It's December again, this time there's a 7 at the end of the year instead of the 6. My first book was accepted for publication by Liquid Silver Books two years ago almost to the day. I said to myself then, "this is the start of a productive career," and set out a goal for myself to have at least one full-length book out per year, and two if I could swing it.
I ended up releasing a novella six months after the book's release, and I revised my goal to repeat the process - one book and one novella per year.
Then something happened. Life met reality. I can't fully say whether or not it was the fact that my youngest started moving around (and moving faster, and talking, and climbing, and biting, and smart-mouthing, and--yeah, you get the idea), or that my oldest displays a disturbing inherited trait of losing himself for hours in video games (which I'm having a hell of a time with since I do it, Mr. Xandra does it, and I can't blame Spawn for doing it, even while I'm yelling at him to turn off the damn Xbox), or that it's disturbingly easy to get caught up in being an "author" at the expense of being a "writer," or even that an evaluation of my writing revealed to me that I wanted to write denser, more thickly-plotted stories, and I needed to train myself to do that. I can't even fully say that it was any single thing including the major life upheavals of selling an old house, building a new one, and moving into it. Whatever it is, my plans have GONE AWRY.
I've ended up releasing my self-imposed timelines. All I want to do now is to take the manuscripts I've been working on, and either complete them, or edit and revise them to start sending them back out. The thought of timing myself on this gives me hives, but the thought of not setting a timeline on this is setting myself up for failure.
The end of the year is traditionally a time to look back and review what you've done, whether or not you've met your goals, and how far the actual goalposts have moved. Many of my years have been spent wondering in amazement at how much further or how different I've ended up from where I thought I'd be in the beginning. This year, however, I'm just baffled.