I’m not big on waiting until January to make resolutions. If there’s something I want to start—or stop—I don’t see a need to wait. But I do like using the new year as a time to reflect on my accomplishments and missteps so I can set better goals and determine what I need to work on going forward.
What I noticed this year is that my productivity plummets during the summer, especially in terms of writing. You can see in the charts below that my word counts and writing hours dropped significantly in the middle of the year.
Some of this is due to conferences and personal travel, some due to my kids being home and visitors (good distractions), and some probably due to me getting out of my good habits (bad distractions). I did start to pick up my good habits again in the fall, but I need to be better about this in 2014.
I wrote more words and worked more hours in 2013, and it paid off with a fully edited, ready-to-go manuscript, and half of the second book in the series. My increased hours also reflect that I’m doing more online courses, in-person workshops, and individual training.
I wrote 164,592 total words, including blog posts (new to this year’s stats). 131,486 of those were fiction words, almost 20K more than 2012. Travel, visitors, conferences, and online courses really messed with my summer writing habits.
I worked 930 hours, not including reading craft blogs, small snippets of research reading, volunteer hours for my writing chapters, or travel time (I did include blogging and author-related social media for 2013). That works out to about 18 hours/week.
- Taught two Scrivener online courses (actually four).
- (Partial hit) I was definitely better about putting off email and social networking until after writing on many days, but still totally failed on others. Need to keep working on it.
- I did better this year confining my work to weekdays between 7am-6pm. I wasn’t 100% successful, but I’d say I managed it about 90% of the time. Weekends are hardest.
- Blogged weekly. Thanks for reading!
- Completed revisions on BLIND FURY with a professional editor, which means I have the first book in my series ready to go.
- Published PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS FOR WRITERS, which wasn’t on my original goal list, but is a definite “hit” for me.
- I did not get 60-90 minutes of writing or editing in every weekday, nor did I always hit 1000 words during writing sessions. But I’m not too disappointed. You can see from my chart that I still wrote a lot of words this year.
- I didn’t complete two new manuscripts, but I figured out my real goal (self-published series in 2014), which caused me to stop a book halfway through. As a result, I only wrote half of the second book in the series, and half of another that might be part of another series someday, and spent a lot of time revising book one.
Goals for 2014
- Self-publish a three-book series and novella. (I talked about why here.)
- Teach two Scrivener full-length online courses.
- Create and deliver at least one short, specialty Scrivener course.
Seriously, I think that may be enough to keep me busy night and day. Throw in my travel for fun, conferences and workshops, and the fact that we’re due for a move this summer, and I think that’s plenty.
How’d you do in 2013? What’s on your list for this year?
Image credits: By Granny Enchanted (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons