Well, I stuck it out through NaNo last month and reached the end of my manuscript. I'm glad I did. While it's really more of an outline (like the outside edges of a puzzle, some people have said), I am really happy with the finished product. It gives me another marketable novel/series I can work on.
I've spent the weeks since NaNo going back over old manuscripts. I now have a plan of action as far as the top three novels I want to clean up and try to sell. Monsters of Lawrence is obviously first. My new Druid Wars book is next (it needs a new title: the current one is terrible). And the third, believe it or not, is my other book from 2011, Online Dating for Demons (also needs a new title, but that's sticking for now). I hated that book so much when I was done writing it, but reading back over it, I was absolutely entranced. It needs some work, but it's got a solid foundation and it has already been through beta readers.
I am still kind of poking at the first Druid Wars book, but once I get past the holidays, I will hit MoL revisions hard. After that, I may try to clean up the Druid Wars book for beta readers before diving into ODD edits.
That's the novel plan. Hah. Novel. Get it? Novel?
I am also going back over every short story I've ever written to decide what goes into my collection (the title for that will be Those Who Wander, and it will be put out by Bottle Cap publishing sometime in May 2016). I'm figuring out which ones are good, which ones need edits, and which ones should never see the light of day again. I'm writing at least three new short stories for it, as well. I had to pull two of them, because they were accepted for publication in other places. Which is fine. Kind of exciting.
So yeah, that is my plan for next year. At some point, maybe after ConQuest (where I will hopefully not only join the Bottle Cap Publishing table, but also speak on a handful of panels), there will also be Verdancy Publishing to think about. Maybe do something with. But I can only think really seriously about the next six months right now. Even that is a little overwhelming.
But, then I just look back at this year and all of the stuff I have accomplished, and it doesn't seem completely insurmountable.
Because in 2015, I:
-Wrote 10 short stories for the Cafe
-Had three short stories accepted for publication
-Wrote a 50,000 word novel
-Cleaned up MoL and sent it to beta readers
-Made a plan for (and started writing the next installment of) the Adventures of Sally Prescott serial
-Spoke on two panels at ConQuest
-Won honorable mention for the fall 24-hour short story contest
-Bought a cover for my short story collection
-Bought the domain for a publishing company
-Made notes for a choose-your-own-adventure zombie novel
-Successfully managed the Lawrence Region for Nanowrimo
-Edited two full-length Muse novels for R.L. Naquin
-Edited a science fiction anthology
-Proofread a horror collection
-Edited all of the short stories in Jack's collection
On top of that, I also got married, adopted a puppy, and ran eleven out of twelve monthly writing meetings.
I'm really doing this, guys. I'm living the writing and editing dream. Sometimes the drudgery and rejection are hard, but I've accomplished so much. My whole writing group, and Jack, we've all accomplished so much. I have this feeling that next year will be even better.
These monthly accountability posts have also helped a lot. It not only helps me keep revisiting my goal, but also revising them to be more realistic. And man, it's cool to see how much I've accomplished.
Thanks for sticking with me this year, if anyone still reads. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, and I will check in with you sometime during the first month of the new year!
Bring it on, 2016. I'm ready for you.