The Year of Kept Promises


At the end of 2013, I declared 2014 the Year of Myke Phoenix, and I announced that in addition to the two new Myke stories I had released in early ’13 I would complete 10 more stories, one month at a time, and release the whole collection in time for the Christmas season.

The project saw its share of fits and starts, but sure enough Myke Phoenix: Year of the Dinosaur made its debut to the world Nov. 18, 2014.

I decided to be less specific about my writing goals for 2015, because to fulfill my original pledge I had done a lot of writing near the final deadline and wasn’t sure I wanted to be rushed like that again. Never mind that the hurried chapters turned out to be the rollicking climax I had hoped to spin out; I wanted to try a different approach.

I did make my intentions for Myke Phoenix known to the small group who have signed up for my emailing list – I do have a general idea where that story goes next – but I did not set a deadline.

Well, now I’ve seen how that turned out: 2015 became the Year of Nothing. No new completed writing projects came from this pen, although my blog has seen a resurgence of material. At least that’s something. So maybe, to be fair to myself, 2015 was the Year of At Least That’s Something.

As 2016 arrives, I’m going to try a middle ground. It seems the successful completion of Myke Phoenix: Year of the Dinosaur was tied to the fact that I set a deadline and convinced myself it was important to meet that deadline.

Having spent 40 years meeting deadlines in my day jobs, the importance of taking deadlines seriously should have been obvious. But – complete one Myke story a month? Maybe a little too ambitious, and once I fell behind it affected morale. Still – finish the dodecology in time for Christmas? That worked. Pledge to produce a specific product rather than a general idea? That worked.

Thus I declare 2016 to be the Year of:

May 11 – The first novel in what I envision to be the Krayatura Trilogy shall be released. It is my goal to have at least the first draft of all three books completed by then. If possible I’d like to try the “Netflix” approach and release all three books at once, so that you may have the option of savoring the first novel or binge-reading the lot. Coming months will determine whether I can accomplish that larger goal, but I shall deliver the first novel on May 11. That is hereby etched in stone.

And after that? By July 1 I will have all three novels ready for you.

I’m still working on my goals for the second half of the year, but they are taking shape. Let’s see how these six months go as I aim to make 2016 the Year of Kept Promises. Stay tuned.