With December coming around again, it’s time for another one of my annual updates.  At the end of 2016, I said I wanted to take 2017 to step back from writing on a schedule, and catch up on some projects.  So, how did I do?

1) The merch store

I launched my merchandise store in mid-February, blowing away my goal to complete it by the end of the year.  I prepared dozens of products for the announcement in five different designs based on my work and several book cover designs.  The store is located at:  https://society6.com/deuscain

Here’s a sample of some of the products I’m offering:

2) Publishing

My goal was to complete the in-progress 2014 paperback and release the book of my 2106 work in early 2017.  I released “2014:  The Year of Labours” in early February, but I didn’t make my goal for the second book.  However, I completed it this fall after many months of work, and I’m proud of myself for finishing it.  As previously announced, it will release next week on the 11th on both Amazon and CreateSpace, and is priced at $9.99.

However, my publishing goals for this year also included catching up on my ebook backlog, and that did not happen at all.  I’ve still got five ebooks left to publish, including the soon-to-be-release “Year of Lessons”, and I haven’t started any of them.  Why?  Well, that’s all tied up in the next topic.

3) Writing

This time last year, I said I was suspending my writing schedule, but that I would continue to release content on an irregular basis.  And that has not happened, at all.  I have not published any new written content since December of last year, nor have I written anything, and…there have been some reasons for that.

I’ve mentioned in several posts in the past that I suffer from some mention health issues, up to and including depression.  And while I started the year off swinging with the one-two punch of the merch store and “The Year of Labours”, I got to the end of February – and I just hit a wall.

I had issue after issue come up that sapped my time and my energy to such a degree that even normal, planned events became crushingly stressful to me.  It took me nearly the entire month of March to schedule an appointment with a local tax service and file this year, which is very unusual for me.  Then I spent April and May shopping for and eventually buying a new car to replace my aging Honda Civic sedan (which handled the Pennsylvanian winters we get ’round here oh-so-well).  And following that, I struggled for months to rebalance my budget and spending habits around car loans for the first time in half a decade.

And months of major financial decisions and worrying about money does not a productive writer make.

There’s a part of me that wants to apologize for that – for not being able to be the writer I know I can be, and that I feel like I should be for the community that enjoys and supports my work.  But there’s also a part of me that’s trying to be compassionate for how terribly human I’ve been and felt this year.  And that part keeps reminding me that taking time off from writing was (and still is) about taking care of myself, and not trying to overdo it.

4) So what else?

I have been slowly working on some premium content for Patreon supporters (yes, I have a Patreon – you can visit it here).

In April I finished a small project of desktop and mobile wallpapers that I created using my book covers.  They are still up, in all their glory, for people who support me at the $5 or above tiers on Patreon.

I’ve also purchased some audio recording equipment, and started practicing with editing software.  My goal is to experiment with storytelling in a different medium, and see if it’s a good fit for me.  I haven’t released much more than covers at this point, but they’re available on Patreon for all levels of supporters.

And to go through the rest of my 2017 goals:

  • Open mic nights – didn’t really do them.  The woman leading my main one moved out of the area, and I haven’t found another place that “feels right” yet.  But I do have a video up of one of the last times I performed.  Give it a look if you’re interested.
  • Book-selling events – didn’t do them.  Didn’t even try.  I had too much on my plate.
  • Skill training – did a little, but not as much as I’d wanted.  I did some Photoshop editing training earlier in the year (for making my own book covers), and now I’m working on learning audio software.
  • Freelance work – YES!  I’m working with Vysoko Anime Production on a new project next year titled “Crystal Chameleon”.  They successfully Kickstarted the project in November, with an estimated release date of November 2018.  You can follow them on twitter @VysokoAnime for future updates on the game (I’ll include an image from the Kickstarter below).
Crystal Chameleon
Crystal Chameleon

And that’s…my 2017, my 8th year as a writer and an author.  I did some good work – met some goals, and missed others.

What does 2018 have in store for me?  Honestly, I don’t know yet.  I do want to catch up on my ebook backlog, mostly to have my entire catalog in both formats.  I want to experiment with some more creative methods aside from the written words.  But I really don’t know where I’m going – maybe that’s what makes it such an adventure.

Here’s to wonderful adventures for all of us in 2018.

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