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.