Sunday, January 6, 2013

Personal Reflections, and the Year Ahead

I've been thinking a lot about 2012, and wondering what the new year will hold. I was a little surprised when I thought about everything that happened in 2012.

A Look Back

On this day one year ago, I was anxious, unhealthy, and didn't really want to leave my apartment. One year ago, I didn't have much reason to. But things are different now, because I made some things happen over the past 12 months: 

  • I published four books in 2012.
True, they are not long books, but the page counts are respectable. Accomplishing this was a big deal for me because I had to overcome my writer's block to do it. I spent two years being literally unable to write any fiction whatsoever, and in 2012 I decided it wasn't going to beat me.

It didn't. I finished the Deck of Lies series, and now I've started something new. In 2013, I hope to publish FIVE books!

  • I lost 50 pounds.
It's true. In February, I noticed that I could no longer wear any of my clothing, not even my "fat girl" jeans. I was frightened. I went to the doctor, thinking I might be ill.

I was not. I was just eating too much. So I followed his advice and started paying attention to what I was eating. I got serious (some would say compulsive) about exercising. I lost the weight, and now I'm quite small.

In 2013, I'm going to wear a public!  

  • I bought a house.
It's my first home! It is a small house on a big lot with absolutely luscious, REAL hardwood floors. Fabulous, I know.

But because it was lived in for a very long time by a little old lady who did her own canning, it definitely wasn't my style. So the entire thing is being remodeled. I do own it and I'm paying the bills, but I've yet to sleep there. I WILL get moved into it in 2013! 

  • I discovered the indie community and the book blogger community.
What a nice surprise it was to find Goodreads, a site dedicated to my true love: words. Here I met many other authors and bloggers, and started regularly participating in forums for the first time.

I'm going to spend even more time in the community in 2013. I've joined three more forums for writers and loaded up my Google Reader, so I'm ready!

  • I learned that I am a terrible book reviewer.
I started out strong, and loaded up on review commitments.  Then I got bold. I started to solicit review copies, instead of just waiting for requests. I ended up getting mired in an impossibly long story that really went nowhere, and honestly I haven't been the same since. Poor formatting, lackluster editing and zero narrative creativity I can handle, but that really long book sucked something out of me in 2012. I can't even force myself to read the books and indie authors I actually enjoy. 

I will finish my TBR list in 2013, and apologize to every author who has so patiently waited for me. But in the future I will only accept review requests on an extremely limited basis, because I frankly stink at doing it. I can't promise I'll shake off the aftereffects of that altogether way too long book. Right now, I'm not really enjoying reading. This is bad news for an author, so I'll try to tackle this in 2013.

  • I'm going to be less aloof.
In the past, I've mainly used my blog to talk writing and books. Meanwhile, I've been secretly envying blogger/author Annalisa Crawford. She writes wonderfully descriptive posts all about her life, personal stuff that draws me in every time. I always wish that I could do the same, but I seem to be a naturally aloof person when I'm online.

In 2013, I'll try to be more open and blog more about my personal life, too. I'll write about my book projects instead of keeping things as quiet as I have in the past. My goal is write at least one personal post a week, starting with this one, to be posted during the weekend. It's hard for me. This post was originally scheduled to go live Saturday, but I couldn't do it. So we'll see how this one goes.

 A New Year...

I got a lot done in 2012, and I want to keep that momentum going. This is my main goal for the year ahead. What about everyone else? What did you learn in 2012, and what do you hope to learn in 2013? 

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  1. Wow! There I was scanning through all the posts queued up in Google Reader, and planning to open your blog to congratulate you on your weight loss and house buying, and then I see my name!! That's such a lovely thing to say about my blog, thank you :-)

  2. Love your blog and writing tips. I will continue to visit from time to time.