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A Year in Review and a Look Ahead

Hello friends and welcome to the very first Thursday blog post of 2022 here at Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

I feel like I could say this every year, but it is especially true of this last one: 2021 did not go at all the way I expected. 

At one time I had aspirations of completing the Nexus (laughable in retrospect), reading 22 books (a pittance to some, but a mountain to me), and consistently blogging. 

Well, one out of three isn’t… bad… Okay, it’s pretty bad.

But that’s okay! Because I did something in 2021 that I definitely did not expect: I became a professional, published author. I signed up as a freelancer with Bryant Street Shorts, a romance imprint with the subscription service Scribd. I wrote six novellas in just as many months, and I got paid for my work.

Holy shit, if that’s not worth skimping on a few New Year’s resolutions, I don’t know what is. 

2021, though exceedingly challenging, frustrating, liberating, amazing, and unexpected all at once, was a year of monumental growth for me. I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of given the opportunity and motivation. 

But I’m not done yet. As much as I have loved my freelancing gig and plan to continue writing romance novellas in the coming year, there is still so much more I want to accomplish, particularly as it relates to my personal, passion projects. The fantasy novels that have been percolating in my brain, some for years, and, unfortunately, took a back seat while I through myself headfirst into the novellas. 

And that’s what got me thinking about what goals/resolutions I should set for 2022. Now, admittedly, I have a horrible track record with resolutions. I always get way too ambitious and usually give up on everything, instead of eyeing one or two realistic goals to take on. That being said, I don’t necessarily think that ambition should be discouraged. As long as it’s pushing me to achieve more than I did before, even by only a modicum, then it’s still serving a purpose, right? 

To that end, I’ve decided to split my goals into three categories:

  • Do or Die – self-explanatory. These are things I must get done this year if I want to retain any sort of respect for myself. 
  • Nice but Not Necessary – Things I probably could and should do, but I won’t be totally humiliated if I don’t. 
  • Preposterous Pipe Dreams – Things that are so ludicrous, perhaps even outside the realm of possibility for someone in my position, yet still fun to think about and aspire to. 

So, without further ado: Kerry’s 2022 Resolutions!


Do or Die

  1. Write 160,000 words towards fantasy projects.

The biggest thing I would like to accomplish this year, as alluded to earlier, is a return to personal writing, and by that I mean my fantasy ideas. Originally, I had planned to draft an entire novel this year, but the thing is… none of my standard novel ideas (aka: not the cluster fuck that is the Nexus) is ready yet. I’ve got one simmering right now that still needs half a year or more before I’m ready to commit to it. Which is fine. I have the Nexus to work on (that will likely be true for years to come) and at least that project, though lengthy and time consuming, is fun to work on, because I have no expectations for it. 

That said, as much as I enjoy writing that particular story, I am clear eyed and realistic enough about the industry to know that its not the most likely vehicle to advance my writing career, which, to be clear, I really, really want to do. So, I don’t really feel like spending an entire year on a project that may never see the light of day is the best use of my time. 

And that’s the thought that led me to my Next Big Idea.

This year, I’m going to write an urban fantasy novella, the first in a planned series.

The concept, codenamed Wonderland for now, is one I’ve been ruminating on for a few years, but only in the last 10 months have I started to consider it as a novella series rather than a novel. The structure I would like to pursue is more like a monster-of-the-week TV series, which is obviously more short form. I had a lot of fun writing romance novellas this year and I think the shorter word count lends itself well to my writing style (thin as hell). And while this may not be the idea that launches my fantasy career either, it scratches the itch of wanting to work on something new while also not being too much of a time suck. 

So, this is how I envision my word count breaking down (in any order of completion): 

  • Story Path #2 of the Nexus: 50-60,000 words
  • Story Path #3 of the Nexus: 50-60,000 words
  • Wonderland #1: 40-48,000 words

Honestly, even looking at it now, I know it’s a big ask to make of myself. It will mean working every damn day. It will mean not giving up even when I’m tired or bored or busy. It will mean taking what I said about attacking this year with gusto deadly seriously. I can do it. I will.

  1. Write 8 novellas for Scribd

Last year I started freelancing in April. I wrote six novellas in eight months. It was a wild ride that exhausted me to my very core, and I loved every minute of it. This year, I’m upping the ante. My plan this year is two novellas a quarter, with every third month off to catch my breath. 

Each novella has a target word count of 35,000 words, so if I have my math right, between freelancing and personal writing, my goal for the year is almost half a million words. 

I think my heart just stopped looking at that. 

But I’m not going to ask for luck. I’m not going to say “hopefully.” I’m just going to get after it. 


Nice But Not Necessary

  1. Finish every book I start this year – absolutely no DNFs. 

This is an odd one, because usually my approach to reading is that I just don’t have time to slog through a book I’m not enjoying. However, the plain truth of the matter is my taste is notoriously difficult to satisfy. And I think that is to my detriment. I’m tired of being embarrassed that I haven’t read a lot, I’m tired of not understanding references in writing circles, and I’m damn tired of worrying over whether or not I’m going to know enough books to have comps to my own writing whenever it comes time to query. There is something to be learned about writing from every book pick I pick up, even if I don’t like them. So, I’m reading cover to cover this year. How many I finish, well…

  1. Read three books a month

Last year I set a goal of reading 22 books for the whole year, and only ended up with… six? I think? So, maybe this goal belongs in the below category, especially since my favorites are epic fantasy. But I don’t want to set my sights lower because then I’ll somehow find a way to not even meet that goal, so at least if I am high maybe I’ll read ten books this year and that will be an improvement Right? 

  1. Figure out how to sell my novellas on my own

My exclusivity period with Scribd only lasts twelve months, and after that I am able to vend my novellas on my own (through Patreon, or what have you). I think this is totally rad and especially cool of Scribd, but the thing is… I haven’t the faintest idea how to go about it. Part of the reason I’ve never seriously considered self-publishing before is because it seems like so much work that I don’t know how to do and am kind of afraid to learn? It was easy to make the choice not to pursue back when it was still just a hypothetical, but now that I actually have written work available to self-pub… I don’t know, it seems like leaving money on the table to not do it, right? So, I guess I’m going to have to learn about e-book formatting and cover art, and how to run a Patreon. Gulp


Preposterous Pipe Dreams

  1. Dabble in podcasting

I’ve mentioned wanting to this maybe once or twice before, and I still kind of laugh about it because… I can’t imagine anyone tuning in to listen to what I’m sure would just be an audio version of this blog, but I also think it would be kind of fun.  I mean, I’m published now, right? That means people might take what I have to say seriously. They shouldn’t, but they might. 

  1. Release a serialized novel

This idea started with the Pillar Verse I briefly wrote in last year (remember my Short But Sweet vignettes?) and I sometimes return to it when I’m laying in bed dreaming about what other sorts of writing endeavors I could undertake to help build my career. I could release a chapter a month to Patreon or something and it wouldn’t be edited as a completed novel would be, so it would be a bit of a mess, but that’s okay because it’s a fun thing to do with the writing community. Right? I don’t know. I doubt I have time what with my other more realistic goals, but… the idea has merit. Sometimes. Maybe. Does it? 


Well that’s a total of seven goals, ranging from the ludicrous to the outrageous. I’m under no illusions that I’ll accomplish even half of them, but that’s not the point. The point is the motivation. The point is the seizing the desire of the moment to propel myself to greater heights, even if they aren’t as high as I imagined. 

But, if I’m being completely truthful, my only real, true goal is just to have fun writing again. At times in years past, at the lowest low points with my mental health struggles, writing was the complete opposite of enjoyable. It was a slog. It was painful. It was exhausting. And it was the source of a lot of internalized guilt.

I am pleased to say that I’m so much better today than I have been at any time in the previous three year. For the first time in a long while, I feel like I’m in a really good place, with the strength and determination I need to climb the mountain before me. And, more than that, I’m excited about it.

I hope you all are excited to come along on the journey with me.

Until next time friends. May your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!

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New Year’s Resolutions: 2020 Edition

Hello friends, and welcome to a special New Year’s Eve edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

Well. 2020, huh?

I’m not gonna harp too long on it. Suffice it to say: I did not meet a single one of my writing goals this year. Not one.

Some of that can be blamed on the pandemic (failing to attend critique group, for example), but most of them were just me giving up. It’d be easy to say “Well, 2020, give yourself a break,” and I am in some ways. But I want to be a professional writer, and that means holding myself to account when I let that goal drink itself stupid and pass out in the back seat of my car.

One thing I did start this year that I’m really proud to have kept up is journaling. It’s been a major boon to my mental health and it has really helped me kind of examine in a semi-external way the particular turns of my mind that leads me down certain paths. Which is an overly verbose way of saying, I think I know why I fail at so many resolutions, year after year.

First, and it so ding dang obvious now that I’ve thought about it, is that I get so amped up for the potential new lifestyle I’m about to embark on that I just get too ambitious. Like last year, I said I wanted to dabble in podcasting. I mean… even just dabbling in something like podcasting means a monumental amount of effort, that even if 2020 hadn’t been a complete trashcan would have totally eaten up spoons I frankly just don’t have. Or even something simple like starting an Instagram account. If I’d given it more than a moment’s consideration I would have realized that I have no use for an Instagram account. The idea of having pictures out there in the ether of my personal space pings my anxiety like nobody’s business.

Last year I listed eight (8) resolutions and failed every single one of them. This year, I’m scaling down. I only have three. They are ambitious in their own ways, but very achievable and much more in my time and mental energy budget. They are:

  1. Finish the first draft of The Nexus by July 31st
  2. Review the 22 books currently in my TBR list
  3. Resume the blogging schedule I outlined in August (with minor alterations)

Simple, really, and yet things I have struggled with in the past: reading and writing on a consistent basis when I don’t have the deadline of NaNo whipping me along. These things are habits that I need to form, not just goals I would like to achieve. So, the real question is: how do I, someone notoriously resistant to change, go about altering my everyday behavior? Because, honestly, simply wanting to hasn’t been enough.

The answer I keep coming back to is accountability. I need the spectre of embarrassment from failing to spur me on. I need a structure to work within and deadlines to meet. And while I can’t ask someone to care about my writing as much as me enough to push me when I won’t push myself,  I can publically announce my intentions and imagine for myself a crowd of people who would be let down if I don’t follow through. So here we go. I’m not just going to vaguely say I’m going to meet these goals. I’m going to detail how and when I’m going to do that.

As for drafting the Nexus. I have a total of 6 story paths, one already drafted during November and three more outlined. So I’m giving myself seven months to plot, outline, and write the remaining paths. The path I drafted for NaNo was ostensibly the longest, so it’s not outside the realm of plausibility that I can draft one path a month. Having the first draft completely done will give me time to think through the revisions and outline draft 2 so I can start drafting that in November. Easy peasy.

Note that my second goal for 2021 was to review the 22 books in my TBR. Not necessarily finish. I’m actually giving myself the mental space to DNF some of them. Fortunately, I have a blog series specifically for these kinds of books, so even if I don’t read as much as I’d like… I can still get some content out of it. Further, after giving it some thought, I realized it would really help me stay on target if I actually named the books I plan to read (and review) and in what order. That way, if inspiration fails me or if the depression monster diverts me off track, I have a roadmap to find my way back. So without further ado: Just Another Struggling Writer’s book review schedule!

January
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

February
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Fate of the Fallen by Kel Kade

March
The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
The Throne of the Five Winds by S.C. Emmett

April
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan

May
The Bone Ships by RJ Barker
Radiance by Grace Draven

June
We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

July
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

August
Jade City by Fonda Lee
The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

September
Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
Legacy of Ash by Matthew Ward

October
An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock
The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso

(Break for NaNoWriMo)

December
Nocturne by Kat Ross
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Yes, before you ask, I’ve never read any of these, despite their fame and popularity, particularly within the genre. I’m also a little bit ahead of the game and pleased to say that I’ll most likely have the first review done as soon as Tuesday as I’m more than halfway through The Obelisk Gate and plan to spend my holiday weekend finishing it up. As I’ve mentioned before, my book reviews tend to get a surprising amount of traffic and I’m looking forward to bringing you all more of them in the coming year.

And speaking of the blog schedule… Look, 52 solid weeks of blogging is a lot. I very much doubt that I’m going to be able to keep up with that kind of production consistently. That said, I’m gonna do my best, but I’m also not gonna beat myself up about it if I don’t manage it. I also am planning to have Short But Sweet Sundays make a comeback. I’m still really enamored with that story and that setting, and it’ll be nice to have a break from the Nexus every once and a while. It won’t be weekly, but the last Sunday of the month please look forward to a little vignette in the Pillar-verse. 

See? Simple! She said sarcastically.

In all seriousness, after the trainwreck of 2020 I’m not sweating even these modest goals. Really, on a micro level, if I’m reading and writing every day then it’s a win and that’s all I have to say about that. 


So, that’s it from me for this week. I’ll be back on Tuesday for a YMMV review of The Obelisk Gate and then on Thursday to check in and see how that whole writing-every-day thing is going. Until then, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few!

Kerry Share

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New Year’s Resolutions

2019 was a hell of a year. I have mixed emotions about it, really, because while there are a lot of reasons why the last 365 sucked ass, as it turns out, I actually accomplished a lot of my writing related goals.

I finished the first draft of Border Towns. I attended my first ever writing conference, where I got to call myself a writer without other people rolling their eyes. I started a second draft. I discovered the sheer joy that is editing and revising. I won NaNoWriMo second year running.

I fell down a lot, though, too. I wanted to read 25 books. I didn’t even crack double digits. I wanted to blog every week. Ha! Good one! I wanted to make new friends. I tried, but the mental health struggles were too real.

But, as I said in last year’s New Year’s post, I’m obsessed with new beginnings. Its one of the few things I’m hopelessly optimistic about. No matter how many times I fail, I know as long as I wake up the next day, I have another chance to succeed.

Well, I’m still here, I’m still trying.

So, without further ado, here are my 2020 Writing Goals:

  • Finish draft 2 of Border Towns
  • Start the Trunk Novel
  • Blog once a week
  • Start an instagram account
  • Dabble in podcasting
  • Read one new book a month
  • Regularly attend metro area critique group
  • Head back to DFWCon

I’m sweating just looking at that list, honestly. But, I figure, if I can achieve even three of them, even one of them, then I’ve moved myself forward. And I’ll never regret forward progress.

However, if I want to accomplish any of them, I know for a fact that I’m going to need to make one major habit change.

I need to learn how to write (and edit, and blog, and read etc.) at home.

I’ve gotten it so ingrained that my desk at work is where I Get Stuff Done that when I get home, I can physically feel my muse take off her bra and flip on Netflix. But the creases of time I find at work are no longer enough to meet my productivity goals (to say nothing of the fact that I can’t even blog from work anymore at all thanks to wordpress getting caught in the firewall). If I’m going to continue to grow and get better as a writer, I’ve got to stop being so precious about my home being the Leisure Space. I have got to stop making excuses to not put the work in. I’ve got to do better.

So, here I am, in bed with my laptop up past my bedtime with Mythbusters reruns cheering me on as I type. I’m tired. But it feels like a victory.

Here’s to 364 more victories this year.


That’s all from me in this very first blog post of 2020, the first of 52 I hope to write this year. Until next time, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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New Year, New Name, New Goals

Happy New Year everyone, and, for me, personally, it is not a moment too soon. To get personal for just a moment, 2018 — again, for me — sucked ass. And that’s all the looking backwards I will do.

Suffice it to say, spoons were in short supply this holiday season and so I made the judgment call to lay writing (including Twitter and this blog) aside for a few weeks to recharge and reprioritize.

I’m a sucker for new beginnings. I even have a phoenix tattooed on my back. I thrive at the New Year, but, like many (even most) people I tend to drop off after the initial fervor. So, this year, I’m going to take the lessons I learned from NaNo and apply them to all my goals for 2019.

Most pertinent of which: accountability. The idea of admitting that I hadn’t successfully completed NaNoWriMo was a huge motivation for me in the waning days of November, if I’m being honest. I wanted to give up so badly, watching my daily word count creep higher and higher, well past the point I thought I was capable of achieving, but the idea of letting down my writing friends, and certain family members who had been egging me on… that, to me, was unforgivable.

It’s funny how the human mind works, isn’t it? I set a personal goal that didn’t cost me anything (other than sanity), certainly didn’t cost anyone else anything. It was a commitment of time and effort, sure, but in turn I wasn’t sacrificing anything unreasonable. But I didn’t want anyone to think that I couldn’t do it. I’m still not sure if it was personal pride or anxiety. In any case, it worked.

Honestly, I know I’m just another struggling writer in a sea of struggling writers. But if one person cares enough to check in on me (and there have been more than a few since I’ve started this journey) then I know my own mind well enough to believe that’s enough to push me forward.

So, without further ado, here’s my list of GOALS for 2019. Help me slay ’em, yall.

  1. Finish Bordertowns, my novel.
  2. Revise.
  3. Revise again.
  4. Repeat as necessary.
  5. Start querying process.
  6. Blog once a week.
  7. Buy domain for said blog.
  8. Make more of an effort to establish relationships via social media.
  9. Read 25 new books.
  10. Say the words “I’m a writer” out loud to another human being.

Bonus: attend the SFWA Nebula Conference, finances permitting.


One last note: I wrote a few weeks ago about my struggle with deciding on a professional name. I realized after posting that I was probably overthinking it. So, I decided that when I came back from my little hiatus I would just bite the bullet and make the change.

So, sort of contrary to what I said just up there, I’m no longer Just Another Struggling Writer.

I’m Kerry Share.


Next week I plan to start playing with the format of this blog while I continue working to find my formula. Thanks to everyone who has followed me thus far and who sticks with me going forward. It really, truly means a lot.