Looking Ahead to 2022: Writing Goals, Garden Plans, and The Certainty of July

Looking Ahead to 2022: Writing Goals, Garden Plans, and The Certainty of Everything Going to Heck in July

I’ve struggled a bit with goals and resolutions this year.

I’d like to blame my brain. It’s tired. 2021 was a wild one.

I’d like to blame the weather. It’s a bright, sunny, frozen day, and I’m wondering if it’s okay to unplug the heat lamp in the well-house yet or not.

I’d like to blame it on the Christmas decorations still in the house—why didn’t I put those up in the attic yesterday?

But the truth is, for the first time in a long time, I’ve lost all confidence in my planning.

Oh, I have a plan. I always have a plan. But it’s a lot like gardening. Everything looks great on paper up until it’s in the ground and there’s a late freeze in April. June rolls around and it quits raining. For months. Then July hits and a plague of vine borers and squash bugs takes out all the pumpkin and beetles eat the okra.

What is certain is that 2022 is likely to be the biggest year in my writing life so far. I have two novels coming out this summer. Both novels are heart books—I loved and treasured them as I wrote them, and ones that I’m so proud to see published. They have characters I adore, worlds I happily spent months and years building and experiencing them fully, and I’m glad readers will get a chance to enjoy them. The bulk of my energy will go toward promoting these books, revising them into the best versions I can make them, and I can’t wait to see how that’s going to go.

But it’s also scary. What if I can’t make them the best they can be? What if I can’t be as available as I’d like to be for promotion? What if readers hate them? What if it’s like my garden—great on paper, buggy in reality? Will I be able to weather that and keep going forward with other work? I have so much to write and rewrite this year. I have books to query. I have books that need to head out to publishers this year. I have ideas that I want to draft, sequels to write and revise, and let’s not even talk about my to-read stack!

But at least my plan is on paper. I even divided it up in months as to what projects will be on the table at the time. While it’s all subject to change, and all subject to the possibility that it will all go to heck in July, or sooner, it’s there.

Bring it on, 2022.

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