Aaaand we’re back! Did you miss me? 😉
As is tradition, today’s post will be a review of everything I accomplished (or didn’t) in 2015, as well as a rose-colored look at everything I hope to accomplish (but likely won’t) in 2016. Hey, at least I’m being honest, right?
Let’s face it, if we make resolutions at all, they’re likely grandiose, overly ambitious, and sometimes unattainable, even when we try to make them otherwise. We can never predict exactly what the new year will bring, so trying to plan what we’ll achieve is often a fruitless endeavor. And yet we continually do it. I know I get excited every time the calendar turns over. It’s a fresh start, a clean slate full of amazing possibilities; what’s not to love about that?
But beyond the boost of productivity endorphins that make us feel like invincible superhero warriors out to conquer the world, the new year represents a chance to objectively look at the previous one, to grow and learn from the experiences now notched into our belts. So let’s look at how I fared against my goals for 2015, shall we?
As a recap, here’s what I wanted to achieve last year:
Writing Resolutions 2015
- Finish Unmoving
- Upload Chapters of Unmoving every two weeks to Wattpad & Authonomy
- Revise and Re-publish The Bardach, Spinning & Confessions via Createspace/Amazon KDP
- Compile brief synopses of all plot bunnies
- Write, Edit & Publish one new short story
- Plan, Prep, and Unveil Secret Blog Project by the end of the year
And here’s what I actually achieved:
Seriously, I’m not just being facetious. I did absolutely zero of the things on that list. I didn’t finish Unmoving, and instead ran into the dreaded Total Voice Shift that warrants a complete overhaul. That revelation led to the cessation of my posting it online, at all, anywhere. I didn’t even try to touch the short story revision project, nor did I even so much as look at my pile of plot bunnies. I did manage to write approximately a paragraph on a new short story, so hey, not a total failure on that one — though counting that as a success is questionable at best. And obviously, those of you who followed my postings last year know that not only did I not unveil said Secret Blog Project, I had trouble even just generating new articles on a regular basis. Definitely not a win.
So what did I do in 2015? Sounds like a whole lot of nothing, right? In fact, it was probably one of the most stressful, difficult years of my professional life. Basically, I worked. A lot. As in certifiable workaholic, absolutely insane a lot. All total, I helped twenty — twenty — books come into the world. That’s an impressive number (I think) for any editor, but considering I did that on top of my regular 40 hour per week Day Job of Doom, it’s easy to see why I managed to lose an entire year of my life to the Editing Cave.
Don’t get me wrong, I love editing, and I’m honored that I was part of the journey for those twenty books, but I also know that I can’t ever have another year like that again. I lost a lot of sleep, dramatically damaged my health on more than one occassion, lost out on important time with family and friends, and nearly pushed myself to the point of quitting editing completely. Those closest to me can attest to the fact that I nearly had a complete mental breakdown more than once. And that’s not okay.
Which is why the theme for 2016 is to be kinder to myself, to set better boundaries and create healthier habits that will allow me to continue doing what I love for the long run, rather than burning out before I’ve barely started. To that end, I’ve created an actual schedule for my editing life, one that includes — wait for it — official days off. Shocking concept, right? But when you work multiple jobs and one of them is in the after-hours of your “proper” job, it’s easy to overlook or give up every second of free time without even realizing it. It’s also easy to feel incredibly guilty when you do take some much-needed personal time. Most labor laws mandate that employees get two days off a week. Therefore, I’m doing the same and taking two days to myself to deal with life and otherwise recharge.
But on top of that, I do have actual goals — resolutions, if you will. Specifically, these:
Writing Resolutions 2016
- Stick to my newly established work schedule; make my “off-time” sacred (Hear that, self? Don’t feel guilty for time off anymore, mmmkay?)
- Finish one new short story (I’ve already started one, so we’re on track for this at least.)
- Read at least twelve published books (When you read unpublished manuscripts all the time, you start to lose perspective. Plus, it’s a great way to inspire the muse and grow as a writer.)
- Finish outlining Unmoving & begin massive, scary overhaul (Yep, this pantser is going to have to become a plotter in order to finally finish this behemoth.)
- Plan & Prep Secret Blog/Wattpad Project (I may not start it this year, but I can at least get it ready for maybe 2017.)
And that makes five. I don’t like to do more than that, so I’ll just stop at those. Notice they’re a lot less ambitious than last year’s. I did that on purpose, because my number one goal this year is to create less stress in my life. If I achieve anything on the agenda, let it be that one. Please.
All right, before I let you go, there’s one more thing left to address — probably the main reason you checked the blog today anyway — announcing the winners of my eBook bundle giveaway! You ready? Okay!
The winners of my 2015 Holiday Bookapalooza Giveaway are . . .
Romance Bundle: Cheyenne Young
Meta-Fantasy Bundle: Komal
Dark Fantasy Bundle: Sydney Richardson
Science Fiction Bundle: Emily Pichardo
Thank you to everyone who entered! Your support is always appreciated. And don’t worry, I’ll have other opportunities to snag some goodies soon. See you next time!