I'd finished none of them.
Which felt somewhat demoralising.
Two of my main goals were writing-based: publish the trilogy, and investigate screenwriting/start to convert something I'd written to a screenplay. I had a closer look at my year and tried to see why I hadn't completed either of these two things. The short answer is that I vastly underestimated how long it would take to edit the trilogy! Not just how long an editor would take over professionally editing the books, but how long it would take me to go through those edits (especially with a number of family issues this year reducing my available time). But, the good news is that I now have proper data on how long it takes to do these things, so future planning shouldn't be way off.
My third main goal was to be running 10 miles for my 'long run' on a Sunday. A wrecked Achilles put paid to that. I'm working towards it, but I'm only at 4 miles at the moment. Little by little.
So, did I actually achieve much last year? And what am I hoping to get done in 2020?
When I was putting together my last newsletter of 2019, I did a quick look at what I had actually got done in 2019.
In January, 2019, this was the state of play:
- Lies That Poison and The Call were published by Joffe Books and sales were terrible.
- Book 1 had been out to beta-readers who liked it
- Book 2 was at the first draft stage
- Book 3 was at the zero draft stage (I'd finished the draft just before Christmas 2018)
- In August, I got my rights back to the two books Joffe had (though not without some final mess-ups by them!).
- Lies That Poison was re-published by me in September (almost 2 years to the day after Joffe published it)
- The Call reverted to being The Wrong Kind of Clouds and I re-published it early in December.
- Book 1 is finished and almost ready to publish
- Book 2 is with Fiona (my editor) for a final read and is due back from her very soon for final tweaks
- Book 3 - I'm 3/4 through my penultimate edits. It's due back to Fiona for a final read by the middle of January 2020.
- The covers for books 1 and 2 are pretty much finalised. The cover for book 3 is in progress.
- All three books will be published by the end of March.
If I had to use a word to summarise 2019, it would be editing! But, when I look back on how far I've come this year, it could also be growth. I'm hoping that my words for 2020 will be writing and publishing.
What are my plans for 2020? Well, the Trilogy will be out by the end of Q1 and that's my main focus until then.
After that? I have detailed plans for two more books - another set in The Realm, and one completely unrelated to The Trilogy. (Plus of course, I have a full set of chapter notes for a book that I drafted out in 2012 and have never had the time to actually write!).
Once the Trilogy is finally out in the wild, I'll draft out the new Realm book. Once I have a zero draft, I'll plan out the other book, before starting on however many rounds of edits on the new Realm book (which we all know will be lovingly called 'book 9' for yonks!). How much of all that will I manage to do in Q2-4 of 2020? I'm hoping to have the zero draft and the plans done and possibly one round of edits. There. A public declaration of intent that you can all hold me to!
I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to finishing the editing, and getting back to writing.