My 2021 Writing in Review

It’s the first week of 2022, so I want to look back at last year before looking forward. Reviewing your goals is a good habit although you have to give yourself grace when you haven’t achieved them all. You worked towards them, made progress, or did something entirely different. What you have to understand is the ‘why’ behind those results.

Publishing Infernal Contracts

I had no idea what past-me was thinking trying to finish two whole books with numerous rounds of editing in one year. If I only focused on those two, I might have finished them, but the quality would be lacking (I took courses and did self-study to improve my craft and process) and I wouldn’t have these amazing covers (I had new covers made at the end of the year).

Lucifer’s Favour is nearly done now and I’m working on revising Beelzebub’s Bargain as we speak. With the whole year ahead of us, I can say I have confidence it will be released this year. I understand my craft better, improved my revising and editing process, and made changes in my private life that give me more energy and time to work on them.

Devil’s Deal re-released (again… I know, sigh) less than a month ago with the new cover made by Ravven. She worked magic to create these covers. I love them and can’t wait to reveal the other two. The book has new and deleted scenes, and an additional round of editing, which I also did last year, to keep the quality consistent with the other two books.

Mermaid story

I wanted to finish this story so badly but I just didn’t have time. I fast drafted the zero draft during Camp NaNo in July but it was tough. It also hurts to know there’s an unfinished draft in my digital drawer that I want to get to as quickly as possible but I need to dedicate my time to finish the others first.

That said, I have published Undine’s Blessing as an exclusive short story for my newsletter. It takes place after the novel but you can already meet Marella and the mysteries of the Morcain Sea. I had submitted this to a magazine before but it was rejected and I didn’t want to sit on it while people could already enjoy a new Lunis Aquaria story and meet the protagonist of the next book.

Short story submissions

I submitted four different short stories for different magazines and anthologies. Two of them I hadn’t written yet, the other two were edited pieces I had drafted before.
Two of the short stories were rejected, one of them was accepted. The last one I submitted days before the year ended and haven’t received an acceptance or rejection yet.

I hadn’t planned on submitting any short stories in 2021 but here we are. Sometimes an opportunity jumps up and you have to make a quick decision if you want to grab it or not. I decided I wanted to try. One out of the four got accepted which is amazing but that doesn’t mean the others are bad. They’re just not right for the publisher. I might try to find other houses for them but even if I don’t, I will publish them somewhere.

The other one that got rejected has a premise that would work well for a YA sci-fi series and I need to decide what I’m going to do with it. There is one other magazine that might take it but if not, I might turn this into a series later and publish it myself. That’s one of the big pros of being a self-published author. You can create the home for your stories.

Unexpected news

Aside from these submissions, I also got the results for the short story competition I entered in December 2019. Champion of Wintersdeep earned second place! And I’m so proud of it. I’m going to edit it and will create a new short story collection based on one of the major themes of the story. The fourth story I submitted has the same theme, so that’s two down. I’ll need to write a couple more but it’ll be an interesting project. A passion project.

So even though I haven’t published any books, I worked my butt off in other areas to create the best work possible. I strayed from the path I’d plotted out at the beginning of the year and reaped the rewards. Two published short stories, and a beautiful edition of an old book, three short stories that need a home, an unfinished draft, and two manuscripts that need polishing.

3 thoughts on “My 2021 Writing in Review

  1. Kim says:

    It sounds like a successful year, Tessa.
    Wonderful news that The Frail Flittermouse and the Glacial Glindodder has been accepted by Skullgate Media. I didn’t know anything about them so I googled the company. It sounds like a great publisher to be a part of.
    Also, big congratulations on your 2nd place win for “Champion of Wintersdeep”. What a lovely surprise.

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