Happy New Year! I was working off and on during the holidays, but now I’m more or less back to work with my regular expectations and schedule. Today is still semi-holiday, since the Rose Parade is being shown this morning, but I’m doing work stuff while watching.
2016 was notoriously awful in a lot of ways. It wasn’t too horrendous for me. It was a low year, income-wise, and I lost yet another publisher, but I accomplished a lot. I wrote more than I have in years, and I received some nice honors.
Last year I decided to go all-in with conventions, accepting every invitation that came along, and see how that affected my career. My sales went down. I don’t think my sales went down because of the conventions, but they didn’t go up, either. So I’m dialing way back on that and devoting that time to writing and perhaps some of that money to other forms of publicity. I’m committed to two local conventions for the year, and I plan to go to the Nebula Awards weekend and the World Fantasy Convention for networking purposes. I’ll be a guest of honor at Necronomicon in Florida in the fall, and I’m certainly open to being that kind of guest, but after ten years on the convention circuit, I’m probably not going to do a lot of conventions where my travel expenses aren’t covered. I’m definitely not going to do more of the comic/media conventions, the kind where the focus is on celebrity guests. I did two of those last year, and I found that the non-celebrity author guests are treated like an afterthought at best, and at worst like an inconvenience. I had a really bad experience with that at a convention this weekend, and never again until or unless I’m big enough to count as a celebrity. Instead, I plan to focus more on school and library events.
I have a plan for what I want to write this year, and I’m hoping to get more books out more frequently, with some shorter pieces in between novels, and I’d like to get some proposals out to sell some books to publishers. I really upped my writing time last year, and I want to do even more this year.
Otherwise, I really want this to be the year I get my house in order. I had a bit of a wakeup call during the holidays when a house that would have been ideal went on the market. I was in no way ready to sell, buy, or move, but I really liked that house. It got taken off the market to be leased, so I didn’t have to scramble, but I realized that I need to get my act together so I can act on any future opportunities when they come up. I’ve got a plan of daily work to get that done. Let’s see how far my beginning of year enthusiasm propels me.