Skip to main content

2016: A Year in Review

December is so close to be over, and so is 2016. And thank goodness for that—is it just me, or has year been supremely sucky for just about everyone??

For me, it seems like I've hit a new speed bump every time I thought I had caught my stride. I said goodbye to my beloved Maxie Cat, my friend I've had for half my life. Quite a few relationships have fallen apart. I'm lucky that I haven't encountered any major setbacks, but I've had a bunch of smaller inconveniences: computer problems, a stolen credit card, break ups and broken hearts, death and illnesses, apartment disasters, unexpected expenses.... You name it, I'm sure I've experienced it this year.

But that doesn't mean this year has been all bad. Two new kitties, Flynn and Anna, have adopted me. I got a new Dallas Comets book published. An amazing friend invited me to see the Pens home opener and banner raising. I've made a lot of business decisions relating to my writing career including some big things for 2017—especially my first reader event in March that I'm really excited about.

My new year's resolutions fizzled out, although they did last longer than I had anticipated! (I think blogging about my adherence to them and progress definitely helped in that department.)

1.) I am significantly more organized than I was this time last year. My office is all set up, my documents and paperwork are filed away, my closets are neater than every before, and my planner is perfectly color-coded.

2.) I didn't consistently hit the gym three times a week, but I probably had more visits this year than last—which of course was good, even if I didn't hit my mark.

3.) I did fail miserably at my goal to release three books in 2016, though; I only got one new release and boxed set out.

So, as I reflect back on the year and look towards the one to come, I realize that I made a mistake when it came to that resolution of mine. I focused on OUTPUT (what I should release) instead of focusing on INPUT (time spent writing). My priorities were wrong, and I felt worse when I realized I wasn't going to meet my goals. I let my readers down, sure, by not giving them the three books I had planned—but I also let myself down, which is never a good feeling.

My two other goals were about effort: making efforts to organize my home and life as well making efforts to get to the gym and spending time on the treadmill. I didn't set a goal to lose X amount of weight; I set a goal to show up.

So I'm reframing my writing goal for 2017. It's not about output, it's about input: instead of expecting a certain number of releases, I'm going to spend a certain amount of time writing.

My goal for 2017 is to spending at least fifteen minutes a day, five days a week, in front of the keyboard. I know that it doesn't sound like a lot, but sometimes fifteen solid minutes of writing can be more productive than an hour staring at a blinking cursor. Plus, I'm planning on a minimum of fifteen minutes—in reality, I'm hoping that it becomes more than that. (I was going to make it fifteen minutes every day, but there will be days where writing is impossible.)

Okay, so that's resolution #1: write fifteen minutes a day, five times a week.

I'm only making one more resolution for the coming year, and that's to focus on my health. I know that sounds very broad; it is. Specifically, I've been having some stomach issues that have gotten worse, and I'm hoping to get them sorted out. Generally, I hope to continue hitting up the gym, making better food choices, and engaging in as much self-care as needed. Because if I've learned anything in 2016, it's that I've got to have my best interests at heart! Otherwise, I'm no good to anyone, including my readers.

That's it! Just two resolutions for this coming year, but they're just as important as last year's. These are simple resolutions, but that's the genius in them! They'll be easily attainable throughout the entire year.

What are your new year's resolutions? If you want to share, leave them in the comments! And whatever they may be, I wish you all the luck in the world when it comes to achieving them!


Popular posts from this blog

Kissing 2018 Goodbye / Bring It On, 2019!

Listen. New Years always freaks me out. Any occasion that encourages me to look back at the past while simultaneously looking toward the future is just... super stressful. I've said it before (I say it at the end of every year!) that December is crazy between work and the holidays and social engagements.

My natural tendency is to think about all the things I didn't do and chalk it up as failing to accomplish my goals. As I reflected on my 2018, I went back to read last year's blog post about my 2018 resolutions, and I kept it simple last year: rein in my spending. And, in some aspects, I accomplished that. I cut down on ordering pizza when I felt too lazy to cook, I didn't add (very much) to my TBR pile by buying books I knew I wouldn't immediately start reading, and I only saw a handful of movies in the theatre (of course I made exceptions for Marvel movies, and my mom and I went to see Book Club because it looked too good).

But I totally fell flat on the writing …

Remember Me?

*Knock, knock*

Anybody out there?

Or, better yet, anybody remember me?

It's Jay! I haven't completely disappeared, or fallen off the face of the earth. I took a break from posting stories here on Blogger in order to try my hand at writing novels. So many of you, my lovely devoted readers, have left me comments saying that my writing's just as good--sometimes better!--than the books you've read. I especially received a lot of encouragement from fellow Blogger Melanie Ting, who has successfully e-published her first story! So I'm trying my hand at writing full-length novels, and I have lots of new material that I'm e-publishing through Amazon through 2013.

First up, I'm publishing Play the Man, a reworked version of A Sharp Contrast. I changed the characters and updated the story, and I'm really happy with the finished product. Here's a peek at the cover:

 I love it! What do you think?
The story will go live on Amazon later tonight (just search for Ja…

Dude. May. WTF.

May has been... an interesting month so far (and we're only one-third of the way through. Phew!).

If you're friends with some authors on Facebook or Twitter,  you've probably seen the insanity and the accompanying hashtags. It's not my intention here to go into the matter; there are plenty of places online to get the details. And while I did a little rage-venting on my own profile, I don't want to publicly feed into this riotous frenzy while the courts and attorneys are working toward a resolution. I do, however, want to take a moment to say that the indie author community is a supportive, close-knit group that I'm proud to be a part of. And it's because of readers like you, who choose to support not only myself but so many authors who work hard and try to give you the best possible books.

Okay, moving on.

So, what have I been up to? Well, I've been buzzing around, prepping for my trip to Philly this weekend. I'll be at Unmask the Romance in Phoeni…