2021: A Year of Art

Sunset over a mountain range drawn with a color pencil in an artist sketchbook.

Another year. Another 365 rotations of this insignificant rock revolving around a glowing ball of nuclear fusion. It is merely one of billions in the Milky Way, a blip on the cosmic scale amongst its trillions of brethren.

But, it is my tiny little rock, and I happen to like it.

I honestly did not know how to begin this year-in-review post for 2021. The past 12 months have seemed almost a blur, and it is good to ponder our very existence from time to time. Our moments here on Earth are so fleeting, and all we can ever hope for is to live them to the fullest. Maybe we will leave behind something that endures until the last remnants of our ball of gas rips its way back into the universe, returning us to the stars.

This year was a bit less eventful for me than 2020. I mostly just went about my business around my new home, continued writing for WP Tavern, and tried to enjoy myself every now and again.

Some highlights from the year:

I do not have much to complain about. Life has treated me reasonably well in the past year.

The big thing for me is that I have finally been able to focus on my art over these past couple of months. It has been a long time since I was in the right place — physically, emotionally, financially, etc. — to pursue some of the work that brings me true joy.

I finally started painting, an artform that I had always planned on trying since I was in high school. I used to draw all the time, but I got away from it as I grew older. It is a shame that I have wasted so many years, but I have no plans on allowing that to happen again.

I am now in a comfortable enough place and in the right mindset (plus, no more excuses) to experiment with all the various artforms that I have wanted to explore.

How I Fared With 2021 Goals

I almost hate to look at my January 1 post where I set out my goals for the year. I already know that I’m behind.

I did not want to shoot for anything too big this year because I knew that I had a lot of work in the first year of owning my new home, which I moved into last December. The first eight or nine months felt like they were entirely dedicated to getting things done around the property. Honestly, I spent half of those months in a zombie-like state, moving from one task to another.

Things have slowed a bit since (there’s still a crap-ton left to do), and I have had time to dedicate to other goals.

Now that I have dispensed with the excuses, let us see how I fared.


The plan for the year was to produce a first draft of a novel. My progress toward this was not looking good until I dove into NaNoWriMo in November. I produced 56,879 words (200+) pages of what I think is a halfway decent start to a larger fantasy work.

No, I did not finish an entire first draft, but I did create a world and characters that have potential. Some progress is better than no progress.

Should I call this a win? Technically, the goal was:

This year, I must put serious work into becoming a novelist.

So, yeah, I will call it a win.


This was more of a two-part goal. The first was to continue my daily habit of reading every single day. This was no problem. I am now a few weeks beyond three years straight of my lifelong daily reading habit.

The downside is that I have only completed four books during the entire year. I was aiming for 30.

The combined page count for Rhythm of War and Wizard’s First Rule — my longest reads of the year — comes in at around 2,100 pages. Even if I counted those as seven 300-page books, I would still fall well short of my goal. I will call this one a fail, but at least I tried. I will do better in the coming year.