Looking Back, Moving Forward.


Well hi there. How’ve you been? Miss me? I know I missed me. A lot has happened since I last posted, so I thought I’d drop in here and let you know what happened last year. This will also be a rundown of my 2017 goals, how well I did, and how I feel about it all.

I will also discuss my plans for 2018 and what I intend to do about it.

So at the end of May, I’d written 296,113 words. I was way ahead of schedule. I was going to cruise to my word count goal of 438,000 words easily. I decided to take a month off which turned into two months off. By the end of July I got crazy busy with work and training I need to do for work and August got away from me.

By Mid-September, I was back full force. Nothing was going to stop me. I hit the ground running and was racking up big numbers once again.

Then September 27th hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been unexpectedly caught by a surplussing effort at work. My position had been eliminated and I would get a formal notification on October 16th that I had 60 days to find another position or I’d lose my job.

Let me first say that most companies don’t offer anything like this. Cuts come and you’re out. Plain and simple. I also don’t blame the company for doing what they felt was right for the company. I just didn’t see how I had merited being cut.

This, for obvious reasons, caused me a great deal of stress. My creative brain shut down. It just wasn’t happening. I applied and applied and applied. 175 internal applications in all. I had an interview that gave me a glimmer of hope, but after weeks of waiting, that position didn’t happen.

I had a second interview that went poorly and I knew I wasn’t getting that position either. I was ready to pack my bags, take my severance, and move on. After 21 years, it hurt to think I’d have to leave.

4 days before my final day of December 15th, I had one final interview. I was relaxed, got along well with the interviewing manager, and in less than 24 hours, he’d gotten all the approvals to hire me for the position. 3 days before I would have been looking outside the company.

I was shocked. Floored. Ecstatic. It was an early Christmas present for me and my family. I got to stay on with the company. We celebrated, had a wonderful Christmas, and a terrific New Year.

Well, they had a great New Year. I spent most of the last 4 days asleep and recovering from some bug that has now hit my wife. My wife and my favorite daughter took care of me, made sure I was awake to ring in the New Year, and made sure I drank plenty of fluids. I still have a bit of a cough, but all is looking right again.

I started my new position officially today, as I was on vacation for the last two weeks of the year. It’s an exciting opportunity and I’m looking forward to the challenges.

Back to the whole writing thing. How close to my 438,000 word count did I get? 322,906. 73.7%. A failure.

Did I hit my goal? Heck no. Do I feel bad? NO! I don’t. Not at all. I failed and still wrote over 300,000 words. This is an incredible success given that I hadn’t written much over the 5 years prior. I got inspired to do a huge 15 book arc within in the V&A Shipping universe. I had more ideas than I would have time to write. It was an exciting time. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made.

What I’m disappointed by is that I let my co-author, Mike Plested, down. We had intended to finish Jack Kane 2 before the end of the year. He kept up his end, but due to stresses in my life, I didn’t keep up mine. For that, I’m truly sorry. I will do better moving forward.

Speaking of moving forward…

My goal is even more ambitious than 2017. I’m aiming for 500,000 words. A target that I know I can hit. It’s all a matter of focus. 365 days of words (well, 364 now) and if I spend only 15 minutes a day at least and knowing I’ll spend more on most days, I know I’ll hit that target easily and hopefully surpass it.

Yes, 2017 got away from me. Partially my fault, partially stress related. These things happen. But I can’t let that deter me.

My goal is to finish the 3 books that are over halfway completed and write at least another 6 books throughout the year. At least. That’d be 9 books completed before Dec 31st, 2018. It’s ambitious, but even if I don’t make it, I’ll have been able to say I tried.

I also intend to blog a little more often. I had thought about blogging daily, but for now, I think I’ll stick to putting words down into books and get those published. I still have a backlog of books that I need to edit and cover and get into your hands. That will also happen this year.

Look for many great things on this blog over the coming year. Much will be happening if I can help it 🙂

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Posted on January 2, 2018, in Blog Post. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Harvey Stanbrough

    Whew! Glad things worked out for you.

  2. Harvey Stanbrough

    J.R., I referenced you in today’s post of my Journal. After about 3 p.m. (Arizona time) today, January 3, I invite you to take a look at http://hestanbrough.com/the-journal-wednesday-january-3/. Thanks.

  3. Dang! Glad it worked out. You should be proud. You still wrote a massive amount of words! Here’s to a great 2018. I’m hoping to publish 6 books myself 🙂 Just sent one out to beta readers.

  4. Dude that’s great that you got the job and we’re able to stay on at your company! Congrats!
    15 books in my favorite universe(V&A)? Sweet!! That’s what I call dedication!
    Keep it up buddy!

    • I’m as excited to write the books as I hope you are to read them 🙂 In my next post, I’ll need to list the order I plan to write them, then get my ass to writing and getting them done!

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