Guys…guys…guys…can you believe that it’s almost the end of 2014? Like, seriously. I’m wigging out a bit.
And with that, you may have noticed that the next two Wednesdays are Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, which means that I definitely will not be writing accountability posts. Therefore this is going to be the last one! I’ll include other stats and whatnot into my “2015 Goals” post when I write it, but as far as 2014 is concerned this is the last of the accountability. Woo! I actually feel a bit liberated. So let’s get this over with!
Goal #1: Lose ten pounds and become healthier overall.
This was not a good year for this goal. There were a lot of excuses (good and bad), a lot of roadblocks, and a lot of reasons to spend my time on anything other than exercising. In the end, not only did I not lose ten pounds, but I actually gained several. As of this date I’m weighing in at about 2 lbs higher than what I began with in January.
The upside of that is that, strangely, I feel a lot more comfortable in my skin now than I did at the beginning of the year. I have my trouble spots, I have my little bits that bother me, but all in all I’m happy with the way I look, which I think is much better than actually losing the weight.
In addition to that we have the health issues, which are slowly coming under control. I had a lot of tests done on my gastrointestinal track and was eventually given a medication that helps to stop the stomach spasms that plague me whenever I travel. Then I was later given a medication for the anxiety that no one really realized I had until I mentioned to my doctor that I was the kid who threw up on the first day of school every year. Said prescription is not something that I can take every day forever (the effects weaken as you take it too much), but at least it’s available for me when I need it, and knowing that it helps proves that it’s a treatable condition. Two thumbs up to that.
So all in all, I guess it was a good year for this goal. My original intentions for the goal were not realized, but I came out of it happier and healthier, if in different ways.
Goal #2: Be more active on social media and work hard on my author platform.
I’m on the fence about the success of this goal. I definitely took a couple of steps in the direction by joining Self-Publisher’s Showcase, tweeting more often, and finally recently giving in to Instagram, but I don’t know that the results have been so great. Over the course of the year I think I gained something like 80 new followers on the blog, maybe 50 new followers on Twitter, and a whopping 10 subscribers on YouTube, and while that’s great, it doesn’t feel like a lot compared to the amount of work I put in. Then again, I have a full-time job, so maybe the work I put in just feels like more than it really was.
In the end, things have been pretty good, but I hope to expand upon this goal in the future by looking to gain more followers on all mediums, as well as more readers now that I’ve got something for sale for them to read.
Goal #3: COMPLETE my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide.
You all know how this goal went! Though it was stressful at times and I definitely wanted to give up more than once, I managed to slog through the editing process not once, but twice, and with the help of my wonderful beta-reader I think I wound up with a much better novel than I started with. I then scoured the depths of the internet to learn how to properly format a manuscript for self-publishing purposes, designed my own cover with the use of a photo taken by my very own father, and painstakingly slapped it all together on Create Space until the result looked correct. Then I ordered the first ever print copy of my first ever completed novel and just about cried on camera as I did an unboxing video of it.
Of course it hasn’t all be unicorn rides and fluffy kitten snuggles since then. I’ve sold approximately 30 print copies (mostly to family), and approximately 15 e-book copies (mostly to NaNoWriMo friends), and I gave away almost 200 e-book copies for free on Halloween, so all total I’ve made something like $60 or $70 on this book thus far. Marketing yourself is a difficult business, especially because you have to be careful not to be annoying, and zombie novels are not for everyone, so I’ve got a long road ahead of me. But in the end, I’m just so happy to have actually done it, to be able to say that I am a published author and that my book is available on Amazon and Kindle. That is super-cool, and it just motivates me to write more, to publish more, and to prove that I can be a professional fiction writer while also working a day job to support my family. Boo-ya.
Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.
Well I’ve been very positive in this post up to now, but there’s not a lot good I can say about this goal. At the beginning of the year I reduced my previous year’s goal by half, thinking that surely I would be able to handle it, but there were many road-blocks in my way.
Now, mind you, most of those road-blocks were completely reasonable ones. For instance I spent several months putting writing aside in favor of editing so that I could publish the novel. I also had a hard go at NaNoWriMo this year because I was working and thus only able to do my daily writing by hand. In addition to those blocks the length of my blog posts went down this year as I struggled to schedule stuff in advance so that I could work on more important things. All in all, it just turned out to be a pretty stressful year for writing. But the good news is that I did manage to keep up with the blog, only missing three or four scheduled days the entire year, and I’m also coming out of the end of 2014 with a very-nearly completed first draft of Book One of my upcoming “Other World” series. So that is definitely something!
In the end, the year was full of ups and downs, as is wont to happen, but it was a pretty good one overall. I have my (relative) health, my small group of followers, my awesome self-published book, and the makings of more books coming into the new year with me. I think all of that deserves a celebration, so I’m going to spend the last two weeks of this year not worrying about anything except Christmas and having an awesome time with my family. How does that sound? ^_~