The Matriarch's Remedy should be available on my website in the next few months. I need to create a cover for both. The text for The Matriarch's Remedy is ready for publication, but Saralda still requires some polishing. I hope to also have a few more short stories written this year.
As you can see, 2017 could be another big year. I had a lot of fun in 2016, exchanging with my alpha reader and my beta readers, working with editors and artists, and connecting with other authors or readers. I can only hope that 2017 will as productive and enjoyable.