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Five Years a Writer

It's that time of year again. One year older, wiser. Increasingly jaded. Forgive me, it's my forty-fourth birthday and I'm feeling a bit maudlin. So set your parasocial filters to stun, grab a martini, and let's dive right in.


As always, I like to start where I left off last year. Join me, won't you... Well, that was a short jaunt. True, I was in the thick of writing and marketing like a mad thing, but still, what a cheapskate! I'll try to give you more this year. More updates. More humour. Let's write this mother!


Looking back, it's hard to believe that 2023 was my first full year of publishing. It feels like so, so much longer. Uh, in a good way! It's been a lot of work, and a lot of self-imposed pressure I could do without, but that's not how publishing works. Was that a humble brag? It sounded like a humble brag. What an egomaniac. I guess that's something of a requirement for writing and publishing. I mean, who puts themselves out there like this? Like, deliberately? Anyway, enough of that.


I suppose the biggest thing to happen last year was the The Citadel of Bureaucracy launch. Boy, did it. Honestly, the book is so niche I expected a handful of people would buy it out of pity, but it's sold quite well—much better than Springtide Harvest in its first few months. Improved marketing probably helped, and it has a sweet cover and interior illustrations going for it. I bet some people did buy it out of solidarity, but hopefully it ended up surprising them. I just try to write honestly and from the heart. Hopefully people are slipping in what I'm spilling. Gross; or, I'm sorry.


But let's move on to everyone's favourite: the stats! I'm happy to report at least one sale every month, and that one hundred fifty-seven people bought my books in 2023. One HUNDRED fifty-seven! I didn't do a count until just now. That's amazing. The summer was particularly awesome with The Citadel of Bureaucracy launch and Springtide Harvest's entry into the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. I sadly didn't progress to the SPFBO semi-finals, but a ton of people ordered my novel. And December—what in the huh? Seventeen beautiful people bought my gamebook. Thank you, beautiful people!


Sweet, sweet stats—uhn!

A big thank you to all the reviewers who took the time to read, write, and/or record a review of my books in 2023. There were a lot of you! My continued success is due in no small part to the book bloggers and booktubers devouring stories and churning out content. It looks like so much work from this angle and is probably so much more. If anyone else wants an interview or review copy of one of my books, please, hit me up.


I really hope everyone who bought a book gives it a read and rating down the line. After all, reviews, not dogs, are a writer's best friend. They live longer for one thing, and don't just bring sadness in ten years. Unless you knew the reviewer and they've since died, which is bound to happen, particularly since we're all so connected now. I don't like where this is going...

You're right, let's move on.

Anyhoo, if you haven't already, please sign up for my Newsletter. I promise there will be some goodies this year. A new cover for one, probably a new book for another. You also get a silly short story, a high quality map of the realms in Springtide Harvest, and a free AD&D Character Sheet I designed, because nerd. It's a quarterly, which means it isn't spam, though it might end up in that folder, so please keep an eye out. My newsletters are a bit like this annual update but more focused.


I've surely forgotten something, but let's turn to the future. I'm knee deep into Summer Sowing, that is, halfway. I managed to write several thousand words and edit old material into several thousand more this past week. Which is impressive when you consider how many hours I've spent playing Obilivion and Oxygen Not Included. The latter (Steam informs me) for 67.8 hours. That's a lot of hours for...EIGHT days?! Man. Yeah, well, I'm on holiday. Suck it, productivity!

This game is wicked hard for an arts major.

What else? Not much. Market, market, market some more. Finish book two. Pay down the mortgage. Survive the ponderous tightening of the Public Service screw. Stand in opposition to the unabashed evil sprouting up across the globe. See some friends. Play some D&D. Publish book two. That should do it.


Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some engineering to do so a few silly clones don't starve to death. Or freeze. Or overheat. Or get stressed out, trash the joint, and suffocate. After all, isn't that what we're all doing in this silly simulation called life?


Yours in game theory,


J.D. (Jeremy) Mitchell

Ottawa, Ontario

January 2, 2024

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