2016: This Year Scares the S#!+ Out of Me

Last year’s goal was to get pissed (in a good way). I’d had a mediocre 2014 in terms of writing. 2015 was very different. A little mood music:

In the now past calendar year the following occurred:

  • Received a publishing contract on my first novel.
  • Turned down said publishing contract.
  • Got a request for the full manuscript by an imprint of the big six through an open submission period.
  • Got a personal rejection by the editor of said imprint, including an invitation to submit future works.
  • Entered a writing social media contest (didn’t win, but placed in the top 75 among hundreds of entrants).
  • Had a short story published through Story of the Month Club.
  • Entered a screenplay into the Mile High Horror Film Festival.

I wrote 72,503 words and edited 152,452. This does not include outlines for future works, blog posts, flash fiction, submission letters, queries, etc. Those word counts were for major projects. It was a great accomplishment and expect this year to have an even larger word count.

Why does 2016 scare me then? I have four major projects that are finished and need to go out into the world. They need a home. It’s the juncture that terrifies every writer to their very core: letting people read their writing. The final products are:

  • 19,919 word screenplay.
  • 17,005 word short story & flash fiction collection.
  • 35,579 word non-fiction book.
  • 94,714 word science-fiction novel.

Two of those I’m self-publishing (announcement on the first one coming in February). The novel and screenplay I am pursuing via traditional routes. That’s right, I’m going hybrid. Thankfully the novel started the new year with a great publisher who has the first 3 chapters for further consideration.

It’s sink or swim time, this year I get to find out if people actually give a shit about what I’m doing.

Big thanks to Laura Mahony Photography for the new headshots.

On top of that I’ve got a new brand logo coming, new website design, and had author head-shots taken (to the left). I made a plan for this to happen, for 2015 to be a year of writing and editing, and for finished projects to coalesce into this calendar year. I stuck to it. Now, here I am. This will be one of the most pivotal years of my professional life.

There are a few times in my past that I have felt similar pressure, and failed. I own that. And I’ve paid for my mistakes, literally in some cases. I’ve succeeded too. This year begins knowing I have an incredible group of fellow authors, advertisers, friends, family, and future fans at the ready to get me through this.

I don’t expect all four projects to succeed unanimously. But while I put these completed works out into the world, there are new projects to write that make me equally excited. And thus the cycle of the rest of my writing life begins: Submit completed projects while I work on new ones. Repeat as inspired.

Looking forward to a fantastic, but terrifying 2016. What are you doing this year? How can I help?

Let me know in the comment section. Subscribe to receive new blog posts. There will be some new categories and topics introduced this year. But don’t worry, marketing advice for writers will always take precedence. The conversation is always live on Twitter. Use the hashtag #WritersConquest. Thanks for following, subscribing & reading.


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