One of my favorite things to do once a month and at the end of the year, is to access what I’ve done and look forward to plan where I’m going. To be honest, without my after-action report, I would feel like I’ve accomplished nothing because my brain likes to lie to me.
Anyway, let’s get to it!
I wrote 378,000 words this year. That’s not a brag, but it’s a lot of fucking words. No wonder my brain is so motherfucking tired. My most productive months are still in Q1 & Q2. Not counting Nov because I was supposed to be “off.”
My most productive months were:
I started this year off with some lofty goals. I knew they were lofty when I made them. The plan was to write and publish seven books.
The seven PLANNED books were:
She Said Yes (50k? erotic romance)
Seventy-Two Ours - A Lust Diaries Novella (erotic romance)
The Way We Were - A Small Town Romance (romance)
Pretty Memories - HEA Collective novella* (erotic romance)
The Hag - a Prequel Marrow Bone Creek Novella (Southern Gothic Erotic Romance with a healthy dose of cosmic horror)
Hers to Ruin- OWYM erotic romance
Time & Tequila - Ampersand Stories (40k romantica)
*Possible Malone Sisters anthology (3 stories/7 - 8k each)
I published 4 books this year She Said Yes, Seventy-Two Ours, Pretty Memories, and The Love That Remains. I also have one WIP, Time & Tequila, that’s 42k words long that I need to tear apart and rework. A lot of those words were blog & Patreon posts, a course for my writing group Wordmakers, and some world-building for another series, but the way that all counts as creative output!
So while I didn’t write the books I planned to write, I did a lot.
What did I do differently? At the beginning of the year, I gave myself eight months (until my birthday, August 13th) to write these books. So a little more than six months, but I felt like I needed to give myself a bit of a grace period. With my most productive months being January, February, and May, (again November doesn’t count because I was supposed to be off) I think my plan worked! I always feel more productive and inspired at the beginning of the year so I’m gonna double down on front-loading my writing at the beginning of the year. All that journaling and navel-gazing I do is worth it (IMO) because recognizing my own patterns of productivity makes it easier for me to plan.
But also, I will be writing less.
Yeah, I wrote more this year than I’ve written in my whole writing career, but I won’t be doing this shit again. When I say I can barely hold thoughts in my brain? I’m serious. This level of output is not aspirational and shouldn’t be inspirational either. I have deep issues to resolve with my relationship with productivity.
Having that said…
Here are my 2023 publishing goals.
*cackles in mentally unwell*
I’m dedicating the first three months of the year to Wordmakers. There a lot of things I want to do within the group to help all of us start the year off right.
Q1: I’m focusing on Wordmakers and all Wordmaker related activities. My group has been so supportive of me and each other since the 2019 and they deserve to her more of my focus and attention. A new quarterly content schedule has gone into effect so I can’t wait to get down to business with those writing ass writers! This quarter they will get: Author Branding and Content Creation for Authors (a six week course) along with Plot-A-Thon, #20kin5days, monthly Q&As, Write-ins and various other community events. If you’re interested in getting words on the page, join us! (I will also concentrate on content creation for tashalharrisonbooks.com.)
Q2: Reread, replot, and rewrite Time & Tequila. There’s lots of words in there — 42k+. I know there’s a story in those words but I needed to take a break from that story to find it. I’ve done that so I think the second quarter would be a good time to dive back into it!
Q3: Expand and publish Pretty Memories (my HEA anthology project). I recently reread LaKeesha and Raheem’s story and I know it’s just the first act of a longer tale I can’t wait to tell.
Q4: Expand and publish The Love That Remains (my Current Anthology project). I also loved writing this novella for the antho and to support Jackson, Mississippi during their water crisis. I’d you’re interested in reading those anthos there are two volumes that you can purchase at currentantho.com. I joked that I would never do it again, but I I think I would with way more time to plan, write, and publish.
I’m also launching Self-Pub 101 for Wordmakers. There’s so much information out there but newbie authors still seem to be struggling with the necessary steps to do it and do it well. Hopefully, this course will give y’all the basic steps to get it done!
This may seem like a lot but compared to how I overplan and overextend myself every year, this is a cake walk! The one thing this flirtation with burnout has taught me is that I need more life on my life, so that’s going to be my focus.
Here’s to 2023 be a year of rediscovering and embracing that life!