2019 – With Your Shield or On It

I started pondering a 2019 wrap-up around the 20th and did the time-consuming work of figuring out how much I’d written this past year on the 23rd, figuring I’d get this post out on Christmas. Ha! How long this has taken, and the reasons why I kept getting delayed, feels emblematic of the whole damn year.

2019 has been rough—for so many of us—and sometimes it feels like there’s not a lot to be happy about. When I read Keira’s 2019 retrospective, one thing that really jumped out at me was, “We came home with our shields, and that’s something to be really proud of.”

Yeah, it really is. It’s easy to get mired down in all the awful, but a lot of good has stuff has happened, too, so let’s talk about it…

Looking back at 2019

  • My total word count for 2019 was just shy of 450k. I didn’t write 3 months out of the year due to illness, which puts my average in months where I wrote at 50k a month.
  • I published two books: Whatever It Takes (July 2019) and Everything You Want (December 2019).
  • The first Quantum Bang went live in June. We had 28 finished works and a total word count just shy of 2 million. We had 27 participating authors and 25 participating artists.
  • The Just Write! server on Discord launched on February 16th and we now have close to 500 members. We’re writing every day, and it’s a wonderful community of writers.
  • Shortly after we kicked off the writing server, we realized we needed a social space and Crossroads came into being. We currently have over 700 members. A lot of the server traffic is for Keira Marcos’ podcast, but we have dedicated social channels that people pop in and out of at any time, including a channel devoted to bitching about the MCU (it’s a hidden channel, so its location won’t be readily apparent).
  • The Feeding Frenzy writing relay went live in late October. I’ve had bad experiences with group writing projects in the past, but this was an amazing experience with twelve other writers. It totally redeemed group projects.
  • I lost my mind completely and started reading & writing Hannibal. I knew this fandom would be consuming for me if I let myself go there, which is why I had resisted it for so long. I was right. It’s what I’m primarily reading these days, and I finally branched out into writing for the Profilers Advent calendar. I expect my reading in this fandom to taper off very sharply because I don’t want to stray out of rec zone and into dead dove. No need to ruin something that makes me happy.

The thing that had the most impact was the move to Discord for our writing and, later, social spaces. Based on historical precedent, my writing suffers—a lot—in a year like this one, but the community and support was such a boon to me personally that I thrived.

Here’s the list of finished works I posted in 2019. The total finished word count is 237,335*.

* 220,010 lives on my site and may be cross-posted elsewhere, but the four Feeding Frenzy stories, totaling 17,325, will only ever be posted on the Wild Hare Project.

Looking forward to 2020

I plan to participate in all three Rough Trade challenges this year. We’re doing the year of the Sentinel, and all challenges will be Sentinel focused. Yay! You may have noticed that I’m a bit fond of Sentinels are known AUs!

My personal writing goals are focused around consistent writing practice, so I’m aiming to write 1,000 words a day. 365k is certainly within my abilities, but the change will be trying to ensure I give myself time every day to set aside to write.

Additionally, I realized I have a lot of basically finished works. Some are even beta’d already (I have no excuse). The two stories on my list in the worst condition are just missing a scene or two. So I set a second goal for myself to get one of those works on my site every month in 2020. Some are long, some short, but I’ve already picked the January story, so look for something soon.

My site had to be rebuilt in 2019 and one of the casualties was my art galleries. I plan to get those back up in 2020. I did less art this past year than usual for me, but I was very pleased with the art project for the Profilers Advent Calendar. I also got to do some Photoshopped tattoos for janex80, and that was both fun and challenging.


Thank you to the bitches: Keira, Ladyholder, Azure, and my internet spouse, Cinna. And to Chrissy, Claire, and Becca. You guys are amazing and kept me steady through a rocky year.

Also to all the many cat herders and cheetah minders on the Just Write server… all your hard work and time has made our community a success. To the cheetahs… you show up, you write, you share your successes with us, and that sometimes drags someone along. Sometimes that person is me, so thank you.

To all my readers, thank you for your words and encouragement. It meant a lot.

Happy New Year!


  1. Happy New Year’s to you!! Hope 2020 brings you everything you want and need. ^_^

  2. Happy New Year!

  3. Sonia Costoya Rodriguez

    Happy New year to you too Jilly!! Thank you for all the wonderful stories you gave us this past year!!!

  4. Omg yes! I’m looking forward to this year now. I can honestly say that you’re my favorite writer. The only 2 writers that I love as much as you is Litte.Miss.Xanda and Keiro Marcos. I love you!❤

  5. I sincerely love your writing, Jilly, and I want you to know that. Your stories have helped me get out of my head when it was bad, and cheered me up when I was down. Here’s to a hopefully better year!

  6. Awesome and busy year. Thanks for sharing!

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