Year in review—2021

Oh, boy. 2021 was not a great year for me in a lot of ways. I feel like I escaped it by the skin of my teeth, and in some ways, I feel like I’m still stuck there, trying to get out.

I wrote that first paragraph before things went bad in 2022, but I do think I finally escaped 2021 at the end of the year. I started off 2022 in a way that feels good. It didn’t last, but at least the issues of 2021 didn’t linger past their expiration date.

If there’s anything I learned from the mess I made of the year, it’s to not wait when I’m stuck in a book.

Looking back, I can see in February 2020 I was having an issue with a book that didn’t get resolved until I sat down in 2021 at the end of the year and made myself just claw my way through the material until I had something that worked. A lot of the stuff I was unhappy with ended up in the end product. It wasn’t bad. I was the problem. And the hardest truth is the one that says if I had just tossed all those words back in 2020 (multiple times if necessary) and started over from any point that felt like a good place to restart, I could have finished several more books instead of staying stuck.

2021 was my worst year for production of words since I started keeping track in 2012. It edged out 2020 by 1,515 words.

Two bad years in a row could be a death knell for my career unless I can improve dramatically in 2022.

The first half of 2022 has been just as bad, but I do still think I can recover.

Here’s the plan.

1) Start a 1,000 words a day streak. That would get me about 183,000 words before the end of the year.

2) Focus on finishing each book quickly instead of jumping between projects.

3) Work on more than one project at a time. This doesn’t contradict number two, because it is based on working on the same multiple projects each day. I have two pen names. I also have three types of stories under one pen name (novels, short stories, and my experiment with a serial). I also have different series. I will settle on a way to choose which projects get worked on and then I’ll work on them until they’re done.

I’m not going to post my month by month word counts for 2021. Too much trouble, and no one cares to be honest.

I published a novella, started a serial, and published a short story in 2021.

2021 words: 34,134