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  • Jeffrey Hall

2017 - Making it Happen


2017 is here (I know, I'm about a month late) and with a new year comes new goals. A fresh start. An excuse to realign and reflect on the past year. And in this new year I expect to tread some new territory with my writing.

So what's the plan? What will make 2017 feel like a success? First and foremost, the completion of 3 novels set in the world of Chilongua, my dark, jungle fantasy series.

It's a bit ambitious for me as over the last few years I've been easily sidetracked when it comes to writing (mostly trying out short stories that crop up in my head), but with one novel just completed in January and another halfway done, I think I should be able to complete this goal as long as I stick to my writing average of 1500 words per day (a word count I'd try to triple if I did it fulltime - in case you're wondering.) I feel driven. The words are coming easy, for now. I feel I can do it so long as I stay focused. The question then becomes, what do I do with them once they are finished?

The primary goal is to find an agent and be traditionally published. The dream of seeing my book on a shelf at Barnes and Nobles is still as strong as ever, and one that is difficult to give up on. I currently have a query out to 15, targeted agents for the first novel in the series. So far none have requested any future materials. If I don't hear anything by March, I'll send out another round. After that, if nothing comes by June, I'll hopefully be finished with book 2 and go the route of the Indie.

Like some others I used to think self-publishing meant a lack in quality and always imagined someone trying to peddle their books out of their basement. But thanks to podcasts like the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast I have seen the light and have discovered that not only are there tremendous writers doing self-pub, but it's also a great way to share your work and build a fan base. Both things I want as desperately as seeing my work in a bookstore.

If I do decide to go this route, then I plan on going all in. After being at this for 10+ years I have a backlog of short stories that never found a home and some completed novels that I never had the guts to submit. If I end up going indie, I think I'll try to publish these things too (not to say that I wouldn't if I went trad, I just think my older work would be a much more difficult ticket to sell to a traditional publisher.)

Included in that backlog are a few short stories set in Chilongua, and perhaps that could even end up being a collection of sorts to keep readers interested if there lies a gap between books 2 and 3. Time will tell.

On top of that I've got a few ideas for some new short stories that I may dabble in so long as my schedule allows it and they don't get in the way of the novels. The next few months will determine if I go indie with those too or seek a traditional publisher.

That's the plan for now. I guess if I could give 2017 a mission statement it would be, "Make it happen." I'm tired of not having anything to show for all the words I write each and every day. I want to share them. I want to take a shot at making this thing work so I can write full-time. So this year is the first year I really try to prioritize making it happen.

I'll post updates on my progress throughout the year, as well as more strange shorts, sketches, and anything else that I feel is worth sharing.

Until then, back to making it happen.

Stay scraping, clawing, and scratching

-Jeff


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