We have said good riddance to what has likely been one of the most infamously memorable years in all our lives. I don’t have to tell you all about how much this pandemic has affected all of us. Clearly we have had ups and downs, and unfortunately the downs have been a struggle for many of us. But I am not all about the negative. The “Year of COVID” was not without some positive moments.
Despite the craptastic year we had, there were some positives in 2020. After trudging along with my writing and having no real direction beyond what I was planning for this year, I was able to complete a long-term plan that involved 10 novels which would all live in “The Amalgam” – the name I have given my writing universe. With two novels (and a collection of old stage plays) already published as “The First Amalgam,” my 2020 publishing plans centered on one title: Welcome to Oblivion. This novel, which began as a stage play, was 13 years in the making. I took a different approach to publishing by adding ARC readers, more advertising, a giveaway, and even running a book launch.
Paperback sales have been lacking, but the online (kindle eBook) sales and Kindle Unlimited reads are better than the previous releases. So, I guess there’s a silver lining there. Not to mention, I absolutely love how the story turned out, and being able to add to my own library is always going to be seen as a positive accomplishment.
From the writing side, I was able to finish drafts of two different novels that will be released in 2021. Back in April, I finished Clippings, which will be more of the non-traditional type of novel told in the form of newspaper and journal articles, blog posts, news transcripts, and other social media communications. The story surrounds “The Clipper,” a serial killer hiding within the suburbs of Chicago. A killer who seemingly targets his victims at random. But as the story unfolds, perhaps there is a method to the madness. But however it goes down, nobody in Carloff County is safe until they uncover the killer’s identity.
I then had a goal of finishing the first draft of Pummeled: Submission by the end of the year. It was going well, then hit a rough patch. But in December, I found the motivation to power through. I wrote about 10,000 words over the last two days, and now I’m in editing mode. The sequel to my debut novel is on track for a Thanksgiving 2021 release.
Something else that went well in 2020 was the increased development of my #WritingCommunity friends and the wonderful contacts I have made (mostly through Instagram). These connections are what motivated and inspired me to make my goals for 2020. Also, these new friends have lead to new readers outside my regular circle. This was imperative if I am ever to find continued success. Let’s face it, I haven’t heard from probably 80% of my Facebook “friends” since I started publishing novels, so branching out was necessary. I have seen sales come in from five different countries now, which is amazing to me and a strong motivator to keep plowing ahead. Not to mention, I became someone’s “new favorite author” in 2020! Finally, I started reading the works of many indie authors, and they are a wonderful group of writers! Go over to my #WritingCommunity link if you want to learn more about members of the independent writing family.
I’m not for harping on the negatives, so this will be short. Yes, for many people, 2020 was a terrible time. People lost their lives, their jobs, their way of living … it was an adjustment that many even refused to acknowledge was real. We have to wear masks, large crowd gatherings are a bad idea, hospitals are still filling up with COVID patients, and people are anxious to get back to some sense of normalcy.
One thing is guaranteed, though. We are strong enough to get through this. Although we may have our low moments, this year will make us stronger as we aim to a return to the world we knew one year ago.
Be smart, be safe, and always be good to one another.