Accountability Tuesdays: Week 52 and A Year in Review

This is it. Not only is this my last accountability post of the year, but at midnight tonight 2013 will be complete.

Image borrowed from seaandbescene.com

It’s been a busy and interesting year. I spent the first six months of the year working out West in the Alberta oil sands on a 2 weeks out, 2 weeks home schedule that involved a heck-of-a-lot of flights back and forth across the country and quite a bit of time away from my daughter and husband. The other six months I spent contentedly unemployed, enjoying just being home but also very busy with a growing toddler, your usual insane amount of housework, and trying to fit lots of writing and a reasonable amount of leisure time in there was well.

This year I turned 29. Thanks to my work out West I paid off both my and my husband’s student loans, and completed the payments on our car, leaving us with no other debt besides our mortgage. I also struggled – both during work and during unemployment – to work as hard as I could on my writing, both the fiction and the blogging varieties. This year I participated in my sixth NaNoWriMo and netted my fifth win.  I also (nearly) completed editing on my first ever finished manuscript, and I wrote a significant amount toward a fantasy adventure that I’ve been working on for several years now.

I wrote 248 blog posts this year. Two hundred and forty-eight.

My daughter turned three years old this year. I made her a kick-ass MegaMan costume for Halloween, which she loved, and I built (from scratch) a tickle trunk for her for her birthday. Speaking of which, I baked and decorated about a million My Little Pony cupcakes for that birthday as well.

We had an awesome holiday, I was given some truly awesome presents by my husband and my whole family, my daughter proved that she could quickly figure out the use of a kid-tablet that’s marketed more toward older kids, and here we find ourselves at the end of 2013, just waiting for the clock to tick over.

And so here is my last bout of accountability for the year, with comparisons to the “Wildly Improbable Goals” that spawned them in the first place.

Health and Body Image Goal

1. Get into some kind of shape that makes me feel good about my body again…I’m not looking at a particular amount of weight-loss or anything specific, just a state of physical being that I feel good about. I slate this as a wildly improbable goal because, as I’ve mentioned before, my work schedule makes devoting time to such a thing particularly difficult.

A year has passed since I wrote the above, and not a lot has changed outwardly. If I were to go hunt down a photo of myself from last January and compare it to a photo now you probably wouldn’t see much of a difference. I had periods throughout 2013 where I did an excellent amount of exercise, and periods when I was more slovenly than I’ve ever been in my life. I had periods during which I ate pretty well, and periods during which I deserved every second of the stomach pains that I incurred. I managed to work myself toward running a 10 min/mile, and then completely lost that ability.

But here’s the thing: though I didn’t lose any (significant) weight or inches, wasn’t able to go down a pant size or stick to a healthy eating routine, I did accomplish something. I came to a realization that while I do want to lose some weight and become healthier overall, I am perfectly satisfied with my body the way it is right now. I don’t feel fat, I don’t feel ugly. I feel like a mom and a wife and a tradeswoman, and that’s okay with me, even if I go a whole year more without losing a single pound.

Editing Goal

2. Finish editing my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide. It’s time to get this f’er on the shelves, damn it!

A good chunk of 2013 saw this goal effectively ignored, due to my complete inability to find a decent word processor to work from my tablet while I was out West. But when I did finally get to work on this goal, I really went crazy. Everything came to a screaming halt once the holidays hit, but to date I only have approximately two and a half chapters (which, I think, are the best-written chapters anyway) to finish editing. So while I didn’t technically complete this goal, I feel very good about where I managed to find myself and am confident that I’ll be able to do something great with my manuscript in the new year.

1,000,000 Word Goal

3. Write 1,000,000 words in 2013. This is the big one. Where am I going to find the time? I have no idea. But between blog posts, drabbles, new stories, and new scenes added to NtH during editing, I want to accomplish a total word count of ONE MILLION words by the end of 2013. Wouldn’t that be something? I think it would.

It became evident within the first few months of the year that this wasn’t likely to happen. There just weren’t enough hours in the day while I was out West in order to write the 83,333 words per month necessary to complete this goal. I eventually came to the conclusion that 500,000 words was a more reasonable goal, though I continued to refer to it as the 1,000,000 word goal, because wouldn’t that be awesome? Unfortunately, as with my editing goal, the holidays hit at just the right time to keep me from progressing quite far enough. As of the completion of this post, my grand total word count for the year of 2013 came to 457,067 words. I didn’t come anywhere near my original million word hope, and I came several thousand words short of my revised half-a-million word hope, but I have to be honest: I’m quite amazed with what I did manage to do. I’ve been writing for more than 15 years, and I don’t know if I wrote so many words over the course of the first 14 all together, never mind that many over the course of one year. I’m incredibly proud of myself and have every intention of blowing away that personal record in 2014. Here’s to acting like a real writer. 🙂

So there it is. One year ends, another one begins. I hope everyone has a great New Years Eve, and that everyone greets 2014 with heads held high.

See you all next year. 🙂

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