It’s now officially January 14th, and I’m just now getting into this. Some might call me a slacker, and I’d… Well, I’d have to agree, haha. I meant to do this January 1st, and when that didn’t happen, I told myself every day I’d get around to it.
I guess it’s time to actually make that happen today.
To say the least, 2018 was not my year. Between physical pain, the sudden increase in the severity of my anxiety, and total mental exhaustion, the year just didn’t go as planned.
At the beginning of 2018, I had been hopeful that I’d self-publish three books. ‘It Starts With Goodbye’ to round out the Ashley Jones trilogy, and then ‘Ashes in the Light’ and ‘Cut to the Kill’ to turn over my leaf in only self-publishing books that I’m genuinely proud of.
But that didn’t happen.
At the tail end of December, I somehow managed to pull off getting ISWG out to the general public, but I was certainly far, far behind where I had wanted to be. Looking back on just that right now, I’m able to put a positive spin on that. Closing out the new year with ISWG and not the other two means that my new leaf begins with a new year.
It means that the first book I put out this year is the first book within this self-proclaimed new leaf section of my publishing career. Looking back at it right now, on the fourteenth, that positive spin is great, and it eases a little bit of the pressure I put on myself last year, in 2018.
Aside from the self-publishing side of things, I was even harder on myself than usual last year. I keep a list every year of the books I’ve written, books I’ve edited, and books I’ve read. In 2018, by December 18th, I had written 19 books. Three of those were novellas, and the other 16 had anywhere between 40,649 and 90,926 words to their name.
For a lot of people, nineteen books would seem like a lot, and that’s okay! Hell, if you’re producing half a book a year, that’s great. You are the only person that can dictate your writing pace and the process you go through to get to it. But for me, when I was constantly looking at the 28 books I had written by December 6th of 2017 (and 29 books altogether by the end of that year), it wasn’t enough. And I brought myself down for that over and over again.
It wasn’t until the very end of December when I was filming the YouTube video on this subject, that I realized part of the reason my written count was lower. I edited 15 books in 2017. In 2018, I edited 26. My main focus was editing last year, and I never accounted for that until I filmed a damn video on the whole year.
I wish I’d been able to put that together in my head much sooner, but there’s no use dwelling on it here on the new leaf.
Despite the constant wrist and joint/knuckle pain, despite the anxiety attacks and the mental exhaustion follows, despite the annoying perfectionist gene that tries to kick my ass every day, I’m an author, and it doesn’t matter if I wrote one book or 19 last year. It doesn’t matter how many I write this year. What matters is that I keep writing. What matters is I keep editing. What matters is I keep doing the thing I love and telling the stories my character believe need to be told.
Because I’m an author, and it doesn’t matter what year it is or how bad that year is turning out–writing’s just what I have to do.