Kick Rocks! So long! Don’t let the door hit ya! Yep, this was my sentiment going into the New Year. Considering how the last couple months have been here on the ranch, I was more than happy to say Happy Trails to the last 366 days (you did remember last year was a Leap Year, right?) We do that: tend to focus on the last thing, on the most recent image or feeling or tone. Our proximity to current events makes us forget the bigger picture.
I started this year poking fingers at myself (and rocking Hello Kitty earphones) and ended it pointing fingers at someone else (and having a grand old time doing it). Along the way, though, this blog moved from a self-help soliloquy on how to make it in this world and write about it to a comedy-laced exploration of villainy and all its repercussions. In that process, I’ve learned that I’m a lot of things: I have a Superman-complex, I hate limits, and still I have an unresolved disdain for a certain stuffed animatronic bear.
I’m working on that.
So let’s look back over the year. Last December, I laid out a list of goals I wanted to achieve over the course of 2012, both as an author and as a publisher:
- Write a blog post every other day
- Complete 2 book reviews a month
- Participate in 1 Blog Tour in 2012
- Complete 1 script through ScriptFrenzy
- Complete 1 novel by participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)
- Sell 10,000 copies of The Road to Hell (90% digital 10% hard copy)
- Obtain 10 reviews
- Obtain 5 author quotes
- Sign 2 additional authors
- Publish 2 books (1 novel, 1 anthology) through Sanford House Press
Looking at these, I’m trying to figure what in the world I was smoking. I also had a job to keep, a family to lead, pounds to lose, a dog to walk. These were lofty, aggressive goals to be sure and some of them I hit, some I glanced off, and some I just whiffed entirely. Let’s look at the rundown:
- Write a blog post every other day. Well (in my Ronald Reagan voice) I came pretty close—140 posts in 2012. That comes out to about a post every 2 ½ days. I can live with that.
- 2 book reviews per month. The Boy saw me reading a book the other day and actually said, “You can read?” Let’s just say I missed this one. By a mile.
- Participate in 1 blog tour in 2012. Hey! Wouldja look at that! I was a part of 3 blog tours in 2012. Maybe that will offset the lack of reviews. Maybe…
- Complete 1 Script through ScriptFrenzy. Huh? See what had happened was…do I get bonus points for them closing down ScriptFrenzy entirely? Miss.
- Complete 1 novel through NaNoWriMo. I’m gonna take a “Kinda” on this one. I’ve been working on my new novel, Come Hell or High Water, all year and officially crossed the 50,000 word mark last week. But a bunch of stuff got in the way and the whole thing got delayed.
So looking at my personal writing goals, I’d have to give myself a solid C, maybe a C-. Nothing spectacular but I’m just ahead of the curve. I gotta do better though.
On the publishing front, it’s about the same, maybe a bit better. I think I’d give myself a B-:
- Sell 10,000 copies of The Road to Hell. Yeah, that shit didn’t happen. I knew this was ambitious. I didn’t know how utterly damn difficult it would be. It’s actually laughable. At this rate, we’ll have another president and be 2 years into their term by the time I hit this target. Gotta change strategies.
- Obtain 10 reviews. Nailed it!
- Obtain 5 author quotes. I had a good run this year on publication thing and getting author interest in my work was pretty easy…and prolific. 100% on this one too.
- Sign 2 additional authors. I had an opportunity to work with a couple authors and help develop their work. No one’s there yet and I ended up focusing on my own stuff instead.
- Publish 2 books (a novel & an anthology). So it didn’t happen in 2012. It will in 2013. The goal was to have Come Hell or High Water done by now. Things happened. I can say it will be done in early 2013 well…come Hell or high water. And the anthology? This was an idea that hit me in the middle of the year: once I hit 100 villains, I’ll pull it together into Crooked Letterz’ Big Book of Villainy Volume 1. I’d love to hear what you think about this one.
All in all, 2012 was more than okay for me on a literary front. I did alright, I guess. Without specifics (I’m still working on those), I’ll simply resolve to do better. Be stronger. Faster. Become world’s first bionic…author? Yeah, something like that.
Actually I did better than alright. Sure, my own metrics leave a lot to be desired but I found something I didn’t plan on when I wrote those. I found my calling. My voice. My brand. Something that’s a part of me now. That puts me in a different place than I was a year ago. I think I’m better off as a result.
The latter part of the year made me re-evaluate what I thought was important. Made me refocus my attention on what—and who—is closest to me. I still have goals and they’re still relatively the same. I haven’t stopped being that achievement-oriented person I’ve always been. But life doesn’t really give a shit about your hard metrics, your targets and goals. Life lives. It breathes. It throws monkey-wrenches in your plans and confounds your expectations and fucks up what you meant to do. Life is sick kids and ill spouses and aging dogs. It’s sleepless nights and amazing movies and unbridled laughter and inconsolable sadness.
It’s what is important.
It makes for fantastic storytelling. And, no matter what, it’ll make for a fantastic 2013.
Oh yeah, remember those 60 pounds? Well, 10 of them are gone. It ain’t perfect but it’s a start. I’ll take it.