2018: The Year in Review

Audio Edition COMING SOON!

 

Well, it seems like some of my 2017 goals kinda sorta came true. I have learned to like writing again, at least in some aspects, although I’m still not as regular and disciplined as I would like to be. I’ve also made more of an effort to write letters, but not as much as I would like, and the exercise/being healthy part has really slipped in the last few months. I do need to take some time in the last week of 2018 and first week of 2019 to really assess what I have, where I want to go, and how to get there. Part of the reason a lot of my yearly goals aren’t really coming to pass except by accident is because I don’t have solid plans in place to facilitate getting them accomplished! Still, I think I did okay overall in 2018.

 

SUCCESSES in 2018:

1) I’ve continued work on The Arcenciel Romances! Considering how this entire project started as a challenge to “write quick piece of trash because if E.L. James can make it big so can you,” it sure has taken on a life of its own. And that isn’t really a bad thing. Courting the Moon is done and still looking for a home, but I’ve been working on the rough draft for the second book, Pleasing the Sea, for a good chunk of the year, as well as for my NaNoWriMo project.

2) Second Unit Reviews is taking off! Making a new website seems like it would be a bad idea, just another a distraction, but I’ve been enjoying the wide range of topics and mediums I can tackle there. So far I’ve been able to balance it out (more or less) so that I still get entries up for The Cat’s Cradle on time as well as still working on my novels. And to my surprise, there has been some signs of interest in it, attracting Likes and Followers at a smaller but faster rate compared to The Cat’s Cradle. Plus, it’s encouraged me to explore some different genres and mediums like otome visual novels. My deepest thanks to all of my readers!

3) I took a writing course! Back in May, I decided to take part in the online course DIY MFA 101 presented by Gabriela Pereira and loved it. It offered me a lot of different tools and new perspectives to help with writing and was definitely an inspiration. I haven’t gone through all of the tools in an organized fashion yet, but at least I have them at my disposal. No reason to reinvent the wheel, right?

4) I’m still with Writers Masterminds! Due to various schedules and circumstances, it’s been difficult for me to see a lot of my usual writer friends. As someone who craves regularity and continuity, I was starting to go a little stir-crazy. Fortunately, the awesome folk at my local comic shop, FourCorners Comics, set up a bi-weekly writing group. We’re still small, but it’s been really nice to spend an hour or so twice a month with fellow writers, even if we aren’t working in the same genre. So I’m very grateful for that and hope it will continue to grow and flourish in the new year.

5) I’ve been listening to a lot of great podcasts! I really like the long-form radio broadcast format of podcasts, although I focus in on just a few so I don’t get overwhelming by the need to “keep up with it all.” They are great alternatives to the radio, audiobooks, or music, and can be both informative and inspiring. My main four, which I listen to on Stitcher, are Let’s Know Things by Colin Wright, The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, Waking Up Podcast by Sam Harris, and DIY MFA Radio hosted by Gabriela Pereira. (I’ll also listen to specific recommended episodes for other podcasts, but only regularly follow these four.)

6) Discovering Pexels and Pixabay has been a godsend! When I first started blogging, I knew a lot less about copyright and creative commons and all of that than I do now. I’ve always tried to make sure I link back to any sources for images or other content mentioned in my blogs, but there’s always a chance I didn’t do it correctly, and as a creator myself, the last thing I want is to infringe on someone else’s rights. But all of the images on Pexels and Pixabay are on there specifically to be used copyright free, which takes out so much of the guesswork. They don’t have everything of course, but at least I have a starting point to work from.

 

GOALS in 2019:

1) Learn how to set concrete goals and follow through. Yeah, I know, making a goal to make goals? Seems a little backward. But really, if I want to keep moving forward and improve myself, be it personally, professionally, or creatively, I need to to learn how to look at the big picture without getting overwhelmed and then break it down into smaller, manageable goals. Utilizing some of the tools I got from DIY MFA 101 will probably help. After all, why reinvent the wheel?

2) Participate more fully in online and real life communities. As an introvert, it’s difficult for me to “get out and meet people.” I may seem friendly, but it takes me a while to really warm up and relax during live encounters, and online communities often just feel too overwhelming. However, there are some flourishing places online like Word Nerds Unite for DIY MFA folks on Facebook, the forums on Query Tracker, and Wrimos from National Novel Writing Month. Obviously I’ll need to ensure some balance, but it’s an avenue outside my normal bailiwick that could be good practice for me.

3) Create flexible regularity. In other words, have a schedule that is disciplined enough to keep getting things done, but flexible enough that if something unexpected happens, I don’t get completely thrown off track. Right now it’s way too easy for the latter to happen, even for something as simple as sleeping in or staying up a little too late. I have to stop using these derailments as an excuse to procrastinate, even if it’s unintentional.

4) Finish Pleasing the Sea and at least some of my fanfiction backlog. Because of time demands, usually from working on original content, I’ve let the fanfiction slide, despite the original commitment to write a new chapter each week and release so I can get some of these long-suffering stories completed. Pleasing the Sea was abandoned after NaNoWriMo this year, so I need to pick up on that and at least get the first draft and a round of editing done before the end of 2019. (And of course those pesky Audio Editions… One of these days I’ll be caught up!)

5) Read and weed my personal library! I have SO MANY books at home, and yet I’m always borrowing from the library and thus mine tend to just sit. Since I’m unwilling to let go of books that I haven’t at least tried to read, they just keep building up, making it impossible for me to get new books! (Well, actually it barely slows me down, but I’m running out of room.) So I’d like to make some inroads on that this year, perhaps even catalog them properly in GoodReads and LibraryThing!

 

A ginormous thank you to everyone who has liked, shared, commented, or enjoyed my work in any of its forms. I hope you’ll continue to do so in the New Year and to let me know what you like, don’t like, or want to see! Happy New Year and best wishes to all of you.

 

Wallpaper by TheMorningMist, original art by Amuria (DeviantART)

 

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