The end of December/first of January is one of my favorite times of the year. I really enjoy sitting down the last week of the year to reflect on where I’ve been, then taking the first week of the new to figure out where I’m going. Makes me all maudlin and sentimental thinking about the journey behind and the journey ahead.
With that said, here’s a quick toast to you: the readers and supporters out there who lifted me up when I couldn’t see past the futility of this crazy writing game and encouraged me to keep on keeping on. I appreciate your kind words and overall awesomeness. Let’s drink of cup to days of auld lang syne, or as Kenny Chesney puts it:
Well they say the sea is rising, well that’s alright with me
Cause there ain’t no other place than on the sea I’d rather be
And that second coming’s comin’, it’s right around the bend
And someday could be any day this world is gonna end
But that’s alright, that’s okay
There ain’t nothin we can do about the whole thing anyway
It’s a hang on kinda ride, we’re spinning through space and time,
Rockin’ this big old rock just trying to have some fun
So let’s drink another beer, here’s to another year,
Let’s take another crazy trip around the sun
2016 by the numbers
- If you’re an author or someone interested in the nuts and bolts of the author biz, you can find my full 2016 recap here.
- Estimated rough draft words (for books only): 100,000+
- Words published: 105,000+
- Words revised: 175,000+
- Books published: 3 (Into Exile, Swords for Hire, Golden Mane)
Do the work
I’ve spent the last three years learning the ropes and, while there will always be new innovative things to test and learn, 2017 is the year I put my nose to the grindstone. It’s my year to live on Dagobah and carry a creepy little green dude around the swamp, on my back. Whereas 2016 found me wandering and roaming a bit (not a bad thing — I learned and grew a TON this year), 2017 is going to be laser-focused. The majority of the year will be devoted to writing and publishing to market a new young adult fantasy series called the Gryphon Riders Trilogy. I’m pouring everything I’ve got into this. There’s obviously a ton of things that go with this that I haven’t listed, but you’re welcome to follow along here as I undertake what I’ve called Bestseller Quest. I’m writing all three of these books at once, and then publishing on a short schedule — one book every month and a half or so. I anticipate all three will be out before 2018.
Toward the end of 2016, I really got into a rhythm. Writing, exercise, reading time, getting to bed early, hanging with friends and family. I’m making much better use of the time I have and want to continue to hone my productivity throughout 2017. Things are gonna get balls to the wall crazy this year, and I don’t want to fall off the wagon.
Best of 2016 (in no particluar order)
- See my Top 10 movies of 2016 here (I’m the middle list)
- The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan (audiobook version): An original, intriguing concept and the first audiobook I ever listened to on Audible.
- #AskGaryVee Book (audiobook): A kick in the pants that’ll inspire you no matter what you’re passionate about.
- The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence: Solid trilogy conclusion and some of my favorite fantasy characters ever.
- Dead Boys by Gabriel Squailia: Weird and unique, another excellent concept executed just right.
- The Builders by Daniel Polansky: I cannot say enough good things about this book. BUY IT. Polansky’s writing is action-packed and punchy.
- Ryan Pancoast (artist): Discovered this guy’s art about a month ago. It blew my socks off.
- Life Debt: Star Wars Aftermath by Chuck Wendig: Solid follow-up to Aftermath. Love this series and Wendig’s style.
- Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie: This guy does character soooo well.
- Walt Disney, An American Original by Bob Thomas: An inspiring origin story about all the blood, sweat and tears behind the Mouse.
- Star Wars: Rebels Season 3: If you like Star Wars and you don’t watch this show, WATCH THIS SHOW.
- Game of Thrones Season 6: What a fantastic build and payoff. This is storytelling at it’s finest, arguably eclipsing even the books.
- Hell on Wheels Season 5 (series finale): Great wrap-up to (in my opinion) and under-appreciate series. Gonna miss Cullen Bohannon.
- Star Wars Episode VIII: Need I say more?
- The Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan: Shaping up to be even better than his Raven’s Shadow series
- Red Sister by Mark Lawrence: He never disappoints. Looking forward to seeing what Mr. Lawrence does with a new world.
- A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden: Lots of good buzz about this one. Plus I love me anything Norse Mythology related. Also sounds like an interesting concept.
- Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames: Who doesn’t love a story about some ornery old men getting back together for one last job? (See The Builders in Best of 2016)
- Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn: So glad he made it into the official Disney canon.
- The Fall of Dragons by Miles Cameron: Still need to read Plague of Swords, but this is one of my all-time favorite fantasy series.
- Logan: You had me at the Johnny Cash song in the trailer. Expecting it to be a Top 3 movie of 2017.
- Prey for the Gods: A friend told me about this game and I immediately supported it. Too bad we’ve got to wait until the end of 2017 to play it. Might be the only game I buy in 2017.
- Beauty and the Beast: This cast will deliver a GINORMOUS hit.
- King Arthur: Legend of the Sword: Really, really hope this isn’t a flop. I want it to be good so bad. Check out the trailer.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Could be my favorite Marvel film of all time.
- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman: Just found out about this. Will likely be the first Gaiman book I read (I know, I know). Seecommentcommend about Norse Mythology.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: I love this series, but ticked that they bumped Star Wars VIII for it.
- The Winds of Winter by George RR Martin: Do I even need to say anything here? Lets just hope it comes.
- Game of Thrones Season 7: How can it get any better? It will, but how? Seriously, my mind may explode.