This year was very much an overall representation of my creative life… big goals, almost realized, yet undermined by my health.
I started out this year having published nothing. I had spent years learning, writing, re-writing and trashing most of my work. 2015 was the year things finally started to come together.
I started this website, a blog and a podcast.
I released my first novel in the Gabby Wells series, Kneel & Prey. I also finished the second novel, Lost & Found, and the third novel, Sins & Suicide, both of which will be released early next year. I had planned on finishing the fourth novel, Gods & Martyrs, when my decades long struggle with Crohns interfered with my plans once again.
Out of college, it was Crohns that made me change careers from acting to TV production. It was the need for health insurance to manage my Crohns which led me to leave TV and move into the corporate world. It was Crohns which limited nearly all of my film and TV creative goals, leading me to focus on writing. And, now, as a novelist, it is my Crohns which impacted me reaching my goals this past year.
My fourth surgery in four years overwhelmed my mind with concerns and struggles. It’s amazing how quickly the creative juices dry up when your brain succumbs to fears of self preservation. So, I didn’t finish that last novel goal.
2016 – Goals
Having had a chronic illness for most of my adult life, I’ve learned to appreciate and value my time. The disease has tried to kill me a number of times and I’m certain it will eventually succeed, so, as much as I have professional writing goals, I don’t feel rushed to reach them. Given the choice of writing or spending time with my family, I would spend time with my family without a second thought. Time is fleeting and we can’t get that time back. Would I rather listen to my wife’s laugh or stare at a laptop screen trying to figure out the right adjective?
That doesn’t mean I won’t be dedicated to writing. I’ll do it most evenings and weekends, but, if an opportunity arises to spend a few hours joking with my siblings or marveling at my kids, I’ll do it and never regret it.
My Tangible Goals
- Release novels 2-4 of the Gabby Wells series.
- Use that release to build up my mailing list.
- Find five new ways to connect with my target audience
- Use my podcast to showcase other Catholic or Christian fiction writers approaching the material as I do, not to preach, but to tell entertaining stories with people who happen to believe in something higher than themselves.
- Begin and release at least one novel in a new series.
- Release at least one novel in the Gabby Wells series.
This year has been a blessing in many ways and I feel lucky to have shared it with all of you. May God fill your 2016 with tremendous love, happiness and hope. The world could use more of all of them.