Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best of PBW 2015

On the last day of every year my tradition is to sort through the archives to see how things went, what I accomplished (or didn't) and get some ideas on ways in which to improve things with PBW and my writing life.

I continued my themeless trend of 2014 by not picking a theme for 2015 (or if I did, I can't find the post), but I did talk a bit about ghost writing, and how well my transition to becoming a full-time freelance ghost writer worked out. I finally found the nerve to end things with the agent, which was very tough but also my first significant step toward indy publishing.

Downsides were surprisingly minimal this past year, or maybe they just seem that way by comparison to all the scares and bears of 2014. All of the things that made me unhappy in my professional life vanished once I quit traditional publishing, and 2015 has been one of the better years in my personal life, so I see it as a win/win. While touring colleges for my kid I did get a chance to briefly revisit Savannah, my favorite American city, which made me quite happy. I didn't do too many new things, but the few I tried were fun, like signing up for Library Thing's Early Reviewer Program.

My writing life changed for the better in many major ways in 2015. On my own I managed to build a nice list of clients over the last twelve months. Although NDAs prevent me from talking about my work now, I walloped 2015 for completed writer-for-hire works (around 800K total), rejuvenated my love of writing, saw my work return to several bestseller lists, and established a reliable, livable income. And I didn't have to promote a single thing I wrote all year which, let me tell you, was absolutely wonderful. I also continued to write for my readers almost every week online via Just Write, and completed Club Denizen and Ghost Writer; and began work on Twenty-One, the first SF story I've written since 2009. If I nailed anything in 2015, it was definitely writing.

Here's a look back at what I think were the best posts of 2015:

January: Ban It Ten, Not So Smart, Story Carding

February: Ugly Beautiful, 5 Flickr Photo Freebie Sources, Thumb Rules

March: Blogger SPAM, Falling Up, WFH No-Nos

April: New Venture, Necessary Weapons, Walking It

May: Better Writing Days, Gone Post, Personal Legends

June: Toes and Throws, Secret Covers, Q&A with LJ Cohen

July: Pic Ten, Calendar Recycled Pocket Journal, Yes, Europeople, We Have Cookies

August: Summer at the Shelter, Creative Space, Nom Nom Nom Ten

September: Foot Shot Ten (also the most popular post of 2015 on PBW), Free Pics (Weekly!), Color Week #5: Color Collection Notebook

October: NaNoPrep Ten, Titlepalooza, Everywhere

November: Lost in the Details, Blockbuster Ten, NaNoNag #3

December: Gift Pass Ten, 100, Recycled Gift Wrap #2

Welcome 2016. Since I'm in a good place, may you help everyone else make at least one of their dreams or wishes come true.


  1. I'm so very happy for you! (Decloaking to wish you a happy new year) I've been a lurker for years, surfacing only occasionally, but please know how much I love and respect your work.

    After an awful 2014, finishing this past year in a happy and fulfilling place must feel great. I so wish I could be a fly on your wall and find out what titles you're ghost writing! (and I do wonder if some of the books I've read in the past months have actually been written by you) :-)

    I'm in film/TV and we've undergone much the same change as publishing (who knew YouTube stars would end up with a bazillion followers - and brands would move their ad $ there as opposed to traditional TV?).

    Oh, and yeah, there's also the fact that the average age in the industry has dropped to about 12. A peer of mine was in L.A. for VidCon in July and texted: "Day 1: I have learned that I am 182 years old." On the other hand, like you, this New World Order has allowed us more flexibility and creative freedom than I've experienced - wow, in my career.

    Here's to a fantastic 2016!

    warm regards,
    Lisa Richman


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