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The obligatory “intro to 2016” post

The obligatory “intro to 2016” post

It’s a good thing I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. Why? Because we’re officially into the second week of January and I’m just now getting my shit together to come up with a 2016 plan.

Not that I’m surprised. I’m perpetually late on deadlines. Not super late. Not “what deadline?” late. But at least a few days late for major projects, a few hours late for minor ones.

I’ve had a 2016 year calendar for a month now, and I’ve barely touched it. But at least today, I’m putting some commitments down on paper—or at least in pixels.

I want to do a lot this year. Publishing, running, reading, cooking…movies, vacations, sleep. But as I’ve mentioned before, my health isn’t the strongest. I don’t sleep well, and whether the cause or the effect of the rest of my issues, I only get a couple of hours a day to write, edit, work on my website, etc. So I have to be very strict with my time. Very.

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In 2015, I set up my home office. Isn’t it lovely? That’s a standing desk, a comfortable stool for when I need to sit, and a balance board to help keep my back happy while standing. Above all, there’s a heater. I’m often cold. And windows and natural light. And books. And a door. I also bought a comfortable chair to use for writing. The end of 2015 was all about removing the obstacles that got in my way. Pain, exhaustion, and needing quiet all worked against me. Add those to a time-consuming day job and an intense desire to level up in writing skill, and you end up with a lot of missed deadlines.

In an effort to be better this year, I sat down this weekend and listed out all of the current story ideas I have. Want to see?

By the Fates, Fulfilled
Salvation in Blood
A Shift in the Earth
A Shift in Flames
Heart Stripped Bare (working title only), novella
Sparkling Terror (working title only), novella
In His Collar
My Brush with the Mob (working title only)
Super-secret project #1

That’s nine different projects. There’s no way they’ll all get done in 2016. Even in my wildest dreams, that’s not going to happen, because these days, I’m spending a lot more time on each story. Both because I have fewer hours in the day to write with my health problems and because I want to produce the very best story possible, and so I’m spending more time outlining, coming up with richer characters, avoiding those pesky clichés, and in general, trying to write the prettiest words I can.
Realistically, I’d be thrilled if I could release the following in 2016:

Revelations in Blood (currently in editing)
Macchiatos for Midnight (currently in editing)
By the Fates, Fulfilled
A Shift in the Earth
A Shift in Flames
Heart Stripped Bare
Sparkling Terror

Even that’s probably too aggressive. So rather than try to plan out my whole year (which the Virgo in me would love to do), I’m going to plan out the first quarter of 2016.

By the end of March, I’ll have Salvation in Blood and Macchiatos for Midnight out in the world.

By the Fates, Fulfilled and A Shift in the Earth will be in editing.

But what about my non-writing life? Well, I want to finish the new Tomb Raider game on Xbox. I’d also like to level my Guild Wars Ranger to at least level 30 (she’s at 12 now). And I’d love to be able to reliably run 10k (even though my speed is slower than it’s ever been).

But if I do nothing else but write, work my day job, and focus on my sleep, I’ll be satisfied, because 2016 is ultimately the year of setting more realistic expectations for myself. I don’t have to be a super hero. I’ll leave that to Daisy Ridley and Alex Kingston.

SPOILERS.

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