Thursday, 3 January 2019

A Look Back At My 2018 Resolutions

2018 is finally over and now 2019 stretches out in front of us where everything is still possible.

In 2018, I wrote 290 997 words which is darn impressive, especially since I actually took a month off.  Aside from that deliberate month, I only had 2 weeks where I didn't write, and that was because I was concentrating on editing.  So I'm feeling pretty proud about that.

But as I was scrolling through my posts to get all of my word counts, I found this post from January 4th, 2018 detailing my resolutions for the year.

I had my professional goals: pitching at RWA, increasing my readership, and increasing my weekly word count.

I did my pitches and I got my book deal with Soul Mate Publishing, so that is a definite checkmark.

Increasing my readership gets half a checkmark.  I've tried a number of things last year to get my work in front of new readers.  Some of them worked, and some of them didn't.  My monthly royalties are up, but not my number of reviews, so I've convinced people to buy my books but I'm not sure if they're being read.  But I'm encouraged and so I'll keep going.  The most successful efforts have been dropping the price of my first book to 99 cents USA and my monthly features: Heroine Fix and Hidden Diamonds.

Increasing my weekly word count gets another half a checkmark.  I really pushed myself but with mixed results.  Writing every day is not a sustainable process for me, especially not if I'm pushing myself to do at least a thousand words a day.  My best word counts (when taking into account having a healthy work-life balance) came through NaNoWriMo.  I gave myself two and a half hours of writing time every weekdays but left my weekends for other projects.  I was able to easily do between 1500-2000 words a day without feeling rushed.

But I also had personal goals:

Do something that scares me: I have a lot of social anxiety.  I have a hard time reading social cues and so I tend to play it safe rather than risk alienating people.  And I hate the idea of looking like an idiot.  But this year I did something that scared me: I ran a Basics of Burlesque workshop at Romancing the Capital.  And you know what, it was a lot of fun and people had a great time.

Treat myself the way I treat others, celebrating talent and understanding mistakes: I'm doing better with this, recognizing that I actually do have a number of talents and while I haven't quite learned to shake off my mistakes, I am getting better at not obsessing about them.

Spend time being comfortable in my own skin and home: Some days yes, some days no.  But another one I'm getting better at.

Feeling the thrill of discovery rather than getting caught up in logistics: I'm a planner.  I have a plan for alien invasion, the zombie apocalypse and any number of other improbable scenarios.  But the downside of this is that sometimes I can get trapped in my own head, trying to figure out multiple plans for any eventuality.  So I've tried to just enjoy things rather than planning.  And there haven't been too many catastrophes.

2018 was a year where I did more of reaching out for what I wanted.  Sometimes I got it and sometimes I didn't.  But I tried, and I'm proud of that.

It was also a year where I spent more time standing up for what I believe instead of being polite and letting things slide.  And I'm proud of that, too.

I don't have a bunch of resolutions for 2019.  I'd like to keep on the same path.  I want to be proud of who I am and be comfortable with myself.  I want to write my stories and be able to produce both quantity and quality.

Maybe I will, maybe I won't.  But I'll try and that's all anyone can ask for.

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