2015 was definitely a banner year for me. One of my best writing years in a long time.
I trunked a majority of dead story ideas and created a number of new ones to work on in the future. That was a big move for me; finally letting go of stories that no longer sang to me, and making the decision not to revive them. That’s always a tough move for a writer, but it has to be done to clean house, so to speak, to make way for newer and more robust ideas. By retiring many of these stories, I’ve given myself more room to focus on the new Mendaihu Universe story, as well as others not in that universe.
I was more consistent with my other creative endeavors that aren’t exactly for public consumption (yet): writing daily journal entries, photography, poetry, artwork, and playing guitar. Are these ever going to be shared elsewhere? Who knows…I’m not aiming to be a semipro poet, artist, photographer or musician for the moment, as these are personal and not professional projects. Things I do purely for selfish enjoyment. I’m able to push myself and get better at them without having an expected plateau to hit.
I hit one of my highest goals of seeing the trilogy out in the wild by self-releasing A Division of Souls as an e-book (and soon to be available as a trade paperback). I was also included in Uniquely North Quabbin, a collection of essays about the area of Massachusetts where I grew up. The trilogy was an extremely long term project for me (spanning over a decade, technically over two), so releasing it has very much given me a sense of closure. I can finally move on to new projects, both within the MU and elsewhere.
So what does 2016 hold for me?
On the professional end of things, I’ve already made the choice to have at least three books to be self-released next year: the second and third book of the trilogy, The Persistence of Memories and The Balance of Light; and my memoir/music book Walk in Silence. I’ve been working on all three since October, just after I released A Division of Souls, so I’m still on schedule to see these come to fruition. TPoM should arrive early next year, WiS sometime late spring or early summer, and TBoL by autumn.
After that, my writing calendar will be disturbingly, frighteningly clear for the first time in ages.
Which means that I should look for another project to focus on. If I’ve learned anything from the trilogy project, it’s that I now understand the level of dedication and focus I should give to my writing. Whatever project comes next will be given that same amount of dedication and focus.
Do I have ideas? Yes I do! There’s the new Mendaihu Universe novel that’s currently on pause while I get its related novels out. This one probably won’t see the public eye until 2017. Then there’s the musical family idea (aka The Lidwells Story) that’s also on the backburner. That one’s a compact standalone, and a very rough draft has already been written via my daily words earlier this year, so this one could very well be another quick turnaround.
But other than that? It’s wide open. I’m as curious as you are about what I’ll write next.
Speaking of daily words, I’m hoping to return to writing them via the 750 Words website in the new year, especially now that I’ll have more time for them. This is where many of my recent ideas have arrived on the scene, so I think I’d be remiss in passing it up. The key is to not be stressed out about it. The point is not to ensure I write 750 or more words on a daily basis, but to exercise my imagination and have fun with it.
I haven’t updated my whiteboard schedule yet, but I usually end up doing that on January 1, so you’ll see that post tomorrow. Oh! And speaking of updates…I plan to have a much tighter and more frequent schedule here at Welcome to Bridgetown as well as Walk in Silence. Maybe one or two posts a week for starters, but I’d like to expand on that later on. I’d like to expand on the subjects I write about as well. As much as I love talking about college radio or how I write, I’d like to investigate different avenues related to writing and music. Different genres, different processes, that sort of thing.
Other than that, I’m going to revel in the fact that the road looks much clearer than it has in years. I want 2016 to be the Year of New Things. I’m really looking forward to where it takes me.