Saturday, December 31, 2016


Every year at the beginning of the year, I write myself a letter outlining what I did in the previous year, and what I plan to achieve in the new year. I then check in on the letter toward the middle of the year to see how I'm tracking, and again at the end to see if I managed to achieve all or any of the goals I set myself.

It's time to look at the letter I wrote myself at the start of 2016 to see how I did…

My original letter is in normal type, my responses in italics.

Dear Me,

I feel a lot like 2015 was spent in a holding pattern. I did several revisions on old books and only managed to write one new one. I didn’t even manage to finish revising my 2014 NaNo novel!

So that’s my number one goal for 2016. To finish revising My Murder Year, get it critiqued and Beta’d and sent off to my agents. It’s definitely time for them to see something new from me.

Well, I did this. Unfortunately it still needs more revising, so I will be working more on this story in 2017.

My second goal is to write a new book. I have an idea that’s been simmering for a while. I had planned to write it during NaNo 2015, but revisions came in at just the wrong time for me to be able to. So I’ll get that written. It’s another YA, but definitely for the older end of the spectrum.

I started it.  It was my NaNo project in November and I'm over 50K into it.  I will finish in 2017.

During the June 2015 NaNo Camp, I wrote a new book which I haven’t even glanced at since I wrote ‘the end’. In 2016 I will revise this book. I don’t have a title for it yet, so it’s currently called Sam and Amy after the two main characters, a trans-gender kid from a traditional Chinese family and a girl who considers herself the town slut. I’m kind of terrified about how bad it might be after not looking at it for so long, but I always am.

I have revised this one and am actually pretty happy with how it has turned out.  My CP has read it and thinks it's good too, so I just need a couple more readers, including (hopefully) a sensitivity reader for a trans character I'd like to make sure I'm representing accurately.  If you know anyone...

And that’s it for writing goals for now. The rest are just hopes… I hope I get a book deal this year. I hope the new opportunity my agent thinks she may have found for An Unstill Life works out. I’ve been very frustrated by the fact it’s not available for sale since Musa closed, yet is available on all kinds of pirate sites. Especially since I get emails from readers all the time, wanting to know where to buy it.

This hasn't happened.  I think it's probably time to take matters into my own hands with this one and self-publish it.  It's something I will be looking into in the early part of 2017.  So for all of you who have emailed or asked questions on Goodreads, watch this space...

On the work front, I’m feeling good about the new year. I learned so much last year, I actually feel like I know my job reasonably well, and can go into 2016 much more confidently that I went into 2015. There will be new challenges and new things to learn, of course, but I feel like I’m in a good starting place to take those new things on.

It hasn't been an easy year at work.  My job has changed a couple of times and of course, with every change in responsibilities, there are new things to learn.  I'm hoping this year I can build on what I've learned the last couple of years and not change focus again.

As usual I will promise to try to be more active with my critique group. I’m going to try and schedule a night for doing this. It may mean one less writing night, but at least I won’t be consumed with guilt about not doing the number of critiques I know I should be doing.

Well, I haven't been great here.  Not terrible, but not as great as I'd like to be. If only there were more hours in the day or a third weekend day I could use to pick up the slack in this area. 

And as usual, I will pledge to lose weight (which I won’t) and to go to the gym more often (which I will try to do).

Yeah…  About that….  Um….  I didn't lose weight, but on the plus side, I didn't gain any either (I don't think.  My scales broke) so I call that a plus.  As for the gym, I've been five times this week.  Does that count?  Yeah…  I know it doesn't. 

And that’s it from me… We’ll check in toward the middle of the year to see how I’m getting on.

X Me!

I will post my 2017 letter later in January, once I get back from the beach house and have found time to actually make some goals for myself.


  1. I accomplished a lot that hadn't even occurred to me at the start of 2016, so I feel pretty good about my year. But life isn't really about the goals set for any particular year, but how it works out in a more cumulative sense. This is not to say anything bad about setting goals. Goals are generally very, very good!

  2. I think you've done a lot - way more than I have in the writing department, and in other departments, too... (What's a gym? What's a scale?) Happy New Year to you and all your family! May your new year be filled with joy, peace, and prosperity & have a great time at the beach house!