Update on 2013 goals for fourth quarter


Where has 2013 gone? Didn’t it just start? And here we are, nearly halfway through December already. What a busy year! I’ll probably do another post at the end of December about what’s coming in 2014, but for now I thought I’d better put down what I’ve accomplished so far. I wish I could say it’s more than I posted about last time, but it’s not.

With stress and pressure at work coupled with everything else that’s been going on personally with health issues in my family and in friends’ families, it’s taken every ounce of my energy just to keep getting up in the morning. I mean, I’ve gotten a lot done. They just aren’t the things I wanted to get done, you know?

Reading

I finished The Shadow Rising, book four in Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and I loved it. I haven’t yet started book five, The Lord of Chaos. But I have it. It’s sitting on my shelf with a ton of other books I have yet to read.

I’m currently reading Four to Score by Janet Evanovich because I needed something light and funny (if not entirely irreverent).

Self-Publishing

Surefooted, the next AlwaysPeachy devotional book

Surefooted, the next AlwaysPeachy devotional book

Well, this is another area that I can mark down as successful, at least in the fact that I got it done. Mom and I worked together to edit and prepare a second AlwaysPeachy devotional book for print, and we got it done and ready to order by November 1. So far, the grand total of books ordered? … Get ready for this folks: 3.

Yup. Three whole books. Ain’t that grand?

Honestly, for the amount of promotion we’ve done (or lack thereof) it’s miraculous that anyone ordered one. So whoever you three people are who ordered a Surefooted devotional book from me, thank you!

Novel Writing

Novel writing has sadly come to a standstill in recent months. I’ve knocked a few chapters out, but overall my brain just decided that it had worked enough and refused to cooperate. I’m planning to get some work done over Christmas break.

Since my last update, I did finish the AROL book I was working on, book number five, Remnant. It came in around 110,000 words or so, I think.

I haven’t made any progress on Morningstar, but I’ve pretty much convinced myself to make 2014 the year of Morningstar. More on that later. I’m also hoping to hit The Mountain Requires Blood pretty hard next year too.

At this point, my beloved AROL is going to go on the back burner until the silly characters start talking to me again. I’ve been pushing them too hard, and they’re giving me the cold shoulder .

Other Writing

As far as other writing goes, I usually consider this short stories and dramas. I haven’t done any short stories, and I haven’t written any dramas since February. But there’s a chance that we’ll have drama again next year at church. Of course, the AlwaysPeachy devotional blog is going strong, and I’ve managed to knock out a post every Monday through Friday morning this year.

Viega Voice, the journal of plumbing, heating and pipe joining

Viega Voice, the journal of plumbing, heating and pipe joining

And I realized that I probably ought to at least mention the other writing I do for real, which is one of the reasons why I don’t have time to do any of this “fun” writing. In 2013 alone, I wrote or managed copy for three 36-page magazines, probably 10 brochures ranging in pages from 12 to 36, facilitated 20 press releases, and wrote at least a dozen articles and project profiles on plumbing or heating installations across North America. That doesn’t count dozens and dozens of ads, web sites, e-newsletters, and other industry-related marketing materials.

That makes me tired just looking at it. Generally speaking, by the time I get home from my “real job,” I’m so fried all I really want to do is just sit and watch a Tom Hiddleston or Benedict Cumberbatch movie.

So, “fun” writing this year hasn’t been as productive as I would prefer. But “work” writing has been pretty epic.

Traveling and Conferences

This has also been a very busy year for traveling as well, one of the busier years for me. Work-related travel has taken me to Kansas City for a copywriting seminar, to Chicago for a media event and to Chicago again for a regional sales meeting, and finally to Redmond, WA, for an executive communications conference on the Microsoft campus.

My personal travel has been insane this year, taking me first to Dallas over Memorial Day, to Colorado Springs for the Glen Eyrie Writing Workshop, to Edinburgh and London in June/July to visit by best friend (WHO COMES HOME TOMORROW BTW), to St. Louis for the Realm Makers Conference, and finally to Wayland, IA, to visit another friend and his family.

In 2014, I have my eye on a couple of other exciting ventures. I really want to visit my friends in Guatemala again, but I fear I’m going to have to put that one on hold for yet another year. At this point in my personal writing career, I need to get back to pitching at conferences, and I have a handful lined up that would be really beneficial to attend.

Of course, I want to attend the next Realm Makers conference (best conference ever). In 2014, it will be in Philadelphia. Then, if I can, I still want to go to Glen Eyrie because that place is epic and encouraging and refreshing. But I’d also love to try to go to ACFW, the American Christian Fiction Writers conference. It’s in St. Louis in 2014.

On top of all that, a bunch of folks from my high school youth group are going camping in the mountains in July, and that’s going to be a trip I can’t miss. So if you add all those days up, that’s all the vacation time I have.

Those are my preliminary plans for travel next year. Who knows what might change, though, especially since my best friend will be going back across the pond in May (Lord willing). Maybe 2014 will be the year I spend Christmas overseas? Anything is possible.

And that pretty much sums up my update for fourth quarter. I’m really glad I decided to do these posts, for no other reason than getting to see everything I’ve accomplished in a few months is incredibly encouraging. Hopefully I’ll have an actual writing-related post up here soon, barring unexpected life events!

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