As much as I'd like to look forward and list all the things I'll be writing in 2020, a look back at 2019 stopped me cold because when I started this Patreon, less than a year ago, I absolutely could not have predicted some of the stuff I've done here! Yes, I did everything I said I would do with this Patreon, every month, without fail, even though (unexpectedly and alarmingly) I had to have open heart surgery. The thing that makes predicting and even planning 2020 problematic is all the extras for subscribers in 2019, the biggest of which was basically an impulse decision. You can't trust me not to do something excessive and fictional. I have too many stories. My biggest problem is deciding which one to write next. I hate to say it, but I sometimes have the scary thought that stories are like dogs: they choose you. And I must write whatever gets stuck in my head. "It followed me home...can I keep it?"
So, I guess the best predictor of what 2020 will bring can be gleaned between the lines and within the numbers of what I did in 2019. Compiling this little precis was startling: I didn't think I did that much! It makes me wonder what a full year would look like if I thought I had done a lot.
Since March 2019 when my Patreon went live, I've done:
- 43 Patron only posts Does not include any posts above the basic tier: this is just what your $1 gets. Includes behinds the scenes world-building posts, new short stories and audio fiction, and a few personal posts.
- 10 Novel chapters Including prologue, not including this month, which was just posted
- 15 Book review posts Including posts with multiple reviews, but not including all the other book-related posts
- 11 Scenes/Character sketches One of which provided background for a short story
- 3 (public) Short Stories Stories previously available elsewhere, reposted here as Public posts, available to all, like this post is. "Dead Text" (Halloween story), "Etiquette For The End of the World", and "An Interdimensional Day in the Neighborhood"
- 3 New Short Stories Totalling 54,258 words. "The Bookstore Incident" 6,030 (Second story in the Suburban Strange series), "Project Stapleton" 9,440 (Halloween story) and "A Bookmobile for Christmas" 38,788 (Holiday story, audio only) Technically this last is a novella.
- 2 Exclusive audio fiction stories, "An Interdimensional Day in the Neighborhood" which was originally posted elsewhere, reposted here, and then recorded as a reward for subscribers when we made our initial goal. "A Bookmobile For Christmas" which was written specifically for my Patreon subscribers and presented exclusively as serialized audio fiction in 11 installments recorded as I wrote it.
That's 10 months. I have to admit that I didn't feel "wow" while I was doing all that. I was just writing. It's what I do. I was often excited about what I was working on, but because so much work on the next novel is rewrite drudgery, it's not like I was ricocheting off the walls in manic delight every moment. I did feel a bit "wow" when I finished some of the stories because of the interesting things I discovered in the narrative as I was writing it. There are still things to be explored and goodness yes, polished, in the holiday story I wrote. I had fun writing it and I think I'll enjoy the next draft, too. It needs a bit more magic, as well as a number of technical story-telling alterations. But now is the time to let it get cold, and for me to head into the new year with the continuation of ongoing sci-fi adventures and the contemplation of new adventures.
I expect to finish the final rewrite of the next novel this year, and then as I move that toward publication, to go back to the contemporary fantasy series I've been working on intermittently for so long. I do not rule out continuing on with sci-fi in the current universe I'm working on, or more behind-the-scenes posts relating to that universe. I've got at least one more book idea that ties into this. I need to finish one more short story (which I've made a start on) then I think I'll have enough uncanny material for a Halloween collection. Patrons above the basic tier probably have a good idea of what sort of stories I might be writing because they have access to all those ideas, characters, and scenes, just waiting to come to fruition. I'm looking forward to it! This past year, 2019, has been a remarkable year for both good and bad reasons; I'm looking forward to making 2020 remarkable for all the right reasons.