New Year 2018: The Wrap-Up and the Look-Ahead

Hi folks! Happy new year 2018! I’ve been blasting through Dicksmas posts over the last month or so, but with the shift from 2017 to 2018, I decided to take a break from the sex toy reviews to write a different kind of blog post.

I like to do “year in review, year ahead” posts. I don’t write about my writing process and goals very often here on this blog, because my life as a writer is just one part of my brand, but I think new year’s is a good time to do so. The transparency helps keep me accountable. I already did a version of this in my private journal, but this post is for The World. Or at least those of you in the world who read my blog.

2017 Wrap-Up

2017 was a difficult year in the world politically, obviously, but I’m going to focus on my life and my experiences. I had a lot of personal stuff going on in my intimate circle this year: friends in depression, death in the family, etc. But. I wanted to take care of myself this year, and I did. That means I maintained some good self-care routines, took lots of hot baths, journaled, and paid attention to my feelings.

I did a lot of traveling this year. We went up to North Conway, New Hampshire several times for vacation, and we spent a week in Michigan. I also went down to New York City a few times. Even our staycations were quite fun, with a lot of lounging, watching movies, and playing games.

I took some small but significant career steps forward this year. I signed a contract with Entangled Publishing for my menage trilogy, Comes In Threes. After struggling with the draft for more than a year, I completed a draft of Three-Way Split that I’m happy with, and sent that off to my editor over at Entangled for some revision in the new year.

Finishing that draft was significant. I struggled mightily with giving the right amount of development to the different character arcs, since polyamory is immensely complicated. I didn’t want to write menage erotica, although that is certainly fun. Instead, I wanted menage erotic romance, which required believable character arcs for not just a couple, but a triad. Drafting this book stretched me significantly as a writer, and while it undoubtedly needs a lot of editing, I feel a lot better going into book 2 than I did struggling with book 1.

I started the “Come and Play” podcast this year, and I put out a bunch of episodes. This was challenging, since I did most of the episodes alone, and that required a lot of advanced content writing. I took a holiday hiatus, and I’m excited to start again in the next few weeks. For this year, I’ll be inviting Kysmet to be my guest co-host for the foreseeable future, perhaps forever.

My sex toy reviewing took off in a big way this year, and I was able to try a ton of fun toys, with even more yet to come as Dicksmas continues. This expanded my personal repertoire of toys and made me a much more versed sexpert. Some toys were fantastic, and others were mediocre, but I learned a bunch about my own sexual likes and dislikes. Also, my nipple piercings opened new frontiers for my sexual stimulation that I hadn’t anticipated. Cheers for that.

I joined the 365 club‘s 2017 challenge last year and committed to writing an average of 1000 words a day for the year. I also set a goal of earning all the monthly consistency badges, meaning I would write at least 100 words a day, every day, without missing a single day. And huzzah, I met this goal, writing over 410,000 words and never missing a single day. While this was a worthwhile challenge that pushed me in some good ways, it also hit on my compulsive nature in ways that weren’t entirely healthy. Some days, I really should have taken a day off, but I didn’t want to lose those consistency badges. As a result, I’m letting this challenge go for 2018.

It was a full year, a challenging year, and a year of significant growth. I’m ready to say goodbye to 2017.

Looking Ahead to 2018

Over the past year, I spent a lot of time lurking in the “20 Books to 50K” Facebook group. This group of self-published (and hybrid) authors is an amazing resource for monetizing one’s writing. Although I still want to continue trad publishing, and I’m excited to work with Entangled, I want to venture into the world of hybrid publishing this year. As part of that, one of my first big steps is to grow a newsletter base. I would like to build a team of ARC readers who can help me build up my reviews.

I really enjoy my day job as a teacher. I’m not trying to become a full-time writer. In fact, I think I need some kind of daily experience with other people to keep my mental health strong. During my summer breaks, I tend to fall into periods of depression if I’m not working or doing something socially connected. My extrovert (ambivert?) self can’t handle so much alone time. Even so, I have a number of goals for my life that would be greatly improved by some extra income. As I transition into hybrid publishing, I want to publish some really fun erotica shorts and erotic romance novellas and use those to build audience for my longer works.

My blog and podcast will continue in 2018 as they have in 2017, so you can look forward to many more sex toy reviews and “Come and Play” podcast episodes this year.

I have some personal goals, too, continuing the trend of self-care from last year. I’m going to continue bullet journaling, continue taking nice baths and playing games, and also dedicate more time to pleasure reading. I haven’t been reading enough in the genres I enjoy, so that’s a great 2018. goal.

I’m looking forward to seeing what 2018 has in store.

What about you, readers? What are your hopes for the year ahead?


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