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A Lot of Excuses: A Recap of 2021

You've been warned. What follows is a lot of excuses. If what you're here for is a book update, here it is: I'm a mere three chapters away from a complete first draft of Sapling, the second book in the White Oak trilogy. It's looking like it'll clock in at around 80,000 words. Of course, after the draft is done, I'll need to edit, Jim will edit, and I'll do a round of beta readers. BUT, it's definitely at the point where it's definitely going to happen. I just need to buck up and do it.

Ok, next up is excuses, and then we'll wrap up with my plan for 2022.

This has been kind of a bonkers year and not for the usual COVID-related reasons. Here's a recap:

  • We finished the reno on our rental house and got it rented out!

  • We bought our dream house, a vintage brick farmhouse on four acres.

  • We got our first livestock in the form of a batch of chickens who are almost at laying age.

  • I started volunteering at my local shelter and quickly wound up with a couple of kittens that now rule my household.

  • And most importantly, we spent a lot of time exploring our new home in North Carolina and slowly but surely falling in love.

In short, I had a lot of things to distract me from writing, and I took the out. But Sapling was less than 4,000 words at the beginning of 2021 and today it's over 66,000. While I did not come anywhere near meeting my goal of publishing these books in 2021, I did make progress, not just on my self-publishing journey, but in setting up a life that I love.

Which brings us to 2022. Here is my goal: Finish writing and editing the full trilogy. I'm not even going to try to say I'm going to publish anything this year. When I set my goals for this blog and project in the summer of 2020, I was unhappy. Finishing a book gave me a renewed confidence in myself that allowed me to look critically at what was and wasn't working and make changes.

The last year and a half has been a period of reinvention. I have been very, very lucky to be able keep the things that I did like about my life (my job, my husband, my dogs) and make critical changes (my location, Jim's job, being near family) that bring me joy every day. This transition has been the result of incredible privilege but not without a certain amount of courage and will power. The transition has not been without its bumps, but I couldn't be happier with the ultimate outcome.

What I'm hoping this means is that I will have time in 2022 to finish the writing part of this endeavor and move onto publishing. I cannot tell you how excited I am to tackle self-publishing. It is going to be hard. I am not a social media whiz (as evidenced by this sad blog), but I am willing to learn and do my best. The cool thing about self-publishing is that the success of my book is entirely on me. Whether the product is good or not and whether the marketing campaign does its job is all up to me.

Big thanks to those of you still cheering me on. I appreciate it so much. And if any of you want to beta read these first two books, let me know!

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