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On My Writings Reading

2021 – A Year in Review

I hate writing introductions, so I’m going to keep this brief.

The year may not be over, but if I don’t write this yearly wrap-up now, I’ll probably forget. I tend to forget to do things on time. I’m working on it. I’ll start by summarizing what I did this year and then talk about some of my goals for next year.

2021 In Review

It’s been a year of accomplishment for me. I’ve gotten a lot done and I’m very close to hitting quite a few of my major goals for the year. There’s been ups and downs like any other year, but looking back I can see that even though there were some major downs, I had some big ups.

The first big up for me was that I finally caught back up on my schoolwork after being behind for what seemed like forever. It’s amazing how much stress goes away when you only have a few assignments to accomplish a day. It frees up so much time to do things. Well, my overachiever self decided I wanted to graduate High School a semester early. So, instead of graduating in the spring like most people, I finished school this month. I am done with High School. It feels like a much bigger accomplishment than it is. There’s still a good way to go before I’m done with school, but it’s one step closer.

In 2020 one of my big goals was to read more than I had in 2019. I decided I wanted to do the same thing this year. And being the overachiever/unrealistic person I am, I decided I wanted to double what I had read in 2020. I only read 20 books in 2020. So that left me to read at least 40 books this year. Not too challenging. As of my writing this, I have finished 41 books. And let me say, I have not been bored in my reading this year. I didn’t read many books I didn’t love.

Of the books I read, I have an easy top-five, though I do feel the need to include honorable mentions. They switch their position on the list in my mind quite a bit, but as of this writing, this is how I view them. I may do a post on them later, I may not.

My top five reads:

  1. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  2. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  3. Dune by Frank Herbert
  4. The Murderbot Diaries (Books 1-4) by Martha Wells
  5. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Honorable Mentions:

  • Kindred by Octavia Butler
  • The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
  • Crooked House by Agatha Christie

I read so many more and if I wanted to I could write only about what I read and what each book has taught me. But, alas, that is not the point of this wrap-up. Maybe another post.

Another goal for 2021 was for me to finish writing my first novel. Well, haven’t quite gotten there yet. But, I am only four chapters away from doing that. I may be able to by midnight December 31. While I haven’t finished it, I have written well over 85 thousand words in the book. It’s not perfect by any means. But, as I’m writing the end of it, I must say that it feels like a huge accomplishment. Threads have started to come together. Foreshadowing from early chapters is being paid off (even if it needs to be made clearer in the second and proceeding drafts).

In addition to working on my novel, I worked some more on my scripted comedy show. I haven’t written another full draft of an episode. But I’ve got pretty much the entire first season laid out and the scripts planned. I just need to sit down and write them. I also worked on writing a couple of short stories and planned for my next novel.

2021 was fairly productive now that I think about it. I could have done more and used my time better, but I’ll probably say that every year to some extent.

Goals for 2022

My biggest goal for 2022 is to be a published author in some fashion. Right now I’m thinking that means trying to get a short story published in a magazine. It’s a small step to take, but I think it’s reachable. This would mean that I have to make sure I am doing my best to make my writing the best I can, and doing it consistently. Doing this for short stories would help me to perfect my skills and I can take the lessons learned and use them when writing novels.

But, writing short stories is not all I want to do for a year. That sounds kind of boring, and it won’t feel like I’ve done as much even though I have. I also want to get a couple of more drafts through my first novel. I want to get it to the point where it’s the best that I can do on it without taking it to the next level or someone else. My goal is to do this at the beginning of the year. But, I may take a couple of weeks off from writing at the beginning of the year just so I can breathe after finishing Book One.

I also want to begin work on my second novel (I’ll explain the premise of it more once I finish writing my first novel). I think it won’t be nearly as long as the first draft of my first novel has been. It will also be easier to accomplish because the plot is not nearly as complicated and (as far as I know right now) there won’t be viewpoint shifts. I want to get at least halfway through that book.

  • January to March

    Start and finish the second draft of my current novel (#SotS).

  • April to June

    Start and finish the third draft of my current novel (#SotS).

  • July to August

    Work on planning my second book while writing short stories simultaneously.

  • September to December

    Start writing my second novel.

This is a very loose schedule. I am big on writing when I feel like it. If I’m in the middle of reading a really good book and have a lot of school work, I’m more likely to read than write. It helps me decompress and relax more than writing does.

As far as a reading goal for next year, I haven’t decided to be completely honest. My over-ambitious self wants to set a goal to read 100 books. But, my logical self says that’s stupid and impossible to reach if I want to pass all of my classes and hit my other goals. I want to read at least as many books as I did this year, that’s for certain. But beyond that, I’m not sure.

Overall, 2021 was a pretty good year from a productivity standpoint. Hopefully, 2022 will be even better and I’ll have even more to talk about!

Until next time,

Titus Watson
December 2021

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