We’ve had an impossible, rock-bottom kind of year. If anyone had pitched a story with everything that has happened in 2020, they probably would have been told to cut it back. Not have so much happening in a single year.
I have a lot that I want to say about the year, more than I can possibly write in a single post. I’m sure people are and will be writing books about the New Twenties for a long time to come.
Why the New Twenties? Because it isn’t over. Not by a long shot. We’ve seen the inciting incident in 2020. That’s all. Now we’re about to step over the threshold into 2021 and find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Tomorrow, as I write this, is the Winter Solstice. The shortest day of the year. Where I live in the Pacific Northwest, It’s already dark outside. We had rain and wind yesterday that brought down trees across roads and scattered branches from the Douglas Firs. I’m fortunate. We have a home. A regular pay check. Our health. People we know have caught covid-19 and recovered, but we’ve been okay. I’ve had a couple false alarms when I thought I might have covid-19, but the tests came back negative.
Right now, this very moment, I’m sitting in my office. My dog is asleep on the other chair in front of my desk. I’m using a Freewrite Traveler on my lap to write while he snores. Before this I finished writing a scene on my current novel.
Out in the other room we have a tree set up, presents beneath it.
I know how fortunate we are. Despite what we have, we also have debts. As the income-provider, if I had gotten seriously sick it could jeopardize everything. We’re not prepared for months without income. We’ve managed this year, skating on very thin ice, seeing it break for so many people.
The end of the year suggests a fresh beginning. I always find it a hopeful time of the year as I make plans for the year ahead.
This year isn’t going down without a fight. Even with the hope of vaccines to help with the pandemic, the scope of the crisis means that people are dying in unthinkable numbers every day. Here in the United States we have an outgoing administration that has behaved terribly in ways that threaten our democracy and each day brings previously unthinkable actions that seemed aimed at causing the most destruction possible.
These are the death throes of this year. The criminal actions of this administration. There are people who want civil war in this country. It’s terrifying. The slow roll-out of vaccinations means that the pandemic will continue to claim lives for many months ahead. The damage to our institutions will also take a long time to address. It feels as if the gains that were made when I was young have been pushed back.
I’ve been fortunate, but I don’t know what is going to happen in 2021. I’m not sure that it’ll be a better year. I hope so, but I didn’t have any idea what was going to happen this year. Not really.
Given that I don’t know, I’m going to take the hopeful view that things will improve. I’m setting ambitious goals for next year. A lot more stories, books, and artwork is coming.
Because when it comes to a year like 2020 (or any year, really), I need to focus on the things that I can do, that I have control over.
Those are the goals that matter. When it comes to our financial situation, I’m working to budget ahead. It’ll take time, but I’m working to try and get to the point where we have everything covered a month ahead. Then two months, then more. I’ve worked 27 years for the library district, but it doesn’t mean that things won’t change. A lot of libraries were forced to lay people off this year.
I’m writing more. It’s not only fun, but it’s a priority. I’m aiming to write one million words next year.
New Year Dreams
So, one million words next year. It won’t all be fiction, but I do want to write much more fiction. I’ve only just finished the first draft of a new novel that is about 131,000 words long. It’s the longest book I’ve written. The final word count will change after edits, but it will remain a long book. The first in the series. And I plan to write more books in the series in 2021.
I have multiple series books to write, or finish for publication. Including book 5 in my Moreau Society series. I don’t have a release date yet, but Synthetic Pain will be coming out in 2021.
I want to write more short fiction next year too, and you’ll see some of that appear here and on Patreon along with other stories that I’ve written.
Novels and short stories will account for most of the one million words planned, but there will be posts like this one too, journaling, marketing copy, and other projects. It’ll be a big jump in productivity if I can pull it off. And I’m sure that I’ll do better than I would setting a goal that doesn’t require me to stretch as much.
Thanks as always, for your support on Patreon. I love to hear from you. Your support makes it possible for me to push to reach new goals like this.