Ringing in the New Year

Bernie Anés PazLife & Thoughts1 Comment

I want to take a moment here at the turn of the decade and look out over the horizon. 2020 means different things for many of us; for some, it’s just another year but for others, it’s a fresh chance for dreams and opportunities.

I have personally decided that 2020 was going to “be my year,” and I have several personal projects and goals lined up in preparation. I’m not sure any of them will actually lead to anything, but at least I am fortunate enough to have direction; I’m not lost and alone in the forest of my life.

Some of these are simple pleasantries. Cyberpunk 2077, a game I have been waiting to release for a very long time, will finally grace us. Many more fantastic games are slated this year, as well as novels, fantasy series, and movies. Then there are all the surprise releases yet to appear, and those with unsure dates, such as the much anticipated Baldur’s Gate 3.

Others are life-changing goals of mine. I’m the fittest I’ve been in a while thanks to some hard work, and despite being cliche I’ve planned to lose a few more pounds this year and improve on that. The culmination of my life’s educational direction will also come into play in 2020, deciding, more or less, the direction where my non-writing career will be going. In some ways, this is refreshing. I’m tired of school and feel that with my age I’m already far behind in the “where I should be in life” game.

Most important to me, however, are probably my personal projects. This website is one. I actually set it up in preparation for 2020, though I did write here and there prior to today. Now I aim to post much more frequently. Mostly for myself, as I don’t yet have an audience, but that’s okay. I’d like to see this site as a kind of diary to myself that will allow me to look back over the years and track my progress towards my dreams. Eventually, maybe it will also become a window for me to connect with my fans and fellow writers.

For 2020, my focus remains on two major writing projects. The first is Cradle of Sea and Soil. Though recycling a few ideas from Islandblood, I feel that this novel will be quite unique and finally pin down the tribal Taino/Puerto Rican themes I’ve been struggling to incorporate into a story and I am really excited about it. I do honestly believe that, for all its dark grim themes, Islandblood probably could have been published. It just would have been a difficult sell. But I was vastly proud of that work and I think I have finally matured enough as a writer to seriously consider publication.

My goal is to finish Cradle of Sea and Soil sometime early this year, then draft it several times. I will be submitting it to Pitch Wars again as well as pitching it to agents and seeing what happens. After this, depending on how things go and beta reader feedback, I would like to try my hand at the extensive and difficult process of self-publication.

It’s always been my goal; even if I eventually become traditionally published I will still be self-publishing on the side, making me a hybrid novelist. My dream is to eventually write fulltime and right now self-pub is the only realistic way to do it, so… Anyway, I have been doing a lot of research on the subject. It’s not going to be easy, but running a business never is, so we’ll see. Besides, I feel this project would be perfect for self-pub if I can not get agents to see its inner glow.

Speaking of self-pub, I have also decided to write a serial web novel I am tentatively calling Blood & Honey, which is about a nightmare god that chooses a maker of sweets to become his high priest in a contest where gods face each other for a chance to join an eternal pantheon.

It’s going to be mostly an experiment and for my own pleasure, but with the growing popularity of Royal Road, where I will be co-releasing the novel, I feel like this would be a neat little side project. Any writing is practice, after all, and this will allow me to connect my writing to some readers while I work on my major projects.

So, yes. This is going to be a big year for me in a lot of ways. I’m excited, but also a little bit scared. Change generally is always a bit scary, I suppose. But who knows where I will be and what I will think ten years from now when I read this?

That, I think, is what is important. One can find opportunities within change and that is always a better thing than having none. So let’s ring the bells and welcome in the new year, folks.

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