Ah, New Year’s. The holiday of nostalgia and sentimentality. A time for looking back and moving forward. Out with the old, in with the new. Since I get a free pass to indulge in said nostalgia and sentiments this time of year, I thought I’d get back into the swing of blogging after my hiatus while toiling on Return to Shadow. And, as loyal readers and awesome fans, I think it’s only fair that you have some idea of what to expect from me in 2015.
2014 was my first full year as an author. Looking back on the last twelve months, I’ve come a long way. Out of Exile took me almost a decade to write and publish. The rough draft of Return to Shadow (all three parts) was completed in a little less than six months and it’s roughly 50,000 words longer. Last year, Out of Exile also went through a much needed revision and I hope you’ve all had a chance to read the second edition. Between these two endeavors I learned a few hard lessons, but I’m a better writer, author and publisher for it. In the coming year, I’m going to do everything I can to continue to improve even more. Without further adieu, here are my 2015 author resolutions:
- Write faster: A lot of writers go back and forth on this concept, but in my own work, I’ve found that when I write faster my dialog is sharper, my pacing is better and my storyline is more compelling. Contrary to what you’d think, I don’t have any more typos or snags than I would writing at a slower pace and I have to fight off writer’s block quite a bit less. Plus you guys get to read my next book sooner!
- Edit slower: I know, this seems to go against what I’ve just said. But when all goes according to plan, the faster I write a first draft, the more time I have to polish that ugly little creation into a work of art. Trust me when I say I’m one of my harshest critics. The published version you read (unless you’re one of my beta readers) is usually a a vastly different tale than what I started with. The hardest thing to learn in this business is patience. I’ve found that after I go through a second and third draft of my work, I’m often unwilling to do the little things that would make my story even better before publishing. This is unacceptable to me and you, my readers, deserve better. My goal is still to produce at the same rate, but quality will be of even greater importance.
- Continue to have fun writing: This may sound like a dumb resolution, but believe me when I say it’s probably the most important. Although I love it, writing isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s the most frustrating thing in the world. Even so, there are ways to enjoy the grind and have fun during every part of the process. When I’m loving my work, it shows. Right now, I’m not a full-time author. I write when I can, in the crack between my day job and life. Although it’s not always easy, it’s a whole lot harder if I sit down at my desk with a bad attitude.
Being an author means undertaking a journey that has no real end. It’s about the process, not the destination. Each book is a stepping stone to the next. I’m better now than I was a year ago and a year from now I know I’ll be better than I am today. Although I’m going to switch directions a bit in 2015 (more exciting details to come!), the core of what I’m doing will remain the same. Thanks for your support as I continue make my dream a reality. Whatever your resolutions are for 2015, I wish you the best of luck (and perseverance) in all you do. Happy New Year and, most importantly, thanks for reading.
P.S. Hey, I’m going to do some awesome things with my newsletter in 2015. If you haven’t joined it yet, don’t miss out! You’ll also get a free short story of mine,