One of my favorite feelings is the moment the clock strikes midnight on January 1. Ringing in the new year lends itself to feeling refreshed and a chance to start over and move past whatever happened in the previous year—and after the absolute mess that was 2020, there is a lot to be put behind us.*
*Please note that the clock striking midnight doesn't magically make every bad thing that happened in the previous year go away instantly.
The past few weeks in particular have had me looking towards the future. After typing up last week's review of my 2020 goals and feeling a little disappointed with myself despite allowing myself a bit of slack, I've decided to extend that grace period into 2021.
For now at least.
Depending how things go, I might add some things to my list when I reach my June Check-In. Kicking off the year, however, I'm trying to be realistic as a lot of 2020 is rolling over to 2021.
What's Going On With Forged In The Salle?
Honestly speaking? Heck if I know!
If you're no stranger to the blog, you may know of an ongoing project of mine titled Forged in the Salle. Usually, whenever I mention this, it's not necessarily lovingly. I've been working on this one for over a year at this point, and while that's not the longest I've spent on a project, it is longer than the first drafts of Bound to the Heart or Against His Vows. I admittedly thought I would have finished the initial draft by the end of 2020, but that didn't happen. I know this is mostly because I prioritized Bound to the Heart in order to get that ready for the querying phase. When I did get back to Forged in the Salle, it involved a complete overhaul of the plot and experimenting with a new approach to my writing process that took a bit to grow accustomed to.
As it stands, a lot of 2021 will be devoted to Forged in the Salle. Now that I've reoriented myself with the project more than once and feel like I have it under control for the moment, my current plan is to finally finish the first draft and start on edits (after a short break to refresh my perspective).
A lot of this editing will happen as I'm typing up the remaining handwritten portions, and I'm really looking forwards to it.
When (not if, for I am a determined lass), that first draft of Forged in the Salle is finally completed, my aim is to tackle the next project on my ever-growing list.
It remains untitled for now, but I'm expecting to dive into what I've been calling "Michael's Book." Michael is a character I've had in the back of my mind for a good while but ended up putting on the backburner because Against His Vows and Forged in the Salle felt more fleshed out and ready to explore.
There aren't too many details to share for this new endeavor yet, mostly because it's still as of yet only a vague outline with a few key scenes plotted, but it's developed well enough for me to get going on it.
I'll probably start tinkering with this one while I let Forged in the Salle rest ahead of its preliminary edits.
Back In The Social Media Swing
If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed an unusual silence from me for most of November and then again for a chunk of December.
I took something of a hiatus, broken ahead of the December #PitMad event before signing off for an additional week or so. At the beginning of this, I deleted the Twitter app from my phone.
I'm not going to elaborate on the reasons for this break. The general reason was my mental health and needing some time away, but the December absence was specifically linked to the anniversary of my father's death and that being my annual "Hell Week" where I'm just a mess. That's not to say it hasn't gotten easier over time, but giving myself some space from everything else going on in that period to "breathe and grieve" remains essential for me.
Coming back after being gone for so long has me feeling like I'm starting over. While I try not to worry about follower counts because it fluctuates and the nature of that pattern, there was enough of a drop for me to take notice. The only reason I found myself fixating on that so much was that it was right before #PitMad where one of the greatest influences of your pitches' success is how far they can travel throughout the platform, a task made more difficult when your audience is smaller.
Above all, I miss connecting with people. I can't say I've ever felt part of the in-crowd within the #WritingCommunity, something I know is related to my disinclination to jump in on WriterLifts or other similar tagging and self-promo-driven games, but I've lately been feeling like more of an outsider than when I was brand-new to the site and it makes getting back in the game all the more of a challenge.
You Are Here
Apart from my books, I have the blog (kinda obvious since you're looking at it right now).
For the most part, I've managed to stay on top of things here, and I want to keep that going.
I tend to write posts a couple weeks before they're slated to go up. This way, if something happens, things here are covered.
This past year, while I didn't miss a week, there was a period where I worried I wouldn't have enough content prepped, which had me a tad stressed. I'd like to avoid that this year.
You've Got Mail
One feature Wix offers is being able to email subscribers without much difficulty, and I want to make use of it.
2021 will hopefully see the introduction of a newsletter.
At the bottom of this post and all others, you'll find a submission box where you can join my mailing list. All you have to do is submit your email address and you're good to go.
While I'm in the process of researching this and determining what I want to include in this newsletter, but it will certainly feature updates should there be any and a taste of future posts. I'm anticipating a late-March launch with quarterly mailings so if you want to get in on that, now is the time!
This year, I'm adding a new element to my list of goals: a wishlist.
Although things like staying on top of blog posts or deciding which writing project to tackle next, other accomplishments are out of my hands. Regarding the latter in the same way could be setting my expectations too high and myself up for failure. The wishlist is designed to be more forgiving and flexible.
I can say I'm participating in #PitMad events on Twitter throughout the year, but I cannot control how well I do during them, how often my pitches are retweeted or liked and whose feeds they land in.
Similarly, the biggest item on my wishlist is being taken on by a literary agent. 2020 marked the start of my querying journey, seeking representation for Bound to the Heart. As I'm slowly learning, it can be an arduous process full of frustration and disappointment, but I'm hoping to come out of this year with a success story. However, I'm listing this as a wishlist item rather than an objective because whether or not that happens is up to fate itself.
Goals are in my control. Wishes are subjective to luck. If I don't walk into 2022 with an agent, I'm (hopefully) not going to be as upset with myself as I would be if I didn't start edits on Forged in the Salle.