Saturday, January 18, 2014

2013 in Review

Me editing - photo taken by my mom
Do you ever struggle through a year, feeling like it takes Herculean effort to accomplish even the smallest things? I'd bet we've all been there, done that. But, have you reached the end of that year and looked back only to realize you accomplished a lot more than you expected?

2013 was like that for me. The year was difficult in more ways than one. I won't get into why. That would be an entire book. But I will say that I struggled to write in the midst of it all. Editing wasn't too bad, most of the time, but writing was harder than it's ever been. I knew I wouldn't reach the bar I had set in 2012.

For the record, in 2012, I:
  1. wrote over 550K words - yes, that's over a half million words;
  2. edited over 5K pages of existing material;
  3. wrote 3 books from start to finish - 2 novels & 1 novella;
  4. completed 2 old projects;
  5. made significant additions (5K+) to 1 old project;
  6. made minor additions (less than 5K each) to 5 old projects;
  7. began 6 new projects; and
  8. published a novella.
It was a busy year.

I went into 2013 with 2012 setting the bar, but I didn't have the focus or energy to match. When I realized I wasn't meeting that standard, I got discouraged but powered on, figuring I'd do what I could with the focus, energy, and all that I had. Keep on keeping on.

Then I got a surprise at the end of the year when I tallied everything up. Did my work in 2013 measure up to 2012? No. But....

In 2013, I:
  1. wrote over 290K words;
  2. edited over 5K pages of existing material;
  3. completed 3 old projects;
  4. made significant additions (5K+ each) to 7 old projects;
  5. made minor additions (less than 5K each) to 2 old projects;
  6. began 1 new project; and
  7. published 2 full-length novels.
As I sat and looked at that, dumbfounded, I realized something. In a year that felt like it had been nothing but difficulties and struggles, I had still managed to make significant progress in my writing. Something else occurred to me - how much of that would NOT have been accomplished if I'd given up when I realized early in 2013 that I wasn't operating at my normal level? Most of that list.

What 2013 taught me is that, even when I think I'm falling behind, I need to keep moving forward, no matter how slow progress may seem. I may not accomplish what I WANT, but I'll still accomplished more than if I'd quit.

For 2014, I've set what are, for me, very realistic yet challenging goals:
  1. Write at least 300K words;
  2. Finish 3 incomplete projects; and
  3. Publish 3 novels - 2 contemporary, 1 fantasy.
Only time will tell if I can meet those goals.

What about you? Did you meet your expectations last year? Whether yes or no, what did you learn that you've carried into 2014? What goal(s) have you set for 2014?