This Time Next Year

I’ve stated before that I’m not fond of New Year’s Resolutions.

Mostly, I find it counterproductive to limit self-improvement efforts by an arbitrary time frame. You shouldn’t have to wait until a certain holiday before you make a commitment to change yourself. Likewise, you shouldn’t impose a deadline of exactly one year on your dreams. That’s setting yourself up for failure, since most worthwhile dreams take longer than that to implement.

But my objections to holiday-bound resolutions do not mean I am against planning for the future. I only assert that you are allowed to do it at any time (and the sooner, the better).

I Find Myself in August

August is a good month for a lot of reasons—the best one is that it marks the beginning of peach season, which culminates in the most delicious dessert ever invented.

But August is also a good time to make future plans (as well as a time to celebrate the end of summer heat waves).

As such, I am considering where I ought to be one year from now. And I can honestly say that my prospects look brighter now than perhaps ever before. 2020 has been a life-making year for me, but its fruits aren’t going to be manifest right away. I can see them hanging on the branch, but peach season is still in the distance.

Let’s examine all my different projects, and determine where they could end up by August 2021.

The Books

Edits on Advent 9 will be done in October or November of this year. By that time, if all goes according to plan, I will also have a cover quote from a famous author I can use for shopping the book around to publishers and agents, and maybe some additional goodwill recommendations by that author.

December is not a good month for pitching books, but with these additional weapons in my arsenal, it’s conceivable—not dependable, but conceivable—that I could have some kind of contract by August 2021. Whether that contract be the handshake agreement of an agent, or an itemized publishing deal, it’s too early and too optimistic to say.

However, I am currently better positioned than 99.9% of all authors seeking publication right now, and it would be a mistake not to allow myself to prepare for success.

The Website and Twitter

Chances are that I will not have 100,000 Twitter followers by the end of the 2020.

Chances are really good that I will have 100,000 Twitter followers within the first quarter of 2021.

This will give me better visibility as I push books, get my name into the public consciousness, and become a reference to other writers and bloggers. This will also make it easier to spread the prestige of Mr. Horne’s Book of Secrets.

I would like the site to become so prestigious, in fact, that it starts to make me money. I’ve considered self-publishing some of my better posts (particularly posts from my miniseries Hints and Hooked on a Feeling) as low-cost ebooks. Of course, these books on writing will have greater authority if I become a published author, so they tie into my other goals, as well.

Beyond that, I have been working on processes to get my personal blog the same amount of attention my Twitter account gets. It’s been slow going, but I am beginning to learn some tricks. Within a year, I could turn this site’s fortunes around.


Being solvent has tremendously helped me to establish myself as an author. The past few years have been particularly bounteous.

This year’s projections give reason to be optimistic. I therefore can focus my attentions on the harder problem of getting published.


In a recent breakthrough, I discovered that I have the capacity for love.

And I’m getting rather sick of being alone. With everything else in my life going well, I think I can divert energy into advertising myself as well as as I advertise my products.

In any case, I’m done wondering if I’m good enough for anyone. As I witness the rest of the world falling apart, I now understand that the point is to find someone good enough for me.

All That in a Year’s Time

Alas, peach season comes but once a year. And canned peaches just aren’t as good as fresh (though they still have their uses).

Still, I insist I am capable of getting these things done by August next. It may require some growth as a person, and a willingness to break some outmoded habits, but these are things I can do in year.

It’s the first one of the rest of my life, after all.

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