I’ve had some time to think about what I want to accomplish in 2022 and…this is the only concrete thing I’ve managed to come up with that’s related to writing:
Finish writing Samael. I am about one-third to halfway finished with outlining the story right now. If I focus on outlining for the next few months – until April, at least – I should be able to finish the outline and focus solely on writing Samael for the rest of the year.
Here are some of my other goals:
Create 1 piece of art per week (or 52 total). This is something I failed at completely in 2021. I like art, and I want to post art regularly on this blog. This is off to a decent start, as I have an art post coming up this Friday.
Get through my reading backlog. I’ve been slowly accumulating ebooks (there are around 40 at the moment) through Tor.com’s ebook club and buying StoryBundles. I also have a stack of at least 7 paper books on my bookshelf. Have I had time to read any of these books? No. I need to set aside some time each day and actually read a few chapters.
Get through my video game backlog. In 2021, I set a goal of playing 6 new video games. I played one new game: Cat Quest. Then I replayed KoTOR and the Mass Effect Trilogy. While I’m probably going to replay Mass Effect again this year, it’s not going to be my focus. That will be the unplayed games in my Steam library. An the GOG library. And the Epic Games library.
Get through my watchlist. Since I’m now subscribed to a few streaming services, I have a lot to watch…which I haven’t really been making any progress with. Unlike the reading and video games, this stuff costs me money every month, so I thought I wouldn’t be procrastinating…but I am. I want everything cleared out by the end of the year except for ongoing series.
And in things more related to my personal life:
Try 6 new restaurants. This was also a goal I had last year; I actually tried 8 new places. Some were pretty good, and some weren’t. I want to continue this. There are still a ton of places I want to check out and haven’t had the chance to.
Finish buying new clothes. I started the process of replacing my old clothes last year when I had to throw out most of my socks. The bulk of that is done, but I still need a few more things.
Buy a house? This is something that may or may not happen. I have a good credit score and a lot of money saved up so I doubt getting a mortgage will be a problem, but actually finding a place to buy is going to be difficult.
Finished writing The Land of Two Moons. This happened in February, and is one of the only “actual” resolutions I made at the end of 2020. The story is done! I’ve posted all of it on this website as well as a reflection post and some information about the world.
Started rewriting Samael. Although I didn’t win NaNoWriMo, I got further in the story than I ever have before. I haven’t finished the outline – which was one of my December 2021 goals – but that will be done in 2022. Hopefully I’ll finish writing Samael in 2022 as well.
Wrote 161 blog posts. This is more blog posts than the previous 6 years combined. As it turns out, I have quite a bit to say about various things. I started writing about things other than writing again; I wrote reviews, started a series of posts called “Nostalgia Time”, wrote about my conlangs, started a series of recommendation posts, and started the Let’s Make a Conlang series.
Cleaned up most of my conlangs. This was mostly done by the end of May. I standardized the documentation and dictionaries for my conlangs, as they were a serious mess. This was what allowed me to start writing blog posts about my conlangs in the first place.
Read 1003 individual things. I set out to clear out my reading list, and along with the new stuff that was released each month, I ended up reading A LOT of things. My original goal was only to read 365 things, but I hit that back in May. This is the breakdown per month:
Got a new job and a credit card. After some nonsense with a job that was supposed to start in January but didn’t, I got a new job! Also, I did get a credit card and am using solely to pay for streaming services and online purchases.
There will be a post next Wednesday on what I intend to accomplish in 2022. My goals are still pretty vague at the moment. Hopefully I’ll manage to come up with something concrete by then!
The entire year of 2020 has taught me that my plans, however simple they are, can be derailed in an instant. The vast majority of my plans did vanish into thin air: visiting restaurants, movie theaters, and producing enough pieces of art that I could open up a print shop, among other things. Focusing on the things I wanted to do, but ended up not being able to, is generally not useful, so here’s some of the things I did manage to get done in 2020:
Finished the final draft of The Book of Immortality. The novel I started in November of 2017 is finally done, and I can finally stop thinking about it, aside from when I post chapters of it on this blog. Working on it took up more years of my life than I would have liked. Hopefully the time spent on this novel will lead to better time management & revising in the future.
Revised a short story that I originally started in 2016 and never finished. I’m not exactly satisfied with the ending, but it’s done! I can mark it as “finished” and then never look at it again.
Started novelizing The Land of Two Moons. I realized early on in the year that drawing a 50-chapter comic was not possible with my health being what it is. Transferring the script into prose ended up being probably the best decision I made regarding The Land of Two Moons this year: I wrote 20 entire chapters. That would have taken me years to do as a comic!
I also jumped around and worked on outlining/plotting various stories, but half of those don’t have names and the other half don’t have enough substance to talk about.
And now on to what I want to achieve in 2021:
Finish writing The Land of Two Moons. This is my main goal. It won’t take too long to accomplish, because I am approximately 3/4 of the way done with it at the moment. I could be done with it by February.
Fully re-outline & write a first draft for Venére Magic. This is a novel I wrote back in 2015. When I first started thinking about revising this novel, I decided to change the plot and setting – some changes are minor, and some are pretty drastic. Thankfully, the story isn’t very long (the 2015 novel is around 58,000 words) and I previously wrote a chapter-by-chapter outline. Transferring that into the new setting & updated plot won’t actually be very difficult.
Then…continue plotting & fleshing out some other stories I haven’t started writing yet? Honestly, I haven’t thought this far ahead, and that’s probably a good thing. It gives me the flexibility to jump from one thing to another without actually committing to a project, AND it helps me not feel bad if another catastrophic thing happens and I end up not being able to write.
I also have non-writing related goals:
Read at least 1 “piece” (novels, novellas, novelettes, short stories, poetry, essays, graphic novels/manga, webcomics, etc) per day (365 total)
Leave at least 1 comment per day (365 total)
Draw 1 thing per week (52 total)
Purchase at least 1 book per month (12 total)
Finish at least 6 video games
Get a credit card and build up my credit score
Find stable employment
The thing I’m most likely to not accomplish is the comment goal. I read tons of webcomics, follow tons of artists on social media, am a member of a couple of fan forums & Discords, and…I never say anything. It’s become a problem and I want to change that.
The “read 365 things” might sound ridiculous, but I hit 212 this year and that was only after seriously committing myself to reading every day at the beginning of August. I have a ton of short stories on my backlog, as well as a couple of webcomics & webnovels, and I’ve been following just about every science fiction & fantasy magazine I can find. I doubt I’ll run out of things to read any time soon.
And…employment. I’ve been unemployed twice in 2020 (including right now). I hopefully have a contract starting after the new year, but considering it’s project-based, I have no idea how much it’ll pay or how often I’ll be able to get work.
Here’s hoping 2021 is marginally better than 2020.
Started writing The Land of Two Moons in June, and started drawing pages of the comic in July.
Got a Switch and Breath of the Wild in July. Then got Super Smash Brothers Ultimate for Christmas.
Rebelled during NaNoWriMo for the first time! And won at 50,338 words.
I also attended a few NaNoWriMo write-ins for the first time, and also went to the TGIO party for my region.
Made AT LEAST a $10 USD donation every week. This totaled $586.78.
Kept the same job for an entire year!
There are some other minor things that happened, but they’re so minor that they don’t need to be put here.
What I want to do in 2019
Edit/rewrite The Book of Immortality.
I completed the editing outline in November, and I don’t plan to change too much about the story, other than take out all of the filler I wrote during NaNo. I did start rewriting some of it during NaNo, which I found to be fairly difficult as I was going from a present-tense script to past-tense prose. It was incredibly jarring, and also my prose is terrible after years of doing nothing but scripts.
I don’t want to leave this story in limbo and I planned on editing it in 2019 anyway. I don’t really have a timeframe for when I want to start doing this – only that I want it to end before 2019 ends.
Start posting The Land of Two Moons online somewhere.
At the moment, I have fifteen pages completed and eight in progress. I want to start posting the comic online in late January/early February at the earliest. It’ll probably go up on Smackjeeves, as that’s the only comic hosting I’m familiar with at the moment.
Unless I decide to self-host the comic on its own domain. That could always happen.
Continue working on (and finish) The Land of Two Moons.
I’m around 60% done with this story. It’s definitely something that’ll be done this year. I don’t see it being much longer than 50 chapters.
Related: pencil 12 pages of The Land of Two Moons every month.
I penciled 10 pages in December, and it was a really easy goal to hit! I’m going to attempt 12 pages per month in 2019 for a total of 144.
Write and post a work of short fiction on this blog.
This might be prose, or another short comic. But I want to write something that isn’t related to either The Book of Immortality or The Land of Two Moons.
Get a custom domain name for this website.
This is an idea I’ve been toying with for the past few months. Since it’s easy and cheap I’ll probably end up doing it sometime in January.
Keep the same job.
This is really something that I don’t have control over, since I could get laid off at any time. But unless something particularly bad happens, I plan on working at the same place for all of 2019.
BACK UP YOUR WORK.
Whether you use the cloud or some kind of external storage, make sure you’ve got copies of all of your work! You have no idea when your primary computer will crash and burn.
I did a lot of editing. I decided to go back through the early chapters of The Land of Two Moons and put them into the 2-panel-per-page format that I’ve been using for the latest chapters. Those early chapters comprised parts 1, 2, and most of part 3.
The result? Well, Part 1 used to consist of a prologue and 3 chapters. It now consists of a Prologue and 5 chapters. Chapters 2 and 3 needed to be split into 2 chapters each, as they were getting way too long for my liking.
Part 1 is 157 pages long. Comic pages. Comic pages that I will eventually have to draw. It will, at minimum, take me around a year and a half to draw 157 pages.
This is after me cutting out all the fat, too. Everything here is essential to set up the plot and character development.
Part 2, on the other hand, started out as 3 chapters and ended up as 3 chapters. It has ended up at a much more reasonable 94 pages. Part 3 also stayed at 3 chapters, and is 87 pages.
So, writing-wise: I finished the first two chapters of part 4 (chapters 12 & 13). I am currently in the middle of chapter 14.
Artwork completed in October
I didn’t draw this much as in other months – mostly because I wrote and edited a lot.
I’ve also been doing a series of black & white portraits of the main characters of The Land of Two Moons. It’s helping me figure out what kind of shading style I want to use for this comic.
NaNoWriMo Plan & Goals
I’m doing something very different this November. I’m rebelling!
It’s something I’ve done for multiple Camp NaNoWriMo sessions, but never NaNoWriMo proper. I realized that I haven’t had enough time to think out the plot of the original novel, and I wouldn’t get anywhere if I tried to write anything past the first act. I am not much of a pantser, unfortunately.
These are the tasks I want to complete during this NaNoWriMo:
Write the first act of Mujin’s Journey (novel, WIP title). This should be around 10-15k words. The series of events is pretty set in my head, so it won’t conflict with any other ideas I come up with.
Continue working on the script for The Land of Two Moons (webcomic script). I only expect to write 4 chapters during NaNo, with each chapter being around 2000 words long.
Finish the editing outline for The Book of Immortality. I wanted to complete this task in September, but it did not happen. I also wanted to complete it in October, but…it still didn’t happen. I will be writing a 3-4 sentence summary for each of the remaining 37 chapters that do not have summaries. This will probably end up totaling around 1000 words.
At most, that gets me 24,000 words – barely halfway to the 50,000 goal! But there are some other tasks I want to include that don’t produce a wordcount!
Drawing comic pages of The Land of Two Moons. I saw someone mention counting each comic page as 1000 words in the NaNoWriMo forums, and I’ve decided I want to do that as well. I’m breaking this down into pencils (the sketch of the page) being worth 500 words, and inks (the finalized page) being worth 500 words. Since I hate drawing an entire page in one sitting, I’ll probably do a bunch of pencils one week, then ink those pages in the next.
Editing The Book of Immortality. That editing outline is one of the tasks I plan on knocking out first, so I’ll have the rest of the month to edit. Each hour of editing will count as 1000 words.
It’s unlikely that this will also get me to 50,000 words, unless I somehow become a master of time management overnight (very unlikely). That’s why I also want to start worldbuilding and plotting two other projects: Let the Sky Remain Unbroken and Tenebres Library. They’re both future webcomic projects that have been bouncing around my head for a few years. They’re now at the point where I’m satisfied with my ideas, and I want to start writing.
Obviously I’m not going to start writing something new when I’ve got enough WIPs to handle, so that’s just why I’m plotting them.
But…isn’t this too much to focus on in one month?
This has crossed my mind. A lot. It is, in fact, quite a bit too much to do. This isn’t even close to what I would try to do in a normal month – but then again, neither is NaNoWriMo. When I’m writing a normal script or novel, I try to aim for 500 words per day, weekdays only. That’s around 10,000 words a month.
NaNoWriMo’s always been about going above and beyond what I feel comfortable with, so I’m going to give this impossible plan a go!
Like in previous years, I’ll also be doing weekly blog posts.
Unlike previous years, they are not all going to be posted on Saturday. Here’s my current schedule: