2018 in Review + Goals for 2019

2018 has been a moderately successful year for me. I had 4 major Resolutions for 2018:

  • To read 200 books and writing that many reviews
  • Writing four books
  • Edit one book to the point of it being publishable
  • Submit 100 query letters for that publishable book

 

  • Reading 200 books and writing those reviews:

In the end I read 163 books this year, and published that many reviews. I failed my goal of 200 books. I attribute this failure to two things: a lack of planning and a lack of energy.

As for the planning, I did not do the math and realize I would have to publish four book reviews a week in order to meet this 200 reviews a year schedule. By the time the year was half-done I realized that I would have to start publishing five book reviews a week to make up for lost time, which was not something I wanted to do. Second as to a lack of energy, writing these blog posts and reviews consumes some of my creative energy which I could otherwise spend writing my books.

I decided to cut my losses midway through the year and reduce my goal to 160. I choose to view this goal as a success because I stated here that I intended to reduce my book-goal.

  • Writing Four Books:

This one I succeeded. In February I finished ‘Arcadia Besieged,’ in September I finished ‘An Arrival Upon Arcadia,’ in October I finished ‘Bovespo Ecodome PD’ and for NaNoWriMo I wrote the first 50,000 words of ‘A Stagecoach to Oblivion.’ In the months between February and September I was working on a story titled ‘Aton,’ for which I wrote ~70,000 words. I stopped working on it when it became apparent that the final book would be more that 200,000 words long. If I were to finish that book I wouldn’t have time to write two additional books in 2018 after it, so I stopped writing it.

  • Edit one book to the point of being publishable:

I failed this one. I did barely any editing this year. Yes, I did edit ‘Arrival’ occasionally, but it is still not to the point of being publishable. I still need to do significant re-writes.

  • Submit 100 query letters for that publishable book

I failed to this one by default. Without an edited, publishable book I had nothing to send out query letters for. I did submit a handful of queries for a book I finished editing last year, but I gave up on that project.

Here are my writing and reading goals for 2019:

  • Read between 100 and 150 books and publish those reviews
    • Of these I want to read ~20 nonfiction books
    • Finish the Wheel of Time, Old Kingdom, World of the 5 Gods, Kushiel, Craft Sequence, Divine Cities and Temeraire serieses.
    • I want to read more classics.
    • I want to read more debuts and recent releases.
    • I want to read more books written by people not from the West.
    • I want to read more paper books.
  • Edit one book to the point of being publishable (‘Arrival’ is the one I decided to do for this goal).
  • Submit 100 query letters for that publishable book.
  • Edit one book to the point of being publishable, then self publish it. (‘Bovespo’ is the book I decided to do for this goal. My goal is to publish it before ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ so I can cash in on some of the hype surrounding the cyberpunk genre as a whole when it comes out.)
  • My goal is to finish the edits for these two books in the first six months of the year, and work on the publishing/querying after that.
  • Do NOT write first drafts of new stories. I want to focus my creative energy into edits this year.
  • I plan on editing one chapter a day, or ~3000 words a day. I will keep my ‘Accountability’ blogposts updated daily to keep myself accountable.
  • Join a writing critique group.
  • Get my editing done in the morning.

And that’s that. It’s going to be hard to do this because I’ve never gone through the publishing process before. I have edited books before and I have submitted queries before so in theory I know how to do this, but where I have a ton of experience writing first drafts I have less experience doing this. 2019 is going to be a rough year for me.

Here are some other goals:

  • Wake up earlier in the morning, and reset my schedule so I start going to the gym/editing/running/dog walking all before lunch. To do this, start going to sleep at 10pm.
  • Run a mile three times a week, and try to get my time down to 6 minutes (presently ~9:30).
  • Ride my bicycle for an hour every non-running day.
  • Gain 5-7lbs of muscle.
  • Achieve 10-15% bodyfat and maintain it for the whole year.
  • Stretch daily
  • Consume less caffeine, salt, chocolate, alcohol, sugar and ibuprofen in order to reduce my tinnitus.
  • Garden more.
  • Do NOT surf the internet before lunch.
  • Only use voice-to-text software to type (which I am not doing right now. Oops.).

Happy New Year!

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