Looking back is the new looking forward.

WoW! What a year 2013 turned out to be. Talk about a roller coaster ride. There were several ups and just as many downs. I started out the year looking to publish 28 books over 24 months. I’m sure you’re wondering how I did, if I’m on track, and all those other thoughts.

Well, I was able to get 9 titles out during 2013. I was hoping to hit 14, but I’ll get to why I didn’t in a little bit and I’ll also touch on why I won’t hit the 28 book mark either. I’ll also, finally, update the links for V&A Shipping II so it’ll be easier to find if you’d like to purchase a copy.

2013 started out as a big bundle of stress and anxiety and did its best to not let up throughout the year. We had difficulties at work with an application we’d developed and planned to deploy in late April. Something changed on the back end that required several meetings, a lot of late nights and working though the weekend. Work took over my life and I was only able to bash out a little over 5000 words during that month and publishing a couple of titles.

During February and March I managed to crank out a good number of words and it was toward the end of March I got notified by my landlord that he was selling his place. Oh, yeah. Moving. This was the second stressful and was not to be the last. Fortunately my landlord was himself renting a place and needed to move out into a place he was wanting to purchase. So things needed to happen just right. He needed to sell the place I was renting and moving into the place he was buying. He made arrangements with his landlord so I could move in there. I needed to be out before July 1st or I’d be paying rent at two locations.

Of course everything went smoothly. My landlord moved out on June 29th and I had June 30th to get everything moved. <sigh>

April to July saw little writing and July wasn’t much better as there was the constant getting settled in.Once things settled down, I did get back on track and cranked out a lot more words. A couple large projects at work ate into my personal time (that happens and is expected). It wasn’t until November that I was set to really crank up the word count and had written nearly 12,000 words during the first few days of November. I had planned on trying to write 150,000 words during November and December. I was even on track to do just that. It was looking good. I was settled in. No major projects on the horizon. It was going to be smooth sailing.

Then I got notification that my job had been shipped offshore and I needed to look for a new position within the company.

Let me talk a moment about stress here and what this signified to me. I’ve never been involuntarily unemployed. I’ve been working since I was 15 and I’ve had a steady job. I’ve only been fired once and I had a job the following day. I spent a year after i got out of the Navy adjusting to civilian life, but that was a choice. I spent a year looking for a job when I moved from Colorado to California. Again, it was a choice. For nearly 30 years I’ve been gainfully employed.

Getting told I may lose my job didn’t sit well with me and I had nightmares, difficultly sleeping, and I couldn’t focus on much of anything. My entire purpose became talking to everyone I’d ever worked with, getting my resume in shape, and applying for jobs inside the company. After being with the same company or 17 years, I didn’t want to start looking outside unless I really needed to. I did not want to start all over. So November and December were lost to stress and focus on other things entirely.

Yes, I did secure a position around December 18th. I still couldn’t focus on much of anything and decided that, since i had the rest of the year off from work, I’d just relax as much as possible and do as little as possible. I read a few books, bought a lot more, watched more TV in two weeks than I have the entire rest of the year. I let all the stress of the year flow away and just did what I could to get my head back into shape to focus on 2014.

At the end of December I also signed a contract along with my writing partner, Mike Plested, for our book, Jack Kane and the Statue of Liberty. It will be out sometime next year. I’m excited to now be a ‘hybrid’ author. I’m also excited that Jack Kane will be seeing print (much more on this as the year progresses).

So what were my totals for 2013? I feel I really missed the mark, but with all the stresses hitting me at various times during the year, it’s not totally unexpected. I’ve always said that if I come close to hitting my goals, I’d feel happy with my output. Well, I didn’t even come close this year, but I still knocked out a good chunk of words. I’m even happy with my daily average for the number of days I was actually able to write.

107 – days writing
258 – days not writing
172700 – words for 2013
1614 – average words per day on writing days

As I said, I plan on hitting the ground running in 2014. I didn’t write yesterday (time spent with family and friends), but I will get words written today and I plan on trying to hit a nice streak of words for the year.

All I can say is that to me, my word count for 2013 is dismal to me. Some would look at my productivity and be quite happy with that so I’m not entirely disappointed. I’d planned on writing 365,000 during the year, but life does have a tendency to happen.

I will keep going. There are too many stories within my head to keep held back. Look for a lot more words from me in 2014 as, hopefully, things will finally settle back down to a normal routine and I can once again spend some nights bashing on the keyboard like a madman. If all goes correctly, I’ll be doing a short podcast every week and one blog post per week. Nothing major, just an update as to what’s happening. Don’t have time to read? You can listen. Don’t have time to listen? You can read at your leisure.

I also plan on being on twitter and facebook a little more often. We’ll see how that goes. I’m off to go make things happen!

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO

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Posted on January 2, 2014, in Blog Post. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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