layla: grass at sunset (Default)
I started doing these in 2006, and I think this is going to be my last one … at least the last one I do here, in the format I've used for a decade. I started doing these for writing accountability, but my needs have changed. It's really the best of all possible reasons: I don't need to do these anymore because I succeeded. I'm writing for a living now (mainly paranormal romance, as Lauren Esker); there's also a top-secret pen name for even more commercial stuff - send me a PM if you want to know what it is). The kinds of goals I used to set for myself, things like "finish a novel" or "establish a regular writing schedule" don't really apply anymore, because this is my day job now, so for a certain number of hours per day, I apply butt to chair and write. My goals are now more like "write X and Y novel and Z short story in $ESTABLISHED_SERIES", which are excellent goals to have, but they aren't the kind of goals that translate well to public accountability posts.

So basically, my year-end roundup and accountability posts worked! They worked so well I don't have to do them anymore! I am now moving on to a new way of doing my upcoming years' goals that suits my needs better.

To my vast and everlasting relief, however, for my final "how I did in the previous year" post, I can say that I managed to move the Hunter's Moon graphic novel from the "to do" to the "done" list. It has appeared on every year-end to-do list since the very first one, and this summer I did a Kickstarter and I slammed that sucker out.

So I'm ending on a high note.

I don't plan to delete this journal, and I'll still post here occasionally (at least as long as I can remember my passwords and the site remains up). I still check the notification email, so you can still contact me here. Right now, I don't have a blog to replace it; I never have managed to get a regular Wordpress blog up and running. I do have a pseudonymous fandom journal on LJ/DW that's still active (most of you know it; send me a PM if you don't and you are interested). I'm also on most of the Usual Places such as Twitter and Facebook, at least a little bit. If I manage to start journaling regularly again - and I do intend to! - I'll link to the new place here. But other than that, I probably won't post here much anymore. Maybe once or twice a year, much as I've been doing.

A happy, safe, and successful 2017 to all of you!

2016 goals

Dec. 31st, 2015 05:43 pm
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
Keepin' it simple. My goals for 2016:

- Do a Kickstarter for the Hunter's Moon book (THIS WILL BE THE YEAR!)
- Update Kismet every week and finish the year with a page buffer
- Keep up a regular writing schedule (ideally 10K/week)
- Write at least 4 novels, one of which should not be paranormal romance
- Improve my marketing/social media efforts (e.g. update my blog more, do more Kismet promo, etc)
- Edit and self-publish Gatekeeper
- Edit and submit the steampunk novel to Dreamspinner
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
I did the first of these year-end roundups in 2006, so this is the 10th year I've done it and probably the strangest one I've written so far.

The thing is, I hardly did anything at all on my 2015 list! So technically this year should be a dismal failure ... except this year was actually amazing because (thanks to a friend) I discovered a new "door" into writing and self-publishing, and I basically took off like a rocket. I wrote 456,000 words this year (by comparison, my previous best year was 2013, when I wrote 270,900 words. And this year's words were almost entirely useful words, as opposed to most years, when my technical annual word count doesn't take into account all of the aborted projects and false starts. This year, nearly everything I wrote through the whole year was either a completed project I self-published on Amazon, or something I submitted somewhere. And I made decent money off my writing for the first time ever.

But the awkward thing is, I can't talk about a lot of it, because a lot of what I'm writing is paranormal erom (erotic romance) under pseudonyms and I'm not ready to disclose them publicly yet. I did launch the Lauren Esker pen name for slightly plottier paranormal/shifter romance, and Lauren now has a website and a mailing list and is generally doing pretty well.

Looking back at last New Year's goals:

- I DID NOT: edit any damn thing, publish the Hunter's Moon book (which has been on every single one of the last 10 years' lists; it's the world's most amazing procrastination success story), or finish the year with a decent page buffer for Kismet (though I do have next week's page done!)
- I DID: write two novels (actually considerably more than two), keep up with Kismet updates (with one or two skip weeks, but mostly I did pretty well), and I have done amazing at keeping up with a writing schedule and marketing (of my erom/paranormal romance) this year if I do say so myself, though I really need to do better on marketing Kismet and maintaining my blog. I also attended an anime convention and two local shows, got a print version of the first Sun-Cutter chapter together, and started selling more craft/art stuff.

Back shortly with 2016 goals!
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

Here’s what I plan to do in 2015:

  • Make a writing schedule/marketing plan and stick to it
  • Write two new novels
  • Finish editing the 2 steampunk ones I wrote this year and submit to Dreamspinner Press (which has right of first refusal); self-publish if refused
  • Edit both the novels in my urban fantasy series & start making progress toward whatever I want to do with them (submit to agents if going that route; start prepping for self-publishing if that)
  • Revise my first novel — an ancient, probably unpublishable YA fantasy called Wishmaker — and put it online for free.
  • Update Kismet every week, and finish the year with a page buffer
  • Publish the Hunter’s Moon book via Kickstarter

The first item on the list sounds more formal than it is, and mostly has to do with something I’ve been struggling with for the last few years, namely organizing my time more efficiently. I’ve never successfully managed to stick to a regular writing/drawing schedule, but maybe this will be the year I’ll do it.

Alarmingly (given the scope of the above list), I have a considerably longer private list of Stuff I’m Gonna (try to) Edit/Write/Do in 2015, but I decided it’d be best to keep the public-accountability list to the highest priority items. Especially given my abysmal track record of finishing my lists. This list already amounts to “edit five novels and write two”, plus at least 52 pages of Kismet, which is huge compared to anything I’ve managed to accomplish in past years. Some years I aim pretty low; apparently this is one of those years I’m aiming high. Wish me luck?


Crossposted from Wordpress.  
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

It’s that time of year again – my annual year-in-review and accountability post. I’ve been doing them since 2006; here’s the LJ tag and the DW tag.

First of all, here’s what I accomplished creatively in 2014:

I also signed up for Patreon (hope to do a lot more with that in 2015) and taught comics-making at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival for the second year.

Under the cut, how I did with last year’s creative goals:

Read the rest of this entry  )


Crossposted from Wordpress.  

layla: grass at sunset (Default)
The "keep it simple" approach worked great for me last year: keep my goals general, with the specifics to be determined as I go forward. So, here are my 2014 goals:

- Match or beat my 2013 word count
- Get a Paypal store set up on my website so people can buy things from me
- Publish the Hunter's Moon book (I plan to keep putting this on the to-do list until it happens!)
- Finish the urban fantasy novel edits & submit to agents
- Revise the urban fantasy sequel
- Sell some short stories
- Sell some romance (match or beat 2013!)
- Write a novel as me
- Write a novel or novella as my romance alias
- Start updating a comic again
- Blog more regularly

This ought to keep me busy!
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
I usually do these a little closer to New Year's, but I'm in the mood, so let's see how we did on last year's goals.

Goals and results under cut )

I did better than usual, I think, although it was mostly concentrated in certain areas. The comics and art got badly neglected. Still, I'm pretty happy with my results.

And here's my list of what I sold and/or published in 2013:

Things I sold or published in 2013 )
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

It’s interesting to look back on my last few years of creative roundup posts. I’ve been doing them since 2006, and sometimes I feel psyched about the progress I’ve made, while other times I feel like I really should have gone much farther, much faster than I’ve managed to do.

But I also feel a little more confident every year, I think. This year I wrote ~250,000 words of original fiction; sadly a good deal of that was, as usual, on unfinished projects, but I’ve written more every year since I started recording my daily writing counts (in 2009).

And I really want to kick my butt in gear in 2013, and get things finished, and get them published. For a while I scaled back my goals because I never seemed to finish any of them, and it was disheartening. This year, though, I’m aiming high.

2013 creative goals:

- Match or beat my 2013 word count (255,700 wds)
- Submit the urban fantasy novel to agents
- Finish the urban fantasy sequel (book 2) and outline book 3
- Write another novel (as me)
- Write another novel/novella as my romance alias
- Sell a short story to a pro market
- Sell more romance fiction
- Get the Hunter’s Moon book out
- Continue pursuing watercolor cards as a business venture

… I think that about covers things.


Crossposted to Wordpress, Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Comment wherever you like.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

It’s that time again, when I look back on the previous year and check last year’s goals to see how I did.

Last year’s goals, and my progress:

Revise the novel and start submitting it to agents.

Revise, yes; submit, no. But after one more relatively minor round of revisions, I plan to send it out in January.

Start updating at least one (1) of my various Kismet projects as a webcomic

I suppose that technically I did manage to do this one, but what I actually meant was “update, and keep updating” rather than “update, then stop”. Still, I got another 15 or so pages on Sun-Cutter, which is something.

Write another novel

I got about 90% done and stalled out. But I’m mostly there. And I finished two novellas. I think I was pretty damn close on this one. Another 10,000 words on the novel would have done it, but I was so stuck on the ending that I figured it was better to let it sit for awhile, then revise it and write a decent ending, rather than slam out something that I’d have to completely rewrite just to check this one off the list.

Get the Freebird book together

‘Tis done!

Get the Hunter’s Moon book together

No, but now that I’ve discovered how easy (and cheap!) it is to go through CreateSpace, this one is definitely on the agenda for 2013.

As for what I actually accomplished … I’m awfully happy with what I did get done this year, which is:

- Got the Freebird book out, got it in local stores, and did local signings.
- Sold a short story to a pro-rate market.
- Got the urban fantasy novel ready to send to agents (except for one more round of revisions, which won’t take too long).
- Finished most of the urban fantasy novel sequel (book 2) and got a pretty good idea of what book 3 is going to be about.
- Wrote (and finished!) several long short stories and novellas.
- Sold a short story under my “Layla M. Wier” romance alias.
- Started doing art again – and selling it!
- Worked more on Kismet, even if I didn’t get that far along.

2013 goals are coming in a new post …


Crossposted to Wordpress, Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Comment wherever you like.

2012 Goals

Dec. 31st, 2011 06:51 am
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
I'm keeping it simple this time. In 2012 I hereby resolve to:

• Revise the novel and start submitting it to agents.
• Start updating at least one (1) of my various Kismet projects as a webcomic (there are three of them that I'm currently working on - "Sun-Cutter", "Eidolon", and another of the short "Kismet City Limits" comics; whichever gets a good backlog of pages first is the one that gets the green light)
• Write another novel
• Get the Hunter's Moon book together
• Get the Freebird book together

*crosses fingers*

Incidentally, comments are turned off on this and the last post because I'm trying to cut down my Internet time. But happy New Year, everyone! I hope I'll be a little more active on this journal in 2012.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
As usual, here's the annual look back at how I did with my past year's creative goals, as seen here. (Past year's posts can be found using the year-end roundup tag.)

A look back at 2011 )

Back in a minute with my 2012 goals!

2011 Goals

Dec. 30th, 2010 04:15 pm
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
In 2011, I'm not working (much) - I have a couple of freelance things lined up, and a part-time job at the moment will probably last for a month or two. But, mostly, 2011 is the year that I've resolved to make serious progress on making this published-novelist thing work out. (And I'd like to do a bit of Kismet on the side, also.)

Right now, I have two YA novels to revise, and I have a good start (~25,000 words) on a fantasy novel that I think has a real chance of being salable. So, rather than having daily/weekly word-count goals like I've done for the last two years, my goals for 2011 are more like a loose calendar schedule of what I'd like to accomplish. Which looks like this:

Under the cut )

2011, here I come!
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
Um ... hi. *blows dust off journal* I haven't forgotten about this thing, I swear! And to prove it, here's my year-end roundup and goals for 2011. (Previous years' roundups and goals can be found at the year-end roundup tag). As usual, I'll first check in with last year's goals, and see how I did.

How am I doing? )

Back soon with 2011's goals!
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
My creative goals for 2010:

* Finish new Freebird strips and get book to publisher.

* Write 1000 words of fiction per day (or, 1 finished comics page = 2000 words of fiction; I realized last year that I have to have some sort of conversion like this, or I never do any comics pages AT ALL; one comics page is WAY more effort than writing 1000 words). If I keep this up, I'll end the year with some sort of compromise between 365,000 words of fiction (3 novels!) and ~180 comics pages (1 graphic novel!). Of course, the problem is that I seem to wander between projects and never finish any of them. We shall see.

* Continue writing specifically targeted short stories and attempting to sell them.

* Make (at least) 1 sale to an SFWA qualifying market. Or at least TRY, by submitting to these markets every chance I get.

* Finish the rough draft of 1 novel. (I'd like to end the year with a novel sitting, completed, on my desktop.)

* Revise "Sea Change", my NaNo novel from 2007.

* Work more on Sun-Cutter. Amass backlog of pages and begin updating by end of year.

* Revise the damn sci-fi-Western novella and write the sequel which seems to have mysteriously wandered into my brain. *shakes brain to see if story drops out*

* Get HM book into some semblance of order; decide whether to do POD or press run; make actual progress towards making it happen.

Happy New Year, everyone. I hope the new year is good for you.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
Time for my annual year-end creative roundup post. First, let me check my progress against last year's goals! Then, I'll be back in a new post with this year's goals.

I started last year flying high, and then got knocked down, first by work -- I wasn't planning on having to go back to work full-time, let alone full-time plus freelance out the wazoo -- and then I went back to UAF full-time to finish my degree, at which point my creative output basically plummeted to zero. Still, I'm not too unhappy with what I actually managed to accomplish.

Checking last year's goals against my actual progress )

I'm actually feeling pretty good about the past year. Here's my short list of what I did in 2009:

- Recorded daily writing totals (I actually started this in mid-2008, but this is the first year I've done it from the beginning of the year and been conscientious about it).
- Wrote ~117,000 words of original fiction; finished several short stories; worked on two novels.
- Finished several Kismet short comics.
- Started Sun-Cutter; then had to put it on hiatus.
- Quit work; went back to school.
- Sold three short stories - Hetsie's Wonders and two stories which will appear in very small-circulation anthologies coming out next year. I'm not precisely taking the world by storm, but I'm pretty damn psyched about this.
- Made solid progress towards publishing the print edition of Freebird.

Back shortly with my 2010 goals!

2009 Goals

Jan. 3rd, 2009 06:51 pm
layla: (Evil author)
Goals for 2009:

- Draw Kismet short comics
The plan is to update twice weekly throughout the year, or until I run out of ideas, whichever comes first.

- Work more on "Sun-Cutter"
I don't plan to begin updating Sun-Cutter until I have a good, solid backlog of pages, and I want to do a nice job on the art, so I'm not even committing myself to starting updates by year's end. However, when I *do* start updating, it'll update frequently -- probably 3-4 pages a week -- and it'll keep going until done.

- Focus my short-story-writing efforts on specific markets
Last year's plan was to write a pile of rough drafts and then concentrate on polishing and marketing them. This didn't work at all, so this year's plan is targeted short-story writing -- pick a magazine or zine, and write a story specifically to submit to it (which of course can be shopped around other places if it fails to sell to that one). It's really more a psychological thing than anything else; I work well with deadlines, but I'm not that great at self-motivation unless I'm under a massive compulsion-to-write sort of inspiration, so having a very specific goal and timetable for each story will, hopefully, help me to finish them rather than just writing until I lose inspiration and wandering off.

- Finish another novel, either one of the partial ones or a new one
I'm kinda looking forward to sitting down and curling up with a big project; I wanted that to be "Sun-Cutter", but I seem to be more motivated on prose than comics right now. I'm hoping that doing the Kismet short comics will loosen up my drawing muscles and make it easier to work on the graphic novel, but in the meantime I think I'm ready to tackle another novel.

- Revise my novella

- Write 1000 words or do 1 page of comics per day, every day that I'm not working at my day job
Averaged out over the course of a month; it's okay to take days off.

- Make progress on the Kismet: Hunter's Moon and Freebird print editions

Yeahhhh ... I don't think I'm going to accomplish all of these (particularly judging by past years) but it's always good to have lots of options to choose from.
layla: (Linton bad day)
For the last couple of years I've done a "where am I and where am I going" post at the end of the year ... and I think it's that time of year again! Past posts can be seen by checking the year-end roundup tag on my LJ.

How I did with last year's goals )

What I actually did accomplish in 2008:
- Finished a novel
- Finished a novella
- Finished Freebird (sorta ... but it's in a good stopping place for now)
- Worked on "Sun-Cutter"
- Started a bunch of short stories and novels

Back soon with this year's goals.

2008 Goals

Dec. 30th, 2007 11:07 pm
layla: (Frank - make my day)
In 2008, I hereby pledge to do the following:

- Publish the damn Hunter's Moon book already
- [livejournal.com profile] 12in2008 has a pretty cool idea going -- while it's primarily fandom-based, it doesn't have to be, and the idea is that you sign up to finish 12 stories of a certain length in 2000. I'm going for 5,000+ words, because that's enough to tell a decent story, and I have enough stories just sitting around partly-done on my hard drive that I could do it several times over just from things I've already started writing. So: In 2008, I will finish 12 stories (at least) of 5,000 words (at least). And one of these will be a novel.
- Post regular updates at my kinda-new fiction blog, [livejournal.com profile] icefallstudio.
- Post semi-regular updates at my artblog, [livejournal.com profile] icefallpress.
- I will submit something to a magazine market by year end. Hopefully more than one somethings, but I gotta start getting work out there.
- I will finish the script for the new Kismet GN (Sun-Cutter) and start working on the pages (OR) I will resume work on Midnight Sun (OR) I will finish a couple of the short Kismet comics. In any case, I will have a webcomic updating by year end.

And finally and most importantly ...

- Each day, I will write at least 1000 words of fiction, or do an equivalent amount of art. Oh, I can take the occasional day off, but basically, this is my job now, and I want to make sure that I view it as such.

Looking forward to '08 ...
layla: grass at sunset (headdesk)
Last year I wrote:

- Go part time at work

Done! (Although it's kind of sad that the only thing on my list I actually managed to accomplish is the one that results in me making significantly less money.)

- **Finish writing a novel** [starred because this is my Big Thing for '07]*
*I'll settle for just making significant progress on the novel, if it comes to that


Well, if I take the second part of that as my goal, I actually did accomplish it. I just didn't make the first part -- the whole finishing part. I did write a hella lotta words in 2007 -- they're just on a lot of different projects.

- Publish a Freebird book and a Hunter's Moon book

Nope. (Although I'm a lot farther along on the Hunter's Moon book than I was -- basically, EVERYTHING is done except for the actual publishing part.) Since I discontinued the Freebird webcomic, I'm actually making reverse progress on that one.

- Start working on Midnight Sun again

Nada! Haven't even really looked at it. But it's still on the plate.

- Start working on a new Kismet graphic novel

El zippo! (I did get it partly scripted and do a bunch of sketches, however.)

- Start filling in Kismet backstory in the form of short comics

Again -- scripting and sketches, but nothing finished.

- Put a little something in my art/writing workblog every week of the year

Nope. In fact, the original artblog [livejournal.com profile] icefallpress has been tragically all but abandoned as I've been doing more writing than drawing.

In fact, it's depressingly difficult to figure out what I did accomplish in '07, creatively. I made an OK amount of money at freelancing, at least by my standards, although thank heaven I don't have to support myself at it, because I'd be living in a cardboard box. But as far as just making spending money and paying for art supplies, I did OK. And I wrote an awful lot, but it's so incredibly scattered -- I have several different novels and several graphic novel scripts in various stages of completion, but I just can't seem to sit down and finish something.

That's my big goal for 2008. Back shortly with a list of 2008 objectives.
layla: (Frank - make my day)
Here is what I did in 2006:
- Finished Hunter's Moon
- Started officially publishing Freebird and did a year's worth of strips
- Rejoined Girlamatic
- Created a Livejournal specifically for my art and writing
- Started selling my books at the comic store in town
- Started talks with a local publisher about publishing some of my future books
- Developed a renewed interest in writing fiction instead of -- or in addition to -- comics

Here is what I will do in 2007:
- Go part time at work
- **Finish writing a novel** [starred because this is my Big Thing for '07]*
- Publish a Freebird book and a Hunter's Moon book
- Start working on Midnight Sun again
- Start working on a new Kismet graphic novel
- Start filling in Kismet backstory in the form of short comics
- Put a little something in my art/writing workblog every week of the year

*I'll settle for just making significant progress on the novel, if it comes to that

Happy New Year, world!

EDIT: Hee! It was about time that I changed my layout, eh?

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layla: grass at sunset (Default)
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