Whether it’s because we’ve survived yet another apocalypse, or maybe it’s that today is my last day of my 20′s, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the last year. (Okay, I’ve been thinking a lot about the last decade, but recounting that would be a very, very long post that I would never put a reader through.) Instead, I hope to highlight some of my year in a way that will provide some insight.
1. A Modern Masquerade: In 2012, I released my first book on Kindle, a book of poems. What I learned was that sometimes, even when the preview software shows that everything is lining up well, the Table of Contents will still be messed up if necessity demanded creating it in a program different from the rest of the book. Here’s to hoping that won’t be an issue in future since I’ll just be using Pages.
2. My website and blog: I created my domain for each in January of 2012. As it happens, this is my 150th post on my blog. Between WordPress, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, I have about 100 subscribers, and am approaching 1,000 views. These numbers may seem small but considering I started with 0 on all of those, I’m pretty excited about it! More exciting than the numbers though is what I’ve learned and shared through creating both my website and blog. Like life, both of these things are ever changing, fluid entities. While I try to instill some regularity, change sneaks in sometimes and I went through about five themes before I finally settled on one I like (for now).
3. Whitepaper: I published my first whitepaper, which covered the topic of building characters from scratch. Writing this was a fun challenge, and I’m looking forward to writing more. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll compile them into a book on the craft of writing.
4. Books: I started two new books this year! And of course, I’m still editing/reworking parts of Out of the Sea. I think when I originally started that book in 2008, the idea of a book taking years and years to write seemed strange. I remember setting goals to get it all done in a year. Sure, writing a first draft didn’t take me that long, but now I’m going through every line, and double (or triple) checking my research. I’m loving the process though, particularly for that book, which was my first attempt at historical fiction. What I’ve learned here is that while it’s important to have project timelines, flexibility is also crucial.
5. Martial arts: Wow, where to begin on this one? After a 6.5 year hiatus, I thought about going back to karate starting a little over a year ago, but I didn’t actually do anything about it until April of 2012. After talking with my sensei on the phone, I got back into it. Now I’m prepping for a 2nd degree black belt test next November and I couldn’t be happier to be back at the dojo. Sure, I’ve gotten injured here and there, but it’s bound to happen occasionally. What I’m most grateful for is the friendships I’ve found since going back this past spring.
6. Guest blogging: I’ve started exploring blogging and writing for places other than my own website. This not only increases reach, sure, but it’s always exciting to work on a project for another site. I think it might get a little addicting. In 2012, I guest blogged in only two places but already I have 2 lined up for 2013 and it’s not even that year yet.
I made the decision on my 29th birthday that my 30′s weren’t going to be a decade about which I might someday say “I wish I’d done things differently.” I’m going to go after everything I want. More published works. More travel. More opportunities to engage with friends and family. I want to purchase a house, condo or apartment. Hopefully in another ten years, I’ll be writing a blog post about how my 30′s were some of the most productive years of my life. Until then, I’m glad that the world didn’t end so that I get a chance to do all of this.