State of the Closet: 2020

*rolls backwards into the blog on rollerblades a week late with Starbucks and crazy sunglasses*

What is up my fellow writing kids? Happy New Year! Congrats! We survived another trip around the ball of space fire that keeps us alive! *confetti explosion*

It has been a weird couple of weeks for me. I have not written nearly as much or as often as I would like. I tried to motivate myself with the holiday schedule, but I underestimated how much mental energy I had left for writing after holiday socializing and festivities. Also, work was a lot busier than I expected it to be. Also also, I haven’t had to work the last week, week and a half of the year in 3 years. Working with senior management is a pain and end of year tasks are a nightmare.

I fully intended to finish out my promised posts from that schedule, but life, as always, got in the way. I spent a lot of time playing video games and watching movies and anime with my husband instead. #WorthIt

Still, of the ten posts I planned, I went 4 for 5 on the prompts, and also 4 for 5-7 of the miscellaneous posts. I was going to do my year end wrap up on New Year’s Eve but work drained me and I needed a nap before heading to a friend’s for a NYE party. Anyway, I figure this would serve as a good enough time to do my year end recap and kick off the new year.

“But Sara, we’re already 6 days into 2020.”

I know, I know, I said I’ve been busy.

“I dunno Sara, this sounds like a lot of excuses.”

Shut up, it’s my blog I’ll whine if I want to.

Where was I?

Right, recap. 2019 was the first year I really started tracking my writing habits. Back at the start of the year I set myself some goals. To summarize:

  1. Write 200k words
  2. 300 followers on CFoN (stretch target 400)
  3. 120 followers on Twitter (stretch target 150)
  4. 5 new writer friends
  5. Read 25 books
  6. Sell a short story

Considering I didn’t have much of a baseline when I set these goals, I think I did a pretty decent job. I seriously underestimated my word count target. I cracked 200k on October 3rd, with nearly a full 3 months of writing to go. I tried to push to 300k, but after sprinting through NaNo, I crashed hard in December and didn’t quite make it that far. 275k is nothing to sneeze at though, and that’s where I ended up. I wrote on 326/365 days, for a daily average of 845 words. Considering my target was 548, I’d say that’s not too shabby. (And maybe I was just a bit dyscalclic.)

As for followers, I reached both goals for the blog and for Twitter, though I fell a bit shy of the stretch targets for each. I’m at 338 followers here on WordPress and email subscribers, and 147 followers on Twitter. That number tends to fluctuate by the day anyway. There are probably a handful of bot accounts in there.

I talked a bit about my trials with making new writer friends in my last post. It’s still something I need to work on, but I do have a small writers group now with a few friends, so I’m gonna count it as going 3 for 5.

I also fell short on my reading goal for the year, though it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared. I finished 12 books and started/am currently in the middle of 6 more. I’ve also continued to read 4 manga as they come out, and I read and reread and reread my own novel while editing and revising for content to distribute while I was busy with NaNo. 

The short story goal was always a long shot/fantasy, but I did submit to my first ever contest. Alas, I did not even get an honorable mention, but it is one of the largest national contests around so competition is fierce. Mayhaps I will try again. Or I’ll just go the traditional route and pitch the story straight up. Contests aren’t the be-all, end-all. They’re nice, but sometimes it’s easier to sell directly to a publication rather than pay a registration fee and hope the judges are partial to your style/story/theme. That said, of course I’d have to actually write/revise a short story worth pitching in the first place, ha!

On that note, one of my resolutions for this year is to subscribe to at least two publications. I’d like to get into more science fiction and fantasy short fiction and see what’s current in the genre. I’d love recommendations!

I’m gonna do another word count goal, too. 300k seems reasonable, with 350k being my stretch target.

I doubled my follower counts on the blog and Twitter during 2019. Can I double them again in 2020? I care less about this goal today than I did last year, but it sure would be neat! 300 followers on Twitter might seem like a small goal (especially when you’ve got the follow-train-crazy writers who like their follow counts in the thousands) but I am a curmudgeonly old woman who would rather be a hermit and doesn’t actually want any clout of any kind but also you better follow me because my self-esteem demands it.

Gonna read so many books this year. Gonna read so many short stories. Gonna get through that TBR so I can add more. All of the books. Like, at least 35 books. It’s gonna happen.

I’m going to finish my NaNo project. The Stars Favored Son needs a whole heck of a lot of revising, but before I can edit, I’ve gotta finish it. I wrote 50k of it in 29 days but it needs about another 40k still. I think I’ve looked at it twice since November. Gotta get back into it.

Gonna take better care of myself this year too, physically and mentally. If I feel like I’m getting burnt out, I’m gonna take the day off. Maybe write something different from what I planned. Read. Sleep. Play a game. I got a couple new games last year that I barely played because I spent so much of my spare time writing or trying to write. I need to remember that it’s ok for me to have hobbies outside of writing.

Whew, ok, now that all that’s out of the way, we’re also gonna do some prompts this week! Time to get back into this ol’ writing habit. Since today is Monday and I still have a straggler from 2019, let’s just do 3 this week.

355. *Do you follow your gut instincts and if so are they usually right?
356. Describe something you do when you’re alone that you’d never do in front of people.
357. Why do you think people sometimes refer to life as a game?

Already getting the brain juices stewing over these. Hopefully they inspire you, too! Let’s get this year of writing rolling! Besides, I think I’ve rambled on enough tonight for one post. Have a great day!

*Prompt carried over from previous update post

PS-Like these prompts? Like the short stories I write based on these prompts? Want to show your support? Give the blog a follow! Leave a comment! Buy me a coffee! I put a lot of time and effort into these posts and your support means the world to me! Ok, now go out there and write!

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